The Loop

This week's syllabus: Feb. 18-24

February 18, 2010


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



1. Stanford (Last week: 1)

As if the Cardinal weren't already confident after winning in Hawaii earlier this month to start their spring season, the squad heads to North Ranch CC knowing it won the team title there a year ago and it was the course where Steve Ziegler picked up his first college victory.

Next event: USC Invitational, North Ranch CC, Westlake, Calif., March 1-2


A healthy Peter Uihlein will keep the disappointing Mauna Lani performance from becoming a lingering distraction. Just a hunch here, but I think the Cowboys are going to be rather ornery on the island this weekend.

Next event: Puerto Rico Classic, Rio Grande CC, Rio Mar, Puerto Rico, Feb. 21-23


One-stroke loss to UCLA at this week's Battle at the Beach hurts but the Huskies can take some solace: Chris Williams' share of medalist honors makes him the third freshman in UW history to win an individual title.

Next event: Fresno Lexus Challenge, San Joaquin CC, Fresno, Calif., March 8-9


OK, Gators, that was the kind of victory (18-stroke triumph over Florida State at last weekend's Gator Invitational) I wanted to see. Looks like a lot of players are finding their form in Gainesville.

Next event: John Hayt Invitational, Sawgrass CC, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., Feb. 28-March 2


5. California (5)

The Bears are back in Hawaii after skipping the event last year. Good news for Cal fans: Stephen Hale won the event in 2008.

Next event: John Burns Intercollegiate, Leilehua GC, Wahiawa, Hawaii, Feb. 17-19


__[#image: /photos/55ad726cb01eefe207f6906c]|||Thumbnail image for USC 2008-09 logo.gif|||1. USC (1)

The Trojans appear to be at full strength, with Belen Mozo's shoulder seemingly pain free. If__Andrea Gaston__ can solidify the No. 4 and 5 spots, watch out.

Next event: Arizona Wildcat Invitational, Arizona National GC, Tucson, Feb. 22-23


The Sun Devils only had one player finish in the top 15 at the Northrup Grumman Regional Challenge (Juliana Murcia, T-7). The last tournament that happens for ASU? That was 17 months ago at the 2008 Mason Rudolph.

Next event: Arizona Wildcat Invitational, Arizona National GC, Tucson, Feb. 22-23


The status of Stephanie Kono's back gives reason for Bruins fans to be a bit concerned, although__Carrie Forsyth__ was being safe rather than sorry by holding her out at Palos Verdes. The extra lag time between the first and second spring event will help.

Next event: Bruin/Wave Invitational, Robinson Ranch GC, Canyon Country, Calif.


After the Crimson Tide captured their first title of the season at Lady Puerto Rico, my guess is they would have preferred not to have to wait nearly a month before their next tournament.

Next event: Tiger-Wave Classic, English Turn GC, New Orleans, March 12-13


The roster is a bit thin with just five players, but if Laurie Gibbs gets the output she did at the Northrup Grumman from Lisa McCloskey and Taylore Karle, they might have all the depth they need.

Next event: Arizona Wildcat Invitational, Arizona National GC, Tucson, Feb. 22-23



Strokes under par on the par-71 Ocean North course at Pelican Hill GC in Newport Coast, Calif., that the foursome of UCLA's Pontus Widegren (64) and Gregor Main (71), Arkansas' David Lingmerth (64) and Jamie Marshall (65) combined to post Feb. 16 during the final round of the Battle at the Beach. The Bruins claimed the team title by one stroke over Arkansas and Washington.



Number of players that shot 67 or lower in the final round at Pelican Hill. By comparison, there were only five scores of 67 or lower during the first two rounds of the event.


__* The Georgia men's squad finished the fall with a head-to-head record of 27-22-2, good enough to qualify for NCAA Regional play but not good enough to keep for being a tad bit nervous as the spring season begins. So it was that coach Chris Haack has reinforced his lineup with the January additions of Australia's Bryden Macpherson and New Zealand's Scott McAlpine, hoping the two can provide the spark that the team has been missing after the graduations of Brian Harman and Adam Mitchell and the decision to redshirt Hudson Swafford.

Macpherson will see his first action this weekend as he made the starting five that will be playing in Puerto Rico. He'll need to be as good as advertised (he's ranked 36th in the Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking) seeing that Georgia will also be without All-American Russell Henley this week, who is out sick and isn't expected to be traveling with the squad.



__John Burns Intercollegiate

Leilehua GC, Wahiawa, Hawaii

Feb. 17-19

Host: Hawaii

Defending champion: Texas A&M (28-under 836) by three strokes over New Mexico; New Mexico's James Erkenbeck (11-under 205) by one stroke over Arizona's Tarquin Macmanus

Field: Arizona, BYU, BYU-Hawaii, California, Denver, Fresno State, Hawaii, Hawaii-Hilo, Hawaii Pacific, Nevada, New Mexico, SMU, UC Santa Barbara, UNLV, UTEP, Texas A&M

Skinny: Tournament in its 34th year is named in honor of the former Hawaii governor who worked to get Hawaii athletics to a competitive level with the rest of the country.

__Puerto Rico Classic

__Rio Mar CC River Course, Rio Grande, Puerto Rico (Par 72, 6,902 yards)

Feb. 21-23

Host: Purdue

Defending champions: Georgia (38-under 826) by 12 strokes over Clemson; Texas' Dylan Fritelli and Georgia's Hudson Swafford (12-under 204)

Field: Alabama, Clemson, East Tennessee State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Kent State, Michigan, UNC Greensboro, Northwestern, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ohio State, Purdue, Texas, Virginia Tech

Skinny: Last year's red numbers were unusual for just how low they were, although generally it takes double-digit sub-par scores to win this event.

__Mobile Bay Intercollegiate

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

Magnolia Grove GC, Mobile, Ala.

Feb. 21-23

Defending champions: Mississippi State (24-over 888) by nine strokes over South Alabama; Illinois State's Joe Emerich (one-under 215) by four strokes over Mississippi State's Josh Bevel

Field: Akron, Arkansas State, Belmont, Illinois State, Iowa State, Jacksonville, Kennesaw State, Kentucky, Louisville, Memphis, Middle Tennessee State, MIssissippi, Mississippi State, South Alabama, South Florida, Southern Mississippi, Toledo, Vanderbilt

Skinny: Event moves to February after being held in March the past three years.



Edwin Watts/Kiawah Island Classic

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

Cougar Point (Par 72, 6,007 yards) and Oak Point (Par 72, 5,957 yards)

Kiawah Island, S.C.

Feb. 21-23

Defending champions:__ __Miami and Central Arkansas (40-over 904); Central Arkansas' Nicole Forshner and East Tennessee State's Sinead O'Sullivan (two-over 218) __

Field:__ Akron, Augusta State, Bucknell, Campbell, Central Arkansas, Charleston, Charleston Southern, The Citadel, Drake, East Carolina, East Tennessee State, Elon, Florida International, Illinois State, Jacksonville State, Kansas, Kennesaw State, Maryland, Mercer, Miami (Fla.), MIddle Tennessee State, Minnesota, Missouri Sate, Morehead State, Old Dominion, Oral Roberts, Oregon State, Richmond, South Carolina State, Southern Illinois, Toledo, USC Upstate, Western Carolina, Wichita State, William & Mary

Skinny: Just your typical, run-of-the-mill, 35-team tournament. In the second-year of this mega-tournament, teams will play 18 holes on each course with the top 20 teams playing Cougar Point the final day and the remainder back at Oak Point.

__Arizona Wildcat Invitational

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

Arizona National GC, Tucson (Par 71, 6,146 yards)

Feb. 22-23

Host: Arizona

Defending champions: UCLA (five-over 869) by nine strokes over Arizona State and USC; New Mexico's Jodi Ewart and USC's Lizette Salas (three-under 213)

Field: Arizona, Arizona State, Auburn, California, Denver, Duke, New Mexico, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Pepperdine, Stanford, Tennessee, Tulane, UNLV, USC, Washington

Skinny: Tournament moves back to Tucson after being held last year in Mexico. Four of the top 10 teams in the country, according to the most recent Golf World/NGCA coaches' poll, are competing.

Central District Invitational

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

River Wilderness CC, Parrish, Fla. (Par 72, 6,099 yards)

Feb. 22-23

Defending champions: Auburn (18-over 882) by three strokes over LSU; LSU's Megan McChrystal (three-under 213) by one stroke over Auburn's Candace Schepperle

Field: Arkansas, Florida, Kent State, LSU, Michigan, Michigan State, Missouri, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Purdue, South Carolina, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M

Skinny: The Midwest's annual migration to Florida. First time we get to see Michigan State and Purdue going head-to-head the spring.