News & ToursSeptember 13, 2007

This week's syllabus: Sept. 13-19

__THE FAB FIVE

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

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  1. Stanford __(Last week: 1)

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Giving the Cardinal a mulligan after losing by four strokes to Alabama at Topy Cup. For starters, school hadn't started yet in Palo Alto, so the trip was early on the Stanford schedule. Secondly, they are the defending NCAA champs and it was only four shots back.

Next event: Fighting Illini/Olympia Fields Invitational, Olympia Fields CC, Olympia Fields, Ill., Sept. 30-Oct. 1

__2. Alabama __(2)

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The Crimson Tide already have a victory (against U.S. schools at least) under their belt with Topy Cup triumph. Joseph Sykora, Michael Thompson, Mark Harrell and Gator Todd could be best Nos. 1-4 in the country.

Next event: Carpet Capital Collegiate, The Farm, Dalton, Ga., Sept. 14-16.

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  1. UCLA __ (4)

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Bruins look great on paper although we're going to have to wait until the end of October to see them in person.

Next event: Big Ten/Pac-10 Challenge, Chambers Bay GC, University Place, Wash., Oct. 23-24.

4. Florida (5)

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Third-place finish at the Inverness Intercollegiate came without Billy Horschel in the line-up, as the All-American junior was helping U.S. win the Walker Cup. Horschel will skip this week's Carpet Capital tournament as well after return from Northern Ireland, but the Gators have depth to compensate.

Next event: Carpet Capital Collegiate, The Farm, Dalton, Ga., Sept. 14-16.

5. USC (3)

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Trojans were missing Jamie Lovemark (also out with the Walker Cup team in Northern Ireland) and very much missed him as they finished eighth at Inverness. They should live to fight on, however.

Next event: Ping/Golfweek Preview, Kampen GC, West Lafayette, Ind., Sept. 22-23.

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WOMEN

  1. Duke__ (1)

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How good are the Blue Devils? Consider that two-time All-American Jennie Lee didn't qualify for the line-up heading to Tennessee for the season-opener this week. Dan Brooks will travel with Amanda Blumenherst, Jennifer Pandolfi, Alison Whitaker, Rebecca Kim and Kim Donovan.

Next event: Mason Rudolph Women's Championship, Vanderbilt Legends Club, Franklin, Tenn., Sept. 14-16.

__2. Arizona State __ (2)

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Time to see just how good a motivator Melissa Luellen really is. Maybe I'll be wrong, but I get the feeling we're going to see an inspired Sun Devils squad this weekend.

Next event: Mason Rudolph Women's Championship, Vanderbilt Legends Club, Franklin, Tenn., Sept. 14-16.

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  1. UCLA__ (3)

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The crew Carrie Forsyth takes to Tennessee this week has a far better attitude than the one that opened last year's season at the Mason Rudolph ... and that team finished third in the tournament.

Next event: Mason Rudolph Women's Championship, Vanderbilt Legends Club, Franklin, Tenn., Sept. 14-16.

4. USC (4)

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Andrea Gaston is always upbeat about her team, but she was practically busting last month when thinking about the 2007-08 Trojans.

Next event: Mason Rudolph Women's Championship, Vanderbilt Legends Club, Franklin, Tenn., Sept. 14-16.

5. Purdue (5)

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Devon Brouse has built a mini-UN in West Lafayette. If his latest internationals--Canadian Maude-Aimee LeBlanc and Thailand's Junthima Gulyanamitta--is as good as people say, the Boilermakers will be tough to beat.

Next event: Mason Rudolph Women's Championship, Vanderbilt Legends Club, Franklin, Tenn., Sept. 14-16.



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PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

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Joseph Sykora, Alabama__

Cory Johnson/UA

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The senior shot a 14-under 202, posting three sub-70 rounds, to claim medalist honors at the Topy Cup in Japan by four strokes over Tohoku Fukushi University's Yuta Ikeda. It was his second career college win. (Photo courtesy of University of Alabama Sports Information Department)

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__WOMEN

Katie Kempter, Denver__

Jamie Schwaberow/Rich Clarkson &

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While taking a share of the women's individual title at the Topy Cup, along with Mieji University's Yoshimi Tamura, the junior from Albuquerque broke the Pioneers' 18-hole scoring mark with a 65 in the second round. The 20-year-old finished with a two-under 214. (Photo courtesy of University of Denver Sports Information Department)



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__STAT OF THE WEEK

9__

Number of years between team titles for the Florida State men's squad after the Seminoles were victorious at the Inverness Intercollegiate Tuesday. FSU broke the 54-hole tournament scoring record at the Inverness Club by 12 shots with a 10-over 862, beating Michigan State by six strokes and Florida by seven. (For full results, click here to link with Golfstat.)


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WHAT TO WATCH FOR__

â¿¢ Think Martha Richards isn't going to have an impact on the University of Texas women's golf program? Consider that the Longhorns' third-place finish last weekend in their season-opener, the Cougar Fall Classic, was their best showing since finishing third at the Susie Maxwell Berning Classic in April 2006. The team's 875 score tied second-lowest 54-hole mark in school history, and it was the first time a UT team shot three sub-300 rounds since April 2004. It was also the best finish by the Longhorns in their first fall tournament since tying for first at the NCAA Fall Preview in 2001.

It wasn't just Richards first tournament coaching UT but Ashley Rollins first playing for the Longhorns. The transfer from New Mexico already had an impact by finishing tied for eighth individually. Only twice all last season did any Texas player finish in the top 10 individually.

"The thing I'm excited about is knowing we can play better golf," Richards said afterward. "The credit goes to these ladies. They prepared well and made our lives really easy this week. I'm really proud of them."

Richards' next progress check comes the first week in October when the Longhorns play at the Lady Tar Heel Classic.

â¿¢ Give Arkansas senior Stacy Lewis credit for the way she handled herself last week after winning the LPGA Tour's rain-shortened NW Arkansas LPGA Classic. Because only 18 holes of the event were completed thanks to an unrelenting rain, Lewis' "victory" is unofficial, meaning that she won't receive the two-year exemption normally given to winners (or considered the first amateur to win an LPGA Tour event in 38 years). Lewis, the defending NCAA medalist, however took the high road; rather than complaining about getting a raw deal she noted: "It's one good round of golf, and that's really all you can take from it."

Confidence-wise, however, Lewis has to be pretty high. When the Razorbacks open at the UK Wildcat Invitational later this month, expected Lewis to become an "official" college winner yet again.

â¿¢ No team lost more front line players this off-season than the Oklahoma State men, who saw Tyler Leon graduate and Jonathan Moore and Pablo Martin make an early jump to the pro ranks. While Walker Cup standout Rickie Fowler will help offset the departures when he gets back to Stillwater (and transfer Jon McLean could also be a shot in the arm), this week's seventh-place finish at Inverness might be an early sign of a lean year ahead for OSU. Kevin Tway, the 2005 U.S. Junior champion and son of former Cowboy standout__Bob Tway__, needs to step up early and the talented but underachieving Trent Leon has to be a leader if the Oklahoma State is to contend nationally this year.

â¿¢ Without scooping the "TOURNAMENTS TO WATCH" department below, there is an interesting event to keep an eye on. Oregon State is hosting a tournament Sept. 16-18 to honor Natale B. "Nat" Giustina, an alum who helped create Trysting Tree GC in Corvallis, Ore. The event will pair the men's and women's teams from each participating school in a combined competition against other participating schools.

"I think the other schools and players are excited about the new format," said Oregon State women's coach Rise Lakowske. "It's a unique way of playing a collegiate tournament. It should provide a lot of interest locally."

Participating schools include Oregon, UC Irvine, Washington State, Boise State, Idaho, Fresno State, UC Riverside, Idaho State and Portland.


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TOURNAMENTS TO WATCH

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Carpet Capital Classic __

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

Sept. 14-16

The Farm (Par 72, 7,016 yards), Dalton, Ga.

Host: Georgia Tech

Field: Alabama, Auburn, Augusta State, Clemson, Duke, East Tennessee State, Florida, Georgia, Georgia State, Georgia Tech, N.C. State, South Carolina, TCU, Tennessee, UT-Chattanooga, Texas Tech, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest

Defending champion: Alabama (23-under 841); Chris Kirk, Georgia (11-under 205)

Skinny: The 19th edition of the tournament has a strong field with five of the top 10 and 11 of the top 25 teams in the most recent Golf World/Nike Golf coaches' poll. The host Yellow Jackets have won the tournament six times although not since 2001. "Alumni" of the event have gone on to win 130 PGA Tour titles. Meanwhile, the individual winner has gone on to be named a GCAA All-American every year since 1998.

Hartford Hawks Invitational

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

Sept. 13-15

The International, Bolton, Mass.

Host: Hartford

Field: Binghamton, Brown, Columbia, Connecticut, Florida Gulf Coast, Hartford, Old Dominion, Penn State, Sacred Heart, San Francisco, St. John's, Texas-San Antonio, West Florida

53rd William H. Tucker Invitational

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

Sept. 14-15

University of New Mexico Championship Cse., Albuquerque

Host: New Mexico

Field: Air Force, Arizona, Baylor, BYU, Campbell, Colorado, New Mexico, New Mexico State, Ohio State, Pepperdine, Sam Houston State, San Diego State, UTEP, Tulsa, Utah, Wyoming, Xavier

The Gopher Invitational

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

Sept. 15-16

Spring Hill GC, Wayzata, Minn.

Host: Minnesota

Field: Arkansas, Georgia Southern, Illinois, Indiana, Lamar, Minnesota, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Princeton, San Diego, SMU, Wisconsin

Earl Yestingsmeier Invitational

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

Sept. 17-18

Delaware CC, Muncie, Ind.

Host: Ball State

Field: Austin Peay, Ball State, Belmont, Bowling Green, Butler, Dayton, Detroit, Eastern Kentucky, George Washington, Georgetown, Indianapolis, IPFW, IUPUI, Ohio, Toledo, Vincennes, Wright State

Texas Cup

Sept. 17-18

University of Texas GC, Austin, Tex.

Host: Texas

Field: College of Charleston, New Orleans, Northern Iowa, Stephen F. Austin, Texas, Texas-Arlington, Texas-Pan American, Texas Southern, Texas State, Towson, Western Illinois

__WOMEN

Mason Rudolph Women's Championship__

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

Sept. 14-16

Vanderbilt Legends Club, Franklin, Tenn. (Par 72, 6,154 yards)__

Field:__ Arizona, Arizona State, Auburn, Duke, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Oklahoma State, Ohio State, Purdue, South Carolina, Stanford, UCLA, USC, Wake Forest__

Defending champion:__ Duke (one-under 863); Alison Walshe, Arizona (six-under 210)__

Skinny:__ Perhaps the best field of any tournament all season, as 10 of the top 11 teams in the Golf World/NGCA coaches' poll are competing. Additionally, seven of the top 10 in Golf World's recent players to watch list are also teeing it up (Duke's Amanda Blumenherst, Arizona State's Anna Nordqvist, Vanderbilt's Jacqui Concolino, Arizona's Alison Walshe, Purdue's Maria Hernandez, USC's Belen Mozo and UCLA's Tiffany Joh).

Ron Moore Women's Intercollegiate

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

Sept. 17-18

Highlands Ranch GC, Highlands Ranch, Colo.

Host: Denver

Field: Arkansas-Little Rock, Baylor, Colorado, Colorado State, Columbia, Denver, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Mississippi, Nebraska, Northern Colorado, San Francisco, San Jose State, Texas Tech, Tulsa, UC-Davis, UNC-Wilmington

Napa River Grill Cardinal Cup

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

Sept. 17-18

Cardinal Club, Simpsonville, Ky.

Host: Louisville

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