News & ToursMarch 11, 2010

This week's syllabus: March 11-17

__THE FAB FIVE

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

MEN__

Stanford logo 2008-09.gif

1. Stanford (Last week: 1)

The chance to have his players gain some team match play experience is something Cardinal coach Conrad Ray is excited about. Of course, the fact he's got some quality match play players in Sihwan Kim (former U.S. Junior champ), David Chung (reigning North & South champ) and Steve Ziegler (U.S. Amateur quarterfinalist) doesn't hurt.

*Next event: *Callaway Collegiate Match Play Championship, Ritz-Carlton GC, Dove Mountain, Ariz., March 21-23

Oklahoma-state-logo-latest.jpg

2. Oklahoma State (2)

The headline reads that they finished second to Texas at the Puerto Rico Classic, but don't forget the Cowboys shot a collective 36 under par while Kevin Tway claimed medalist honors with a 17-under 199. What's that famous saying ... not too shabby!

Next event: Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters, Southern Highlands GC, Las Vegas, March 12-14

Texas logo 2009-10.gif

3. Texas (3)

After having seven different lineups in their seven previous tournaments, the Longhorns starting five may well be set with Cody Gribble, Bobby Hudson, Dylan Frittelli, Lance Lopez and Charlie Holland. That's what happens when you combine to shoot 42 under in your previous start.

Next event: Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters, Southern Highlands GC, Las Vegas, March 12-14

Thumbnail image for Washington logo 2008-09.gif

The Huskies post a top-three finish for the sixth time this season at Fresno State on Tuesday, coming up two strokes shy of the playoff between eventual champion BYU and San Diego. Good news is they're almost always in the hunt. Bad news is they're still trying to close the deal.

*Next event: *Callaway Collegiate Match Play Championship, Ritz-Carlton GC, Dove Mountain, Ariz., March 21-23

Oregon logo 2008-09.gif

__5. Oregon __(4)

A fourth-place showing at Fresno State would have been fine earlier this spring, before the Ducks lapped the field at USC. Still, they were only three out of first place and Eugene Wong, fresh off a third top-five finish, is making a case for the Pac-10 player of the year if not an even bigger accolade.

  • Next event:* Oregon Duck Invitational, Shadow Hills CC, Junction City, Ore., March 22-23

WOMEN

Thumbnail image for USC 2008-09 logo.gif

How quickly is the season going by? The Trojans have only the one stop in Tempe before playing in the Pac-10 Championship. The thing I like about this group is its proficiency for making birdies; USC ranks second in the country with 236 and has a 22.2 percent conversion ranking.

Next event: Ping ASU Invitational, Karsten GC, Tempe, Ariz., April 9-11

Thumbnail image for Arizona State logo 2008-09.gif

No doubt the talent is there for a repeat at NCAAs this spring, but you get the sense that the confidence level isn't quite the same as it was a year ago. Nothing, of course, a victory at your home tournament can't remedy.

Next event: Ping ASU Invitational, Karsten GC, Tempe, Ariz., April 9-11

Thumbnail image for UCLA logo 2008-09.gif

Things set up very well for the Bruins over the next few weeks. The extra start in Austin before heading to Tempe for ASU's tourney gives them a chance to get that first win under their belt before their final duals with their Pac-10 foes.

Next event: Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invitational, University of Texas GC, Austin, Texas, March 26-28

Thumbnail image for Alabama logo 2008-09.gif

You can't say the Crimson Tide isn't rested heading into New Orleans (OK, I promise it's my last shot at the long gap in their spring schedule). Seriously, though, it will be very interesting to see how this group handles the lay-off as they play in an event that has nine of the top 25 teams in the latest Golf World/NGCA coaches' poll.

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

5. Texas A&M (5)

Julia Boland returns home this week to play in the Australian Open. She deserves the chance after the impressive spring she's having, but you hope the long trip back and forth doesn't wear her out.

Next event: Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invitational, University of Texas GC, Austin, Texas, March 26-28

STAT OF THE WEEK

__12

__[#image: /photos/55ad7210b01eefe207f68a6b]|||Changkija_mug.jpg|||

Spot in the Golfstat Cup women's ranking held by Nova Southeastern's Sandra Changkija, making her the highest-rated Division II player. The junior from Orlando, who won her third straight tournament last week when she claimed an eight-shot victory at the Peggy Kirk Bell Invitational, is on pace to post the best finish ever by a D-II golfer in the ranking; no D-II golfer has been rated better than 21st in the end-of-the-season Cup ranking since its inception in 1995-96. Ironically it is Changkija, the two-time D-II national player of the year, who was 21st a year ago.

__WHAT TO WATCH FOR

TOURNAMENT PREVIEW

MEN__

__Seminole Intercollegiate

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

Southwood GC, Tallahassee, Fla. (Par 72, 7,172 yards)

March 12-13

Host: Florida State

Field: Arkansas, Baylor, Cincinnati, Florida State, George Mason, Georgia State, Mercer, Mississippi State, North Carolina, North Texas, South Carolina, Troy, Vanderbilt, Western Carolina

Defending champion: Vanderbilt (-1/863) by one stroke over Virginia; Vanderbilt's Ryan Haselden (-3/213) by one stroke over Mississippi State's Carlos Sainz Jr.

Skinny: Tournament moves to new location after spending the last several years at Golden Eagle GC.

__Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters

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

Southern Highlands CC, Las Vegas

March 12-14

Host: UNLV

Field: Arizona, Arizona State, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, New Mexico, Oklahoma State, TCU, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, UCLA, USC, UNLV

Defending champion: UNLV  (-9/855) by one stroke over Oklahoma State; Georgia Tech's Cameron Tringale (-11/205) by five strokes over USC's Matt Giles and Oklahoma State's Morgan Hoffmann

Skinny: Another jam-packed field descends on Vegas, with the host Rebels looking to win the event for the ninth time in the last 16 years.

__Pinehurst Intercollegiate

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

Pinehurst No. 8, Pinehurst, N.C.

March 12-14

Host: Pinehurst Resort

Field: Ball State, Belmont, Eastern Kentucky, Francis Marion, Marshall, Michigan State, UNC Greensboro, Northern Illinois, Old Dominion, Penn State, Radford, Richmond, SMU, Virginia Commonwealth, Virginia Tech

Defending champion: Penn State (-2/862) by five strokes over Virginia Tech; Penn State's T.J. Howe (-7/209) by three strokes over Virginia Tech's Drew Weaver

Skinny: No obvious choice for a favorite this year as several programs could make some noise in the sandhills of North Carolina.

__General Jim Hackler Championship

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

TPC Myrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet, S.C.

March 14-15

Host: Coastal Carolina

Field: Augusta State, Coastal Carolina, Duke, East Tennessee State, Kennesaw State, Kent State, Lamar, Minnesota, UNC Wilmington, N.C. State, Pepperdine, Wake Forest

Defending champion: Wake Forest (+17/881) by 10 strokes over N.C. State; N.C. State's Matt Hill (-3/213) by three strokes over Coastal Carolina's Zack Byrd

Skinny: Could this be the event that kick-starts the Wolfpacks' Hill again in 2010? A year ago his victory in Myrtle Beach helped build momentum toward an amazing spring finish that included his NCAA individual victory.

__Rio Pinar Invitational

__Rio Pinar CC, Orlando

March 15-16

Host: UCF

Field: Akron, Charleston, Charlotte, Florida Atlantic, Liberty, Louisiana-Lafayette, Marquette, Miami (Ohio), Middle Tennessee State, North Florida, North Texas, South Alabama, South Florida, Southern Mississippi, Toledo, UCF, UT Arlington, Wichita State

Defending champion: UCF (-13/851) by 14 strokes over UT Arlington; UCF's Blayne Barber (-12/204) by two strokes over UT Arlington's Bobby Massa

Skinny: What a difference a year makes? The Golden Knights are without their head coach, Nick Clinard, and Barber, both gone to Auburn. In the aftermath, the team has yet to post a top-five finish in six starts in 2009-10.

__Triumph at Pauma Valley

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

Pauma Valley CC, San Diego (Par 71, 7,077 yards)

March 15-16

Host: San Francisco

Field: Air Force, Army, Boston College, Campbell, Central Arkansas, Columbia, Hartford, Jackson State, Long Beach State, Loyola Marymount, Portland, San Francisco

Defending champion: Loyola Marymount (+4/856) by 16 strokes over British Columbia; Loyola Marymount's John Lim (-2/211) by two strokes over three other golfers

Skinny: Previous two champions have hailed from the West Coast Conference (St. Mary's in 2007; Loyola Marymount in 2009).

__National Invitational Tournament

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

Omni Tucson National, Tucson, Ariz. (Par 72, 7,094 yards)

March 17-18

Host: Arizona

Field: Arizona, Baylor, California, Colorado State, New Mexico, Purdue, SMU, TCU, Texas, Texas Tech, Tulsa, UTEP, Wyoming

Defending champion: New Mexico (-14/850) by seven strokes over Arizona; New Mexico's Nick Geyer (-9/207) by two strokes over TCU's James Sacheck

Skinny: No school has repeated as team champions in the seven previous editions of the tournament.

__WOMEN

LSU Tiger/Wave Classic

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

English Turn G&CC, New Orleans (Par 72, 6,186 yards)

March 12-14

Host: LSU/Tulane

Field: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Charleston, Furman, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisville, LSU, Mississippi, Mississippi State, North Carolina, N.C. State, UNC Wilmington, Notre Dame, Purdue, TCU, Tennessee, Tulane, UCF, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Wake Forest

Defending champion: Virginia (-8/856) by five strokes over Tulane; Arkansas' Lucy Nunn (-7/209) in playoff over South Carolina's Benedicte Toumpsin and Virginia's Calle Nielson

Skinny: The two top college programs in Louisiana combine forces to host the event, bringing it to New Orleans while The University Club is under renovation. Timing couldn't be better for Tulane, coming off their victory at the Kinderlou Forest Challenge last week

__Dr. Donnis Thompson Invitational

__Kaneohe Klipper GC, Honolulu (Par 72, 5,907 yards)

March 15-16

Host: Hawaii

Field: Colorado State, Fresno State, Hawaii, Hawaii-Hilo, Jackson State, Nevada, North Dakota, North Texas, Northern Colorado, Nova Southeastern, Rollins, Sacramento State, San Francisco, Seattle, UTEP, Weber State

Defending champion: Texas A&M (+43/907) by six strokes over Idaho; Idaho's Kayla Mortellaro (+3/219) by one stroke over Texas A&M's Lauren Johnson

Skinny: Nova Southeastern has distanced itself from its fellow Division II rivals. Curious to see how they'll fare against this primarily D-I field some 6,100 miles from home.

More from The Loop