News & ToursFebruary 4, 2010

This week's syllabus: Feb. 4-10

__THE FAB FIVE

My look at the top five school in the country right now

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1. Oklahoma State (Last fall: 2)

The Cowboys have to be happy to get out of Oklahoma and away from incredible miserable winter weather (ice, wind, etc.) that seems to hit each January. You can do a lot worse than starting the spring in Hawaii.

Spring opener: Mauni Lani Invitational, Mauni Lani CC, Hilo, Hawaii, Feb. 3-5

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2. Stanford (1)

Jordan Cox grabs the fifth spot, over a healthy Joseph Bramlett, for trip to Hawaii. Still, Bramlett's return makes an already deep team that much deeper.

Spring opener: Mauni Lani Invitational, Mauni Lani CC, Hilo, Hawaii, Feb. 3-5

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A lot was expected last fall and while the Huskies performed well, they didn't seem satisfied. No time like the present to show the rest of the college golf world what you've got.

Spring opener: Mauni Lani Invitational, Mauni Lani CC, Hilo, Hawaii, Feb. 3-5

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The Sun Devils got of to a quick start in the fall, so should we expect the same in the spring? They've had to stew for a while now on the 12th-place showing at Isleworth to close the fall

Spring opener: Mauni Lani Invitational, Mauni Lani CC, Hilo, Hawaii, Feb. 3-5

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The Seminoles showed lots of promise last fall when they posted a .804 winning percentage (44-10-2 head-to-head record) with a pair of wins. At the same time, they had only a .647 mark versus top-25 teams (11-6). With the stacked field they'll face in Hawaii, we'll see right quickly what FSU is made of.

Spring opener: Mauni Lani Invitational, Mauni Lani CC, Hilo, Hawaii, Feb. 3-5

__WOMEN

__[#image: /photos/55ad71fab01eefe207f688f5]|||Thumbnail image for Arizona State logo 2008-09.gif|||1. Arizona State (1)

A victory last year at Palos Verdes helped kick-start the Sun Devils' spring march to the NCAA Championship title. ASU has the player to repeat on both fronts.

Spring opener: Northrup Grumman Regional Challenge, Palos Verdes GC, Palos Verdes, Calif., Feb. 9-11

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Four runner-up finishes for the Bruins in the fall leaves them upbeat, but wanting more. Meanwhile, I have a hunch Sydnee Michaels is going to play well this spring as she closes out her senior season.

Spring opener: Northrup Grumman Regional Challenge, Palos Verdes GC, Palos Verdes, Calif., Feb. 9-11

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Can Jennifer Song go undefeated in the 2009-10 season? It's asking a bit much, but it could be a lot of fun to watch if she comes out and wins at Palos Verdes. And that, at least, is not a long shot.

Spring opener: Northrup Grumman Regional Challenge, Palos Verdes GC, Palos Verdes, Calif., Feb. 9-11

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You can make the argument that Cydney Clanton and Candace Schepperle are the best one-two combo in women's golf without embarrassing yourself. If they get some help at the end of the lineup, watch out.

Spring opener: Arizona Wildcat Invitational, Arizona National GC, Tucson, Ariz., Feb. 22-23

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The United Nations has nothing on the Boilermaker roster, with six different countries (Belgium, Canada, Germany, India, South Africa and Thailand) represented in West Lafayette.

Spring opener: Lady Puerto Rico Classic, Coco Beach Resort, Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, Feb. 7-9

__STAT OF THE WEEK

__110

Number of days between the last round the California men's team played last fall (Oct. 13, The MacKenzie) and the first round the Golden Bears played this spring (Feb. 1, Arizona Invitational). The winter break was actually four days longer than the time off that coach Steve Desimone's team had last summer between the end of the 2008-09 season and the start of the 2009-10 campaign. Of course it didn't hurt the team, as Cal won dramatically by one stroke over Arizona Tuesday after entering the day with a seven-stroke lead and falling 11 strokes back in the middle of the final round.

__WHAT TO WATCH FOR

__* Interim coach Robbie Bosco makes his debut when the BYU women start their spring schedule next week at The Gold Rush event. Bosco takes over for Sue Nyhus, who stepped down after the end of the fall semester, and if the name is familiar, chances are you're also a college golf fan. Bosco was the starting quarterback at BYU when the team won the national championship in 1984. He started 33 games for the Cougars and threw for 66 touchdowns, 10 more than another notable BYU QB,Steve Young.

  • It won't necessarily have an impact on Johnson & Wales NAIA squads is unknown, but the Florida school recently announced a strategic alliance with the Jim McLean Golf School in Miami. The arrangement allows golf management students to study under McLean's teaching pros. Staring last fall, Johnson & Wales students could earn a bachlor's degree in golf management through the university's hospitality college.

__TOURNAMENT PREVIEW

____MEN

____Mauni Lani Invitational

__   (For live scoring, click here to link to Golfstat)

Mauna Lani North Course, Kohala Coast, Hawaii

Feb. 3-5

Host: Hawaii-Hilo

Defending champion: USC (13-under 851) by 11 strokes over Washington; Washington's Nick Taylor (six-under 210) by one stroke over USC's Jamie Lovemark

Field: Arizona State, CSU-East Bay, Colorado, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Oregon, Oregon State, Rhode Island, San Jose State, San Francisco, Sonoma State, TCU, Texas, Texas Tech, UC Davis, UCLA, USC, Washington

Skinny: Not a bad way to start the spring season, what with six of the top seven in the final Golf World/Nike Golf coaches' poll competing head-to-head in Hawaii, and 12 of the top 20. Forecast is supposed to be for mild conditions, which could mean a lot of red numbers.

__JU Invitational

__   (For live scoring, click here to link to Golfstat)

TPC Sawgrass (Players Stadium Course), Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

Feb. 7-9

__ Host: Jacksonville

Defending champion: __Lamar (25-over 889) by one stroke over Kentucky; Stetson's Thomas Parker (four-under 212) by five strokes over Kentucky's Andy Winings

__ Field: __Charleston Southern, Clemson, East Carolina, East Tennessee State, Georgia State, Idaho, Jacksonville, Jacksonville State, Kentucky, Liberty, Murray State, Old Dominion, USC Upstate, Wake Forest, Winthrop

__ Skinny: __Three words--Players Stadium Course. It will be interesting to see how the collegians handle Pete Dye's sinister layout after playing the Valley Course a year ago.

__The Farms Collegiate Invitational

__The Farms GC, Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.

Feb. 8-9

__ Host: San Diego

Defending champion: __New Event

__ Field: __CSU Bakersfield, CSU Northridge, Denver, Loyola Marymount, San Diego, San Diego State, Santa Clara, SMU, St. Mary's (Calif.), UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara, UTEP

__ Skinny: __The course played host to the Callaway Match Play event run by the GCAA a year ago.

__WOMEN

Lady Puerto Rico Classic__

Coco Beach GC, Rio Grande, Puerto Rico

Feb. 7-9

__ Host: Purdue

Defending champion: __Purdue (24-over 888) by 21 strokes over Tennessee; Indiana's Laura Nochta and Purdue's Maria Hernandez (three-over 219)

__Field:__Alabama, Baylor, Florida State, Georgia, Kent State, Indiana, Iowa State, Michigan, Northwestern, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Penn State, Purdue, SMU, Wisconsin, Texas Tech

__ Skinny: Given the odd weather in the southeast the past month, the potential advantage for the "warm" climate schools over their Northern counterparts would seem to be negligible. __

The Gold Rush

(For live scoring, click here to link to Golfstat)

Old Ranch CC, Seal Beach, Calif. (par 71, 6,157 yards)

Feb. 8-9

__ Host: Long Beach State

Defending champion: __New event

__ Field: __BYU, Cal Poly, California Baptist, CSU Fullerton, CSU Northridge, Long Beach State, New Mexico State, Portland State, San Diego State, San Francisco, UC Davis, UC Riverside

__ Skinny: Inaugural event has 11 teams from five different conferences competing. __

__Northrup Grumman Regional Challenge

__   (For live scoring, click here to link to Golfstat)

Palos Verdes GC, Palos Verdes, Calif.

Feb. 8-10

__Host:Ohio State

Defending champion: __Arizona State (46-over 898) by 18 strokes over USC; Arizona State's Juliana Murcia (one-over 214) by eight strokes over ASU's Carlota Ciganda and USC's Jennifer Song

__ Field: Arizona State, California, Colorado, Denver, Duke, Florida, Louisville, Michigan State, Ohio State, Pepperdine, TCU, UC Irvine, UCLA, USC, Wake Forest

Skinny:__ The course traditionally is one of the toughest the women's teams will face all season. If ASU can repeat, the Sun Devils will be just the second school to win in back to back years (joining Arizona in 2000 & 2001) and also the second school to win the NGR title three times in the event's 14-year history (joining Pepperdine).

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