Thumbs up: LSU | Thumbs down: Pace of play

There’s just a few weeks to go in the regular season before conference championship play takes over. That means there’s still a few more editions of thumbs up and thumbs down.

Thumbs up

1.) LSU. The Tigers were two for two all in the same week! Last week the Bayou Bengals won the Hootie at Bulls Bay on Tuesday by a shot over Augusta State, the followed that up with another win Sunday at their own LSU Invitational with another single-shot victory over Chattanooga. With the back-to-back victories, LSU has clawed its way into the top ten of the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings at No. 10. Chuck Winstead’s squad is one of four teams from the SEC in the top 10, and the team is proving it’s ready to compete with ’Bama, Florida and Auburn for the SEC crown this year. LSU will now have just over a week to get ready for SECs and will try to close out the regular season on a three-tournament winning streak.

2.) Tennessee golf. While the women took care of business with a 30-shot victory at the Rebel Intercollegiate, the men were holding their own with a second-place finish to Oklahoma State at the Insperity ASU Invite. Five Lady Vols finished in the top 15 of the tournament and were lead by medalist Nathalie Mansson, who defeated her teammate Erica Popson in a playoff. The men needed a strong showing, because entering the event their head-to-head record was 52-55-3. With their second-place finish, the Vols pushed their record to 65-56-3. As long as Tennessee doesn’t fall apart at the SEC Championship, then this team should be a lock for postseason play.

3.) South Alabama. This is aother team that helped its chances of making it to the postseason this week. Entering the Bancorp South Intercollegiate, South Alabama was ranked No. 84 in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings. However, with a six-shot win over Southern Mississippi and other teams ranked ahead of them, the Jaguars should see their stock rise. Aside from winning the tournament, South Alabama picked up impressive head-to-head wins over Southeastern Louisiana (64), UCF (32), MTSU (38) and Vanderbilt (75). For a bubble team like South Alabama, this win could mea the difference in punching a ticket for the postseason and not having to worry about winning the Sun Belt Conference Championship.

Thumbs Down

1.) Augusta State. In the words of my grandma, “Oy vey.” After falling to LSU by a single shot at the Hootie at Bulls Bay, the defending NCAA champions were looking to carry their momentum into their own Insperity ASU Invite. The Jaguars had momentum, but it wasn’t from their A team, in other words the guys that won the title a year ago. Playing in the 17-team field was the Augusta State B team, which ended up finishing in fifth place at the tournament. The B team defeated Josh Gregory’s A team, which finished in seventh place, by six shots. A seventh-place finish by the Jags probably wouldn’t have gotten them a thumbs down, but when the A team loses to the B team, that really brings out the boo birds.

2.) Pace of Play. Slow play was a major issue at this year’s Liz Murphey Collegiate. This year the tournament had an interesting and different scoring system. All five players from the same team played in the same group, and the best four scores from that hole were counted toward the team score. Twenty-three teams were in the field and rounds took just over seven hours. Slow play has always been an issue in the women’s game, but perhaps four golfers waiting for one to hit in each group played a major factor for the slow play. Either way, seven-hour rounds are never a good thing or encouraged for college golf.

3.) Tulsa. The Golden Hurricane were quietly having a solid season for coach Bill Brogden, but at the Morris Williams Intercollegiate, Tulsa had one of its worst showings of the year. Tulsa came in 13 out of 14 teams, and shot a team total of 931 over the three days to finish 39 shots behind tournament champs Texas. Round 1 killed any chances of Tulsa having a strong showing when it shot a team score of 329, which also happened to be the worst round of the tournament for any team. On a high note, Tulsa did play much better the next two days, shooting scores of 305 and 297. Currently ranked 48th in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings, Tulsa will be a post-season team and will try to rebound at the Aggie Invitational before heading to the Conference USA Championship.

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