News & ToursSeptember 23, 2010

This Week's Syllabus: Sept. 23-29

__THE FAB FIVE

MEN

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1. Florida (Last week: Not ranked)

The Gators set a new tournament 54-hole scoring record with their win at the Olympia Fields event over the weekend. Lots had been expected from Bank Vongvanij, the junior phenom who finished second individually, since his arrival in Gainesville. Can he make up for lost time his senior season?

Next event: Jerry Pate Invitational, Old Overton Club, Birmingham, Ala., Oct. 11-12

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2. Augusta State (1)

Even with senior Henrik Norlander finishing just T-24, the Jaguars had a solid showing to start the season with a T-2 finish at Olympia Fields after a long week that included their White House visit.

Next event: Ping/Golfweek Preview, Karsten Creek GC, Stillwater, Okla., Sept. 26-28

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3. Oklahoma State (2)

The way I see it, the Cowboys' T-2 at Olympia Fields isn't quite as spiffy as Augusta State's considering that Peter Uihlein's impressive individual performance really propped up the other OSU scores. Still, I wouldn't bet against this squad next week when they play the Preview on their home course. Think horses for courses.

Next event: Ping/Golfweek Preview, Karsten Creek GC, Stillwater, Okla.,

Sept. 26-28

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4. Alabama (3)

Freshman Bobby Wyatt and Cory Whitsett impressed again with top-20 finishes at Olympia Fields after very nice starts to their college careers at the Carpet Capital. Combined with Bud Cauley's steady play and you have to like the way the Tide is rolling.

Next event: Jerry Pate Invitational, Old Overton Club, Birmingham, Ala., Oct. 11-12

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5. Iowa (NR)

The Hawkeyes pulled away from the rest of the field at the Golfweek Conference Challenge early and never looked back, winning by 15 strokes and setting the school's 18-hole record (20-under 268) and 54-hole mark (31-under 833) in the process. Maybe they come back down to Earth in the next few weeks, but you've got to respect the job Mark Hankins' squad accomplished.

Next event: Fighting Irish Golf Classic, Warren GC, Notre Dame, Ind., Sept. 27-28

__WOMEN

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1. Alabama (1)

Coach Mic Potter says that the re-designed short-game facility at school is already paying dividends for the squad, which hopes to back-up its NCAA Fall Preview victory with another solid performance in Tennessee this weekend.

Next event: Mason Rudolph Women's Championship, Vanderbilt Legends Club, Franklin, Tenn., Sept. 24-26

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2. USC (2)

Some optimism for fans of the Trojans as the team makes the trip out East this week? Consider this: Andrea Gaston's squads haven't posted an over-par round at this event since the final round in 2007. If nothing else, that leaves a good vibe.

Next event: Mason Rudolph Women's Championship, Vanderbilt Legends Club, Franklin, Tenn., Sept. 24-26

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3. Purdue (3)

Something tells me the wake-up call at the NCAA Preview, where the Boilermakers finished 10th, is going to translate into a better performance at the Mason Rudolph. Or maybe that's just me channeling Devon Brouse.

Next event: Mason Rudolph Women's Championship, Vanderbilt Legends Club, Franklin, Tenn., Sept. 24-26

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4. LSU (4)

For those who thought that the Tigers' second-place showing at the NCAA Preview was all Megan McChrystal's doing, look again. Four of the five starters posted a sub-par round during the event, with Tessa Teachman and Mary Michael Maggio carding sub-70 scores.

Next event: Mason Rudolph Women's Championship, Vanderbilt Legends Club, Franklin, Tenn., Sept. 24-26

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5. Duke (5)

Final-round 280 at the NCAA Preview was more like it for the Blue Devils, who hope to take the momentum with them to the Mason Rudolph, a tournament the school has won three times previously.

Next event: Mason Rudolph Women's Championship, Vanderbilt Legends Club, Franklin, Tenn., Sept. 24-26

__STAT OF THE WEEK

4:16, 4:13, 4:17__

Average time of the golfers competing in the first, second and third rounds, respectively, during the Kikkor Golf Husky Invitational this week at Washington National GC in Auburn, Wash.

The emphasis that Washington men's coach Matt Thurmond and Kikkor Golf founder James Lepp put on speeding up play during the tournament seems to have been a success when you look at the numbers. The overall average time for the entire tournament was 4:15, an impressive feat in the eyes of many--yours truly included--given the five (and sometimes six) hour rounds you hear about at some events.

"When it was announced what we were doing, I think the players thought 'Oh, this is going to feel so fast, I'm going to be rushing," Thurmond said after the tournament. "But they still embraced it to their credit. I think if you were to ask now, they would say they were surprised they were as fast as they were because they didn't feel like they were racing."

While Thurmond was pleased with pace-of-play results, he also noted that the event did not reach its stated goal of being under four hours, so while an admirable start, he thinks there's still room for improvement.

"There are a few things we could have done logistically," Thurmond said, noting that lift, clean and place rules were in affect because of wet conditions. "When you're talking about just a few minutes here and there they can add up. We can do better."

Still, the worst time of the 75 groups that played was 4:33. And while no school had an entire team record sub-four hour times for all three rounds, when Texas A&M's Cameron Peck and Idaho's__Jarred Bossio shot 63s in the closing round__, they both played in 4:03. Not too shabby.

Pepperdine, the team champion, averaged 4:31 in the final round while shooting a seven-under 281 as junior Josh Anderson claimed medalist honors with a 10-under 206 total.

"It was a great message that they sent out, and I think all the kids enjoyed it," said Wave coach John Geiberger, who noted that the final round felt like it was going slowly, thanks to the pace from the previous day, but was still only about 4 1/2 hours. "It's an education process really. If it can  rub off on some other tournaments, that would be a good thing.

"Like I said at the awards ceremony, you know the Washington guys always think outside of the box a little bit, being creative," Geiberger noted. "I think it's a creative way to get the message across."

__RANDOM THOUGHT OF THE WEEK

__If the current pace from the first two weeks holds for the remainder of the 2010-11 college season, we can expect roughly 144 holes in one made in the men's game for all divisions and NAIA and 84 aces among the women. (There were 12 hole-in-ones made by the guys between Sept. 7-21 and seven by the ladies during that period of time.)

__WHAT TO WATCH FOR

__* With all due respect to every other event on the fall calendar, the biggest and most interesting tournament on both the men's and women's sides are being held in the next week. Karsten Creek GC will test the best of golf games, which will make the Ping/Golfweek Preview and entertaining tournament simply from a standpoint of who not let the killer rough get to them. I haven't been to Stillwater lately, and don't know what the set-up is going to be like, but I'm willing to bet only two or three players break par for the tournament.

As for the women, the Mason Rudolph event is one of the most respected tournaments held each year and has produced a standout field for several years now. I think this week's event will serve as a better barometer as to where the top teams in the country really stand compared to the NCAA Fall Preview earlier this month. The timing of that event, so soon after the start of the semester, made it tough for some schools to be prepared for the course. Another 10 days or so should help get everyone more comfortable with such a challenging field.

So who do I like winning? You'll have to follow my Twitter updates (twitter.com/GWcampusinsider) before the start of each event to find out.

The Mountain Lions, unranked in the Golf World/Nike Golf D-II preseason coaches' poll, knocked off 17 Division I schools, including runner-up San Diego, No. 22 in the Golf World/Nike Golf D-I poll. Seniors Chris Shoop, Brian Morfeld and Riley Andrews each posted top-10 finishes individually to secure the victory.

"This team, they're legit," said UCCS coach Phil Trujillo. "I look forward to seeing how the season plays out."

This came less than a week after Georgia College took the team title at the SpringHill Suites Intercollegiate, beating 13 D-I programs. A few days later, D-II West Florida finished second to UCF at the Adams Cup of Newport, beating 14 other D-I schools.

Bottom line: We shouldn't be surprised anymore when these kind of "upsets" take place ... and we should be prepared for them to happen again soon.

__TOURNAMENT PREVIEWS

MEN

Mason Rudolph Championship

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

Vanderbilt Legends Club (South Course), Franklin, Tenn.

Sept. 24-26__

Host:__ Vanderbilt

Field: Akron, Arkansas State, Belmont, Chattanooga, Davidson, Georgia State, Lipscomb, Memphis, Middle Tennessee State, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Oklahoma, South Alabama, South Carolina, UT-Martin, Vanderbilt, Western Carolina

Defending champion: Middle Tennessee State (12-under 556) in playoff over South Carolina; Mississippi's Jonathan Randolph (11-under 131) by five strokes over South Carolina's Patrick Rada and Vanderbilt's Ryan Haselden

Skinny: Only once in the event's nine-year history has the winning team been over par (Mississippi, 2006, 12-over 876).

__Windon Memorial

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

North Shore CC, Glenview, Ill.

Sept. 26-27

Host: Northwestern

Field: California, Coastal Carolina, Florida Atlantic, Indiana, Kent State, Long Beach State, Marquette, Michigan, Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Princeton, Purdue, Tennessee, Tulsa, UC Davis

Defending champion: Illinois (16-over 868) by six strokes over Northwestern; Kent State's Brett Cairns and Coastal Carolina's Dan Obremski (one-over 214)

Skinny: Tournament has rotated among the Chicago areas top courses, held last year at Skokie CC. This is the fourth time North Shore will host the event. Past individual champions have included Casey Martin (Stanford, 1993), Luke Donald (Northwestern, 1999), Hunter Mahan (USC, 2000) and Colt Knost (SMU, 2006).

__Ping/Golfweek Preview

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

Karsten Creek GC, Stillwater, Okla.

Sept. 26-28

Host: Oklahoma State

Field: Arizona State, Augusta State, Clemson, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Oklahoma State, Oregon, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, UCLA, UNLV, USC, Virginia

Defending champion: Oklahoma State (two-under 862) by 22 strokes over Washington; Oklahoma State's Peter Uihlein (five-under 211) by two strokes over Oklahoma State's Morgan Hoffmann (at Gold Mountain GC in Bremerton, Wash.)

Skinny: An early look at whether any other school can get a handle the host course for the 2011 NCAA Championship

Mark Simpson Colorado Invitational

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

Colorado National GC, Erie, Colo.

Sept. 27-28

Host: Colorado

Field: Air Force, BYU, Colorado, Colorado State, Denver, Kansas, New Mexico, New Mexico State, Northern Colorado, San Jose State, Southern Utah, Utah, UTEP, Wyoming

Skinny: The inaugural event is named after the former Buffaloes men's coach, who oversaw the program from 1977-2005 and will be the first tournament the team has held at its new course since the facility's opening in 2009.

__VCU Shootout

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

Hermitage CC, Manakin-Sabot, Va.

Sept. 27-28

Host: VCU

Field: Charlotte, East Carolina, Iowa State, James Madison, Liberty, Mercer, UNC Greensboro, UNC Wilmington, Old Dominion, Richmond, VCU, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Wichita State

Defending champion: UNC Wilmington (eight-over 872) by five strokes over Virginia; Charlotte's Corey Nagy (six-under 210) by two strokes over Wake Forest's Brendan Gielow

Skinny: It was a rough start to the season for the host school as the Rams finished 15th at the Golfweek Conference Challenge.

__Fighting Irish Gridiron Classic

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

Warren GC, Notre Dame, Ind.

Sept. 27-28

Host: Notre Dame

Field: Charleston, Cincinnati, Eastern Michigan, Georgetown, Gonzaga, Houston, Iowa, Lamar, Miami (Ohio), Missouri, Notre Dame, San Francisco, Seton Hall, UT Arlington

Defending champion: Notre Dame (30-over 870) by four strokes over Ohio State; Notre Dame's Josh Sandman (two-over 212) by two strokes over Ohio State's Dan Charen, Arkansas' David Lingmerth and Lamar's Kevin Hesbois

Skinny: Players competing in the tournament, being held for the fifth year, will once again also get a chance to attend the Notre Dame-Stanford football game held the Saturday prior to the event.

__WOMEN

Mason Rudolph Women's Championship__

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

Vanderbilt Legends Club (North Course), Franklin, Tenn.

Sept. 24-26

Host: Vanderbilt

Field: Alabama, Arizona State, Auburn, California, Charleston, Duke, Florida, Georgia, LSU, North Carolina, Oklahoma State, Purdue, Stanford, Texas, UCLA, USC, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest

Defending champion: USC (16-under 560) by two strokes over UCLA; USC's Jennifer Song (12-under 132) by three strokes over Auburn's Cydney Clanton, Vanderbilt's Marina Alex and UCLA's Sydnee Michaels

Skinny: Eight of the top 10 teams in the Golf World/NGCA preseason coaches' poll are in the field. … Rain forced last year's event to be shortened to 36 holes. … Just three schools have won the tournament in the last six years (USC, UCLA and Duke).

__Susie Maxwell Berning Classic

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

Jimmie Austin GC, Norman, Okla.

Sept. 24-26

Host: Oklahoma

Field: Arkansas, Middle Tennessee State, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Oklahoma City, Redlands CC, Texas State, Tulsa

Defending champion (spring 2009): Baylor (77-over 941) by three strokes over Oklahoma; Oklahoma's Kendall Dye (nine-over 225) by four strokes over Oklahoma's Ellen Mueller

Skinny: Host Sooners are coming off a third-place finish at Cougar Classic, where they posted a school-best eight-over 872.

Mary Fossum Invitational

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

Forest Akers GC, East Lansing, Mich.

Sept. 24-26

Host: Michigan State

Field: Eastern Michigan, Ferris State, Grand Valley State, Iowa State, James Madison, Kent State, Long Beach State, Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Toledo

Defending champion: Michigan State (11-over 875) by three strokes over Purdue; James Madison's Nicole Sakamoto (two-under 214) by one stroke over Michigan's Ashley Bauer

Skinny: Spartans have been stingy hosts as of late, winning the tournament each of the last five years.

__

Badger Invitational

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

University Ridge GC, Verona, Wis.

Sept. 26-27

Host: Wisconsin

Field: Augusta State, Bradley, Bucknell, Drake, Georgetown, Iowa, North Dakota State, SMU, UTEP, Wisconsin, Xavier

Defending champion (2008): California (25-over 889) by 13 strokes over Wisconsin; Wisconsin's Jessie Gerry (one-under 215) by three strokes over Georgetown's Chelsea Curtis and Maryland's Jessica Hollandsworth

Skinny: Tournament returns to fall calendar after Wisconsin hosted the Lady Northern Invitational last fall.

__Golfweek Conference Challenge

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

Red Sky GC, Wolcott, Colo.

Sept. 26-28

Field: Arizona, Campbell, Central Arkansas, Chattanooga, Coastal Carolina, Denver Harvard, Missouri State, Minnesota, Pepperdine, Sacramento State, San Jose State, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Tulane, UC Davis, UNLV, Virginia

Defending champion: Pepperdine (17-over 881) by one stroke over California; Oklahoma State's Caroline Hedwall (nine-under 207) by five strokes over UC Irvine's Joy Trotter

Skinny: Great mix of schools that might not otherwise be competing against one another.

__UNCG Starmount Forest Fall Classic

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

Bryan Park Players Course, Greensboro, N.C.

Sept. 26-28

Host: UNC Greensboro

Field: East Carolina, East Tennessee State, Furman, Gardner-Webb, High Point, Maryland, Miami (Fla.), Mississippi, N.C. State, UNC Greensboro, UNC Wilmington, Penn State, Stetson, Western Carolina, Winthrop

Defending champion: New event

Skinny: Nice field put together for this first-year event.

Rose City Collegiate

Langdon Farms GC, Wilsonville, Ore.

Sept. 27-28

Host: Portland State/Oregon State

Field: Boise State, Cal Poly, UC Riverside, Eastern Washington, Fresno State, Hawaii, North Texas, Northern Arizona, Northern Colorado, Oregon State, Portland, Portland State, San Francisco, Weber State, Wyoming

Defending champion: New event

Skinny: This is the first time that Portland State has hosted a tournament since the program began in 1997-98.

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