News & Tours
January 31, 2008

This week's syllabus: Jan. 31-Feb. 6

THE FAB FIVE

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

__MEN

The 49ers currently have the best winning percentage in the country (60-2, .968) and the lowest adjusted scoring average of any team (70.49). Plus, they hit 77.8 percent of their fairways as a team and 69.6 percent of greens in regulation.

Next event: John Hayt Collegiate Invitational, Sawgrass CC, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., Feb. 17-19

2. Alabama (3)

Including play in junior varsity events, eight of the nine Crimson Tide players to compete in the fall posted top-10 finishes. Meanwhile, the squad has a final-round stroke average of 71.55 (286.2 team total).

Next event: John Hayt Collegiate Invitational, Sawgrass CC, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., Feb. 17-19

3. Tennessee (NR)

After closing the fall with a victory at the Turtle Bay Classic, the Volunteers picked up where they left off with a three-stroke victory over UNLV at the Ping/Arizona Intercollegiate Tuesday. Best news of all for coach Jim Kelson: all five players finished in the top 21 individually.

Next event: John Hayt Collegiate Invitational, Sawgrass CC, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., Feb. 17-19

__4. Georgia __ (4)

The Bulldogs' average drop score through the fall was 75.03, best in the country. Only concern would be that the team started slow in the fall (sixth-place showing in the Carpet Capital Classic).

Next event: Puerto Rico Classic, Rio Mar CC, Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, Feb. 29-March 2

__

The Bruins are perfect no more with a third-place finish at the Ping/Arizona event, 15 strokes off of Tennessee's winning pace. (Blame it on a poor first round.) Senior Kevin Chappell held up his end of the bargain, however, with a 15-under 198 showing that included a closing-round 64, good enough for his fourth college title.

Next event: John Hayt Collegiate Invitational, Sawgrass CC, Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., Feb. 17-19

__WOMEN

Give the Blue Devils their due: Their schedule is ranked third in the country, lowest of all but one school in the latest Golf World/NGCA coaches' poll. Moreover, just one other top-five team has a schedule ranked better than 10th.

Next event: Arizona Wildcat Invitational, Arizona National GC, Tucson, Feb. 25-27

2. Arizona State (2)

In the last two seasons, the Sun Devils have won or finished second in their first two tournaments of the spring.

Next event: Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge, Palos Verdes GC, Palos Verdes, Calif., Feb. 11-13

3. UCLA (3)

The Bruins went 34-4 against top-25 opponents this fall, second only to Duke.

Next event: Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge, Palos Verdes GC, Palos Verdes, Calif., Feb. 11-13

[

Next event: Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge, Palos Verdes GC, Palos Verdes, Calif., Feb. 11-13

__

The Tigers have the benefit of a new practice facility that's just opened in the past few months to help them during the off-season.

Next event: Arizona Wildcat Invitational, Arizona National GC, Tucson, Feb. 25-27

__

STAT OF THE WEEK

2__

Number of teams ranked in the final fall Golf World/NGCA coaches' poll that have a winning percentage worse than .500. No. 21 New Mexico is .493 (33-34-3) and No. 23 Stanford is .369 (24-41). (Luckily for them, there is not ".500 rule" being used by the NCAA women's golf committee to determine at-large teams eligible for regionals.

__STAT OF THE WEEK, PART II

12__

Number of teams ranked in the final fall Golf World/NGCA coaches' poll that had winning percentages worse than .500 against other top-25 ranked teams. The lowest of these 12 was No. 25 TCU at .083 (2-22).

__STAT OF THE WEEK, PART III

0__

Number of teams ranked in the final fall Golf World/NGCA coaches' poll that had an equal or better record against other top-25 ranked teams than against all opponents. (Two teams did on the men's side).



__

WHAT TO WATCH FOR__

Just how Coastal, one of the notable mid-major schools that has become a top-25 program in recent years, moves forward will be interesting, seeing as the squad was inconsistent this past fall with just one top-five finish in four starts and a .354 winning percentage overall. Terrell will know soon enough how his team will respond as it begins the spring season at next week's Gator Invitational, followed with a spot in the field at the John Hayt Intercollegiate the following weekend.

TOURNAMENTS TO WATCH

MEN

University of Hawaii-Hilo Invitational

Waikoloa Village GC, Waikoloa, Hawaii

Feb. 6-8

Host: Hawaii-Hilo

Field: Arizona State, CSU-Bakersfield, Colorado, Georgia Tech, Hawaii-Hilo, Hawaii-Manoa, Kansas, Oklahoma, Oregon, Oregon State, Pacific, Santa Clara, Southern California, Stanford, TCU, Texas Tech, UC Davis, Washington.

Defending champion: Stanford (37-under 803, won tiebreaker over Oklahoma State); Jonathan Moore, Oklahoma State (15-under 195)

Skinny: The name of the game in this tournament, known by most as the "Big Island Invite" and now in its 18th year, is to go low; the team champion has been 23 under or lower each of the past four years. In 2005 Oklahoma State won with a 63-under 801 score.