News & ToursOctober 15, 2009

This week's syllabus: Oct. 15-22

__THE FAB FIVE

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

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__MEN

__[#image: /photos/55ad71c4add713143b4232e2]|||Thumbnail image for Oklahoma-state-logo-latest.jpg|||1. Oklahoma State (Last week: 1)

The Cowboys next test comes at Isleworth, where they've historically had success (two runner-up finishes in five tries along with two fourth-place finishes) but have never won the team title and last year finished the worst they ever had: T-9.

Next event: Isleworth Collegiate Invitational, Isleworth CC, Windermere, Fla., Oct. 25-27

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Apparently the competition within the Sun Devils' squad isn't too bad either. Braxton Marquez and Jesper Kennegard each posted career low rounds last weekend during a inter-team event at Gainey Ranch GC in Scottsdale. Marquez shot a 62 only to be topped by Kennegard when he posted a 60.

Next event: Isleworth Collegiate Invitational, Isleworth CC, Windermere, Fla., Oct. 25-27

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A first-round 297 prevented the Huskies from really having a chance at The Prestige. You do have to like the way the team fought back to finish in third place, however. Suffice it to, Isleworth will be a important tournament for UW to see just where this group's confidence stands as the fall draws to a close.

Next event: Isleworth Collegiate Invitational, Isleworth CC, Windermere, Fla., Oct. 25-27

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Last year at this point, the Fighting Illini had three wins and a runner-up before flopping at the Isleworth Collegiate with a 11th place finish. This time around, Illinois has two wins and a seventh. Time to see how much coach Mike Small's team has grown in the last year and they return to Orlando and face more of the strongest fields of the year.

Next event: Isleworth Collegiate Invitational, Isleworth CC, Windermere, Fla., Oct. 25-27

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5. TCU (NR)

The Horned Frogs followed up a decent start to the season (eighth at the Ping/Golfweek Invitational) with an impressive 16-stroke victory this past week at The Prestige, defending their title with a final-round 12-under 276. Freshman Daniel Jennevret tied the school record for fastest to win a tournament, claiming medalist honors (by six) in his second collegiate start.

Next event: Isleworth Collegiate Invitational, Isleworth CC, Windermere, Fla., Oct. 25-27

__WOMEN

__[#image: /photos/55ad71c5add713143b4232f2]|||Thumbnail image for Arizona State logo 2008-09.gif|||1. Arizona State (1)

To learn more about the great role model ASU has, take time to read the feature John Strege wrote for Golf World this week on associate head coach Missy Farr-Kaye and her fight against breast cancer. What a better golf lesson did they learn than the courage Farr-Kaye showed in inspiring the team last year to a NCAA title?

Next event: Stanford Intercollegiate, Stanford GC, Palo Alto, Calif., Oct. 16-18

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The Trojans have a very real chance of taking away the No. 1 spot from ASU with a solid showing this weekend in Palo Alto. Having finished second in the event last fall, you've got to believe they've got the confidence to turn in that performance.

Next event: Stanford Intercollegiate, Stanford GC, Palo Alto, Calif., Oct. 16-18

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Huge win in North Carolina for the Spartans. What's interesting now is how the team does with raised expectations. A fifth-place finish at the Fall Preview looks great when you're on the rise, but might seem hollow if you've got the bulls-eye on your chest. Still, it's an exciting time to be a MSU booster.

Next event: NCAA Fall Preview, CC of Landfall, Wilmington, N.C. Oct. 23-25

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On the course, Maude-Aimee LeBlanc jumped to the top of the Golfstat Cup ranking. Off the course: the Boilermakers took some time this past weekend for an off-course activity, pitching in on the school's "Hammering for Hope" project in conjunction for Habitat for Humanity.

Next event: NCAA Fall Preview, CC of Landfall, Wilmington, N.C. Oct. 23-25

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Only time all season that the Waves venture east of New Mexico is at the Fall Preview in North Carolina. It will be curious to see how the travel affects this young team that's managed to do fine with just five (currently) on the roster.

Next event: NCAA Fall Preview, CC of Landfall, Wilmington, N.C. Oct. 23-25

__STAT OF THE WEEK

__6

Number of schools ranked in the top-10 in the latest Golf World/NGCA women's coaches' poll who are competing this weekend in either the Stanford Intercollegiate (Arizona State, USC, UCLA, Denver) or the Mercedes-Benz Women's Championship (LSU, Florida). The three schools out of the action are Pepperdine, Georgia and Alabama.

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WHAT TO WATCH FOR

__* A year ago, the men's national player-of-the-year race became a north-of-the-border tug-o-war between N.C. State's Matt Hill and Washington's Nick Taylor. This year, college golf's Canadian invasion is coming from the women's side with a pair of Quebec natives making headlines in recent weeks.

Purdue junior Maude-Aimee LeBlanc has won twice in two starts, posting a 70.17 scoring average and doing her best to let Boilermakers forget ol' Maria what's her name. Not to be out done, Louisville junior Sara-Maude Juneau this past weekend won the Lady Tar Heel Invitational, her second straight individual victory. In the process, she became the first Cardinal golfer to win consecutive tournament titles.

Currently, LeBlanc ranks No. 1 in the Golfstat Cup ranking, while Juneau is 13th. There's still a lot of time before the spring, so predicting these two will be fighting it out in few months for National POY honors is going out on a pretty long limb. Still, I don't see much give up in either player, which leads me to wonder ... what's are they putting in the (frozen) water up there? Oh Canada, indeed.

__TOURNAMENT PREVIEWS

____MEN

Bank of Tennessee at The Ridges

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

The Ridges G&CC, Jonesborough, Tenn.

Oct. 16-18

Host: East Tennessee State

Field: UAB, Auburn, Coastal Carolina, Duke, East Tennessee State, Kent State, Missouri, North Carolina, UNC Wilmington, N.C. State, Oregon State, Tennessee, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest

Defending champion: Coastal Carolina (five-over 869) by one stroke over East Tennessee State; N.C. State's Darren Blair (six-under 210) by five strokes over four players

Skinny: Only one repeat winner (TCU, 2000 & 2001) in the event's 11 previous playings. Only one other school has won the event twice (Tennessee, 2004 & 2006)

__Lone Star Invitational at Briggs Ranch

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

Briggs Ranch GC, San Antonio (Par 72, 7,308 yards)

Host: UT-San Antonio

Field: Baylor, Houston, Lamar, Rice, Sam Houston State, SMU, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas State, UTEP, UT-Arlington, UT-San Antonio

Defending champion: New event

Skinny: Give credit to UTSA coach John Knauer for putting together a pretty solid field, led by the defending NCAA champion Aggies, for a first-year tournament.

__Memphis Intercollegiate

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

Colonial CC (South course), Memphis, Tenn. (Par 72, 7,259 yards)

Host: Memphis

Field: Arkansas State, UALR, Denver, Iowa State, Louisiana Tech, UL-Lafayette, Louisville, Maryland, Memphis, Mississippi State, Ohio State, Penn State, South Alabama, Southern Mississippi, Wisconsin, Xavier

Defending champion: Ohio State (12-over 588) by three strokes over Memphis; Ohio State's Vaughn Snyder (six-under 138) by six strokes over three players

Skinny: The tournament is being played for the sixth time. Colonial CC is where Al Geiberger became the first player on the PGA Tour to shoot a 59 in 1977.

__WOMEN

Stanford Collegiate__

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

Stanford GC, Palo Alto, Calif.

Oct. 16-18

Host: Stanford

Field: Arizona, Arizona State, California, Denver, Hawaii, Oklahoma State, San Francisco, San Jose State, Stanford, Texas, UCLA, USC, UNLV, Vanderbilt, Washington

Defending champion: UCLA (eight-under 844) by three strokes over USC; USC's Lizette Salas (seven-under 206) by two strokes over Oklahoma State's Caroline Masson

Skinny: Maybe we should like the odds of Salas repeating as the individual champion considering there have been three repeat champions since 1999: Tulsa's Stacy Prammanasudh (1999, 2000 and 2001), Arizona's Erica Blasberg (2002, 2003) and Arkansas' Stacy Lewis (2006, 2007). Meanwhile, the last time a Stanford golfer claimed medalist honors was Hilary Homeyer (Lunke) in 1997.

__Mercedes-Benz Women's Championship

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

Fox Den CC, Knoxville, Tenn.

Oct. 16-18

Host: Tennessee

Field: Arkansas, Chattanooga, Florida, Furman, Kent State, Kentucky, Louisville, LSU, Mississippi, N.C. State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, South Carolina, TCU, Tennessee, Tulane, UT-San Antonio, Wake Forest

Defending champion: LSU (one-over 865) by nine strokes over North Carolina and N.C. State; N.C. State's Lauren Doughtie (seven-under 209) by two strokes over Louisville's Cindy LaCrosse and Mississippi's Dori Carter

Skinny: 2007 winner Florida and 2008 champion LSU set the 54-hole tournament record of 865.

Hawkeye Intercollegiate

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

Finkbine GC, Iowa City, Iowa

Oct. 17-18

Host: Iowa

Field: Ball State, Drake, Illinois, Illinois State, Iowa, Iowa State, Kennesaw State, Missouri State, Northern Iowa, Oakland, Sacramento State, South Dakota State, Washington State

Defending champion: Ball State (57-over 921) by five strokes over Iowa; Drake's Olivia Lansing (six-over 222) by three strokes over Longwood's Mary Carmody

Skinny: Defending champion Ball State is also enters the tournament fresh off a victory at the Duramed MAC Preview.

__Lady Pirate Intercollegiate

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

Greenville CC, Greenville, N.C. (Par 71, 5,939 yards)

Oct. 19-20

Host: East Carolina

Field: East Tennessee State, Elon, Gardner-Webb, Georgetown, James Madison, Maryland, Michigan, Old Dominion, UTEP, William & Mary, Xavier

Defending champion: Georgia State (30-over 882) by 17 strokes over East Carolina; Georgia State's Iliska Verwey (three-over 216) by one stroke over Florida International's Belen Buendia

Skinny: The host Pirates haven't had a victory in their home event since 2002.

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