News & Tours
March 20, 2008

This week's syllabus: March 20-26

__THE FAB FIVE

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

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The Crimson Tide set a single-season school win record with their fifth victory of the year at last weekend's Schenkel E-Z-Go Invitational. Just how deep is Jay Seawell's squad? Stewart Whitt, playing in his first tournament since traveling with the team to Japan for the Topy Cup the first week of September, posts a T-18 finish last week to become the seventh different player to be in the line-up when Alabama won a tournament. Roll Tide indeed.

Next event: U.S. Collegiate, GC of Georgia, Alpharetta, Ga., March 24-26

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The 49ers' have hit 77.4 percent of fairways and have a 1.791 putts per greens in regulation average as a team. They're going to need to continue posting these numbers on a treacherous course this week in Georgia.

Next event: U.S. Collegiate, GC of Georgia, Alpharetta, Ga., March 24-26

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Apparently Brian Harman was listening (or, more appropriately, reading) last week's syllabus as the junior did step up, finishing T-3 at the Linger Longer Invitational and helping the Bulldogs finish second in the event. If he can continue this, he'll take a lot of pressure off Georgia's youngsters--there are no seniors on this team--as the postseason draws near.

Next event: U.S. Collegiate, GC of Georgia, Alpharetta, Ga., March 24-26

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A fourth-place finish at the Schenkel isn't that bad, but it is the Volunteers' worst performance of the spring. My pitch for Chris Paisley as a dark-horse player-of-the-year candidate fell apart last weekend with a T-44 individual finish. Says here, though, that Tennessee will bounce back at Augusta State's event.

Next event: The Administaff Augusta State Invitational, Champions Retreat GC, Evans, Ga., March 30-April 1

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The Trojans come cross country for the U.S. Collegiate, and we'll all get a better sense this weekend of just how much a threat this Pac-10 squad truly is.

Next event: U.S. Collegiate, GC of Georgia, Alpharetta, Ga., March 24-26

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WOMEN

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The Blue Devils officially announced the signing of U.S. Women's Amateur Public Links champion Mina Harigae to a letter of intent for next fall. Exactly when this dynasty is going to start to slip remains to be seen.

Next event: Liz Murphey Collegiate, University of Georgia GC, Athens, Ga., March 21-23

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Next event: Ping/ASU Invitational, ASU Karsten Cse., Tempe, Ariz., April 4-6

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The Trojans amazingly have an identical scoring average for the first round and the final round (73.97).

Next event: Ping/ASU Invitational, ASU Karsten Cse., Tempe, Ariz., April 4-6

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The Gators thought they'd grabbed the team title at the Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invitational yesterday, only to see New Mexico clip them by one stroke. They're still a perfect nine-for-nine in top five finishes.

Next event: Bryan National Collegiate, Bryan National Champions GC, Brown Summit, N.C., March 28-30__

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The Cowgirls make it two wins in three starts with their 13-shot victory over Arizona at the Dr. Donnis Thompson in Hawaii. Most impressive was their strong final-round 293, the low score on Wednesday by 10 strokes.

Next event: Ping/ASU Invitational, ASU Karsten Cse., Tempe, Ariz., April 4-6


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STAT OF THE WEEK, Part I__

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Number of men's teams in the latest Golf World/NIke Golf coaches' poll that have not yet won a tournament during the 2007-08 season: No. 8 Georgia Tech, No. 14 Clemson, No. 22 East Tennessee State and No. 23. North Carolina).

STAT OF THE WEEK, Part II__

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Number of women's teams in the latest Golf World/NGCA coaches' poll that have not yet won a tournament during the 2007-08 season: No. 6 Arizona, No. 7 Purdue, No. 8 Auburn, No. 11 Georgia, No. 15 Pepperdine, No. 17 Tennessee, No. 20 Stanford, No. 22 Vanderbilt, No. 23 LSU, No. 24 Texas A&M

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WHAT TO WATCH FOR__

After yesterday's final round, the Lady Razorbacks jumped on a flight to Georgia to play in this weekend's Liz Murphey Collegiate in Athens. It's the second tournament this month that Lewis will be in the same field with her primary competition for national player of the year, Duke's Amanda Blumenherst. While the Blue Devil evened their head-to-head record at 1-1 at UCF, Lewis looks like she's set to make it a little more competitive this weekend at the University of Georgia GC.


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UPCOMING TOURNAMENTS

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

Awendaw, S.C.

March 23-25

Field: Auburn, Augusta State, Baylor, Central Florida, Charleston, Clemson, Duke, Florida, Kentucky, Lamar, LSU, N.C. State, South Carolina, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest

Defending champion: Wake Forest and Baylor (12-under 840), Wake winning on the third hole of a playoff; Wallace Booth, Augusta State (eight-under 205) by one over UCF's Greg Forest and Wake Forest's Webb Simpson

Skinny: Clemson coach Larry Penley is a class act, but his Tigers have been disappointing this season with only three top-five finishes and no wins. It's time for Clemson to step up. Wake Forest has done it of late. Virginia Tech's got two wins. Time for Clemson to come back into the upper echelon of the ACC.

National Invitational Tournament

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

Omni Tucson National Resort (Par 72, 7,033 yards)

Tucson, Ariz.

March 23-25

Host: Arizona

Field: Arizona, Arizona State, Houston, Iowa, Kent State, New Mexico, Notre Dame, Pepperdine, Sam Houston State, TCU, Tulsa, UNLV, UTEP, Virginia

Defending champion: Arizona State (24-under 840) by eight over UCLA; Niklas Lemke, Arizona State (nine-under 207) by one over Arizona State's Benjamin Alvarado and Tulsa's Ryan Henry

Skinny: The host Wildcats are below the .500 bubble right now, which makes them even more grateful that the field is a little more "diverse" this year with lower profile schools (Iowa, Sam Houston State, UTEP) coming to the desert. I like the Sun Devils to repeat here.

Oregon Duck Invitational

Emerald Valley GC (Par 72, 7,093 yards)

Creswell, Ore.

March 24-25

Host: Oregon

__Field:__Arkansas, Idaho, Northern Colorado, Oregon, Oregon State, Pacific, Portland, San Diego State, UC Davis, Washington, Washington State

Defending champion: Southern California (four-over 868) by six over Oregon State; Alex Prugh, Washington,Jamie Lovemark, Southern California and__Kevin Chappell__, UCLA (two-under 214)

__Skinny:__The event moves from Eugene CC--where the women's event is being played this week. A little less starpower in the field than a year ago. Considering Washington always seems to wake up and kickstart its season in March, I think we should all watch the Huskies.

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

Alpharetta, Ga.

March 24-26

Host: Georgia Tech

Field: Alabama, BYU, Charlotte, Coastal Carolina, East Tennessee State, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia State, Georgia Tech, Oklahoma State, Southern California, Stanford, Texas, Texas A&M, UCLA

Defending champion: Georgia (20-over 884) by eight over UCLA; Webb Simpson, Wake Forest (one-under 215) by three over Hudson Swafford

Skinny: An five-star field on an incredible course with wicked fast greens. It's as close to what you're going to see at the NCAA Championship in May as any tournament between now and nationals.

USA Mobile Bay Intercollegiate

Heron Lakes CC (par 72, 6,900 yards)

Mobile, Ala.

March 25-26

Field: Eastern Michigan, Chattanooga, Davidson, Hartford, Louisville, Memphis, Mercer, Mississippi State, South Alabama, South Florida, Southern Mississippi, Xavier

Defending champion: Chattanooga (17-under 847) by 12 over South Alabama and Southeastern Louisiana; Derek Rende, Chattanooga (12-under 204) by three over Memphis' Ian Rochester

Skinny: The Mocs of Chattanooga have regrouped and are my favorite here, although watch upstate Mississippi State as well.

Western Intercollegiate

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

Santa Cruz, Calif.

March 26-27

Field: California, Colorado, Columbia, Fresno State, Hawaii, Long Beach State, Michigan State, Missouri, Nevada, Northwestern, San Jose State, Santa Clara, St. Mary's (Calif.), Texas Tech, UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara

Defending champion: Purdue (nine-over 849) by 15 over California; John Streibich, Xavier (11-under 199) by one over Purdue's Pariya Junhasavasdikul

__Skinny:__A historic event on an great golf course. The field might not be incredible, but the winner here can be quite proud of its accomplishment.

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WOMEN

Liz Murphey Collegiate Classic__

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

Athens, Ga.

March 21-23

Host: Georgia__

Field:__ Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Central Florida, Duke, Florida State, Furman, Georgia, Kent State, Kentucky, LSU, Purdue, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Wake Forest  Defending champion: Auburn (29-over 881) by 11 over Florida; Leah Wigger, Virginia and Maria Hernandez, Purdue (two-over 215), Wigger wins playoff with a birdie on the first hole

Skinny: This event is always among the better tournaments in the spring, and the field is even more stout this year thanks to the fact the course hosts the NCAA East Regional and many top schools wanted a early looks-see. Hard to pick against Duke in any event the Blue Devils tee it up.

First Market Bank Intercollegiate

Ford's Colony CC (Par 72, 6,013 yards)

Williamsburg, Va.

March 22-23

__Field:__Appalachian State, Bradley, Bucknell, Dartmouth, Detroit, Eastern Kentucky, Georgetown, James Madison, Lehigh, Longwood, Marshall, Methodist, Monmouth, Old Dominion, Pennsylvania, Radford, Richmond, Towson, Western Michigan, William and Mary

Defending champion: Western Michigan (41-over 617) by two over Methodist; Laura Bavaird, Western Michigan (two-over 146) by four over Methodist's Charlotte Williams and Winthrop's Sara Hester

__Skinny:__Last year, perennial Division III champ Methodist nearly won this Division I event. I think the Monarchs could close the deal this time.

Oregon Duck Classic

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

Eugene, Ore.

March 24-25

Host: Oregon

Field: California, Colorado, Idaho, Long Beach State, Minnesota, Montana, Oregon, Oregon State, Portland State, Texas-San Antonio, UC Davis, Washington, Washington State, Wyoming

Defending champion: San Francisco (55-over 919) by three over Washington State; Amy Eneroth, Washington State and Jessica Potter, San Francisco (six-over 222), Eneroth wins on first playoff hole

Skinny: This much is clear ... USF's Potter can't make it three straight years forcing an individual playoff with birdie on the last hole; the Dons aren't in the field up in Oregon this week.