News & ToursMarch 12, 2009

This week's syllabus: March 13-19

__FAB FIVE

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

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  1. Georgia (Last week's syllabus: 1)

The Bulldogs were already riding a three-tournament win streak heading into Las Vegas, but gained even more momentum with a 5-0 sweep of Texas Tech in a one-day match-play event back in Athens earlier this week.

Next event: Southern Highlands Collegiate Championship, Southern Highlands GC, Las Vegas, March 13-15

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  1. Stanford (2)

While no Cardinal player has a stroke average lower than 72.5, five golfers (Steve Ziegler, Sihwan Kim, David Chung, Joseph Bramlett and Jordan Cox) have carded top-10 finishes.

Next event: Callaway Match Play Championship, The Farms GC, Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., March 22-24

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  1. Oklahoma State (3)

The Cowboys continue to rotate players in the No. 5 spot in the line-up. This week in Las Vegas, redshirt freshman Bernhard Neumann gets the nod. Meanwhile, two-time AJGA player of the year Peter Uihlein has still played just one tournament for OSU so far in his freshman season.

Next event: Southern Highlands Collegiate Championship, Southern Highlands GC, Las Vegas, March 13-15

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  1. USC (4)

If all goes well, Las Vegas should be the last event that Jamie Lovemark will miss with his broken finger. Freshman Steve Lim, who's playing well back at home, takes his spot at Southern Highlands.

Next event: Southern Highlands Collegiate Championship, Southern Highlands GC, Las Vegas, March 13-15

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  1. Clemson (NR)

The Tigers had competed in UNLV's tournament for 19 straight years before missing the 2008 event. Their best finish? Third place in 1997, 2001, 2003 and 2004. Same line-up that finished second at Puerto RIco travels to Nevada.

Next event: Southern Highlands Collegiate Championship, Southern Highlands GC, Las Vegas, March 13-15

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WOMEN

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  1. UCLA (1)

Every week it's a new Bruin that shines. At the UCF Challenge, it was freshman Stephanie Kono, who shot a final-round 66 to lift UCLA past ASU as well as claim medalist honors.

Next event: Ping/ASU Invitational, Karsten Course at ASU, Tempe, Ariz., April 3-5

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  1. Arizona State (2)

A T-10 finish from Azahara Munoz in her return to action at the UCF Challenge bodes well for the Sun Devils in the long run. Best thing for ASU fans? Munoz thinks she should have done better.

Next event: Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invitational, University of Texas GC, Austin, Texas, March 19-21

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  1. USC (3)

After shooting a course-record 65 at Red Tail GC, junior Belen Mozo only could muster a 74 in the final round of the UCF Challenge. Still, after struggled with her putting throughout the spring, the Spaniard's confidence is rising.

Next event: Ping/ASU Invitational, Karsten Course at ASU, Tempe, Ariz., April 3-5

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  1. Oklahoma State (NR)

In just their second start under new coach Annie Young, the Cowgirls hung tough while in the final group with UCLA and Arizona State at the UCF Challenge, eventually finishing in third place. That's five top-fives in six starts for OSU.

Next event: Liz Murphey Collegiate, University of Georgia GC, Athens, Ga., March 27-29

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  1. Wake Forest (4)

A month after opening their spring season with a runner-up finish at the Northrup Grumman, the Demon Deacons anxiously return to action this weekend in Louisiana. Coach Dianne Dailey says the strong showing in California only made the players work harder in practice.

Next event: LSU Golf Classic, University Club, Baton Rouge, La., March 13-15

__STAT OF THE WEEK

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The number of hours it reportedly took for some players to finish their rounds at the Ron Smith/USF Invitational last weekend at Lake Jovita. I kind of chuckle sometimes at how often my counterparts at Golfweek bang the drum about the problems of slow play in college golf, but the news out of Dade City, Fla., was so ridiculous that it's time they get somebody else to join their cause. Enough is enough fellas (and ladies too) ... it's time to pick up the pace.      __

WHAT TO WATCH FOR__

  • Conspicuous by her absence at the UCF Challenge was UCLA senior Tiffany Joh, who despite being ranked 24th in the country by Golfstat failed to qualify for the Bruins' starting five that traveled to Red Tail GC outside Orlando and beat Arizona State by seven strokes for their fifth win of the season. "She's been fighting [her swing] a little bit," said Bruin coach Carrie Forsyth. Needless to say, those aren't the words you want to hear about your go-to senior captain.

Joh will miss UCLA's next tournament, the Ping/ASU Invitational, since she'll be playing at the Kraft Nabisco Championship that weekend. I'd be shocked, however, if you don't see her wearing Bruin Blue at the Pac-10 Championship in April and the rest of the postseason. Joh's got too much experience--and too much talent--not to be in the starting line-up during crunch time. I'd be similarly shocked if she didn't find her way up near the top of the leader board in each of the events that will close out her impressive career.

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TOURNAMENTS ON TAP

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Southern Highlands Collegiate__

(For live scoring, link here to Golfstat)

Southern Highlands GC, Las Vegas (Par 72, 7,510 yards)

March 13-15

Host: UNLV

Field: Arizona, Arizona State, Auburn, California, Charlotte, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M, UCLA, UNLV, USC

Defending champion: UNLV (five-over 869) by two strokes over Charlotte; USC's Rory Hie (three-under 213) in a playoff with Georgia's Hudson Swafford and Charlotte's Jonas Enander Hedin

Skinny: The tournament continues its tradition of having a standout field, including six of the top-10 teams in the latest Golf World/Nike Golf coaches' poll and 11 of the top 25.

Border Olympics

Laredo CC, Laredo, Texas (Par 72, 7,241 yards)

March 14-15

Host: Houston

Field: Arkansas, UALR, Baylor, Houston, Houston Baptist, Lamar, Louisville, New Mexico State, New Orleans, North Texas, Notre Dame, Rice, UT-Arlington, Texas State, Vanderbilt, Washington State

Defending champion: Arkansas (three-over 867) by five strokes over Lamar; Baylor's Colton Williams (nine-under 207) by seven strokes over Arkansas' Andrew Landry and UTEP's Roger Sloan

Skinny: If you like the hot hand, consider taking the Vanderbilt Commodores, who eeked out a one-stroke win at the Seminole Intercollegiate when Golf World Player of the Week Ryan Haselden made an eagle on the final hole.

Pinehurst Intercollegiate

(For live scoring, link here to Golfstat)

Pinehurst Resort (No. 8), Pinehurst, N.C.

March 15-17

Host: East Carolina

Field: Ball State, Belmont, Eastern Kentucky, Marquette, Marhshall, Miami (OH), Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, UNC Greensboro, UNC Wilmington, Old Dominion, Penn State, Radford, Southern Mississippi, Toledo, VCU, Virginia Tech, Western Illinois, Wichita State

Defending champion: Indiana (one-over 865) by 24 strokes over Eastern Kentucky; Indiana's Seth Brandon (even-par 216) by one stroke over three others

Skinny: The folks in the Carolina sand hills can only hope that bad weather won't canceled this men's tournament like it did the women's Pinehurst event two weeks ago.

Barona Collegiate Cup

Barona Creek GC, Lakeside, Calif.

March 16-17

Host: San Diego State

Defending champion: Texas A&M (37-under 837) by 20 strokes over San Diego State; Texas A&M's Ignacio Elvira (12-under 204) by three strokes over Texas A&M's Andrea Pavan and San Diego State's David Palm

__WOMEN

LSU Golf Classic__

(For live scoring, link here to Golfstat)

University Club, Baton Rouge, La.

March 13-15

Host: LSU

Field: Arkansas, College of Charleston, Colorado, Furman, Kentucky, Louisville, LSU, Mississippi, Mississippi State, North Carolina, N.C. State, UNC Wilmington, Notre Dame, South Carolina, TCU, Tulane, Virginia, Wake Forest

Defending champion: Florida State (20-over 884) by six strokes over LSU; Florida State's Caroline Westrup (eight-under 208) by four strokes over N.C. State's Lauren Doughtie

Skinny: The tournament is being held for the 28th year. Team scores between eight and 15 over have won the event three of the past four years. The last five individual winners, meanwhile, have shot under par for 54 holes.

Baylor Spring Invitational

(For live scoring, link here to Golfstat)

Twin Rivers GC, Waco, Texas (Par 72, 6,347 yards)

March 16-17

Host: Baylor

Field: Baylor, Colorado State, Illinois State, Iowa, Iowa State, McLennan CC, Missouri State, New Mexico State, North Texas SMU, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, UT-Pan American, UT-San Antonio, Wichita State

Defending champion: New event

Skinny: The Bears are hosting their first regular-season tournament in Waco since 2000

Dr. Donnis Thompson Invitational

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

March 16-18

Host: Hawaii

Field: Boise State, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas State, Lipsomb, Nevada, Northern Colorado, Texas A&M, UTEP

Defending champion: Oklahoma State (16-over 880) by 13 strokes over Arizona; Arizona's Alison Walshe (three-under 213) by five strokes over Oklahoma State's Pernilla Lindberg

Skinny: Field also includes two Japanese schools (Nagoya and Osaka Gakuin)

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