Monday Top 5: Mizzou stays perfect in the spring

J.J. Spaun of San Diego State

1.) Perfect spring

The Missouri men’s team has played in four tournaments this spring and has come away with four victories. Last week the Tigers won the Columbia Orthopedic Group Mizzou Intercollegiate by 22 shots over Eastern Michigan. Missouri opened the spring with a win at the WSU Snowman Getaway, followed by a victory at the Jackrabbit Invitational and before that a win at the UALR/First Tee Classic.

Missouri started the spring season sitting squarely on the bubble with a Golfweek/Sagarin College Ranking of 69th. With a perfect record to this point earning an at-large bid should be a lock. Missouri is ranked No. 56 and have posted an overall record of 57-0 this spring.

Head coach Mark LeRoux’s squad has been led all season long by sophomore Jace Long.

Long is also perfect this spring, winning three in a row. Long did not play in the Tigers’ spring opener, but since has recorded a scoring average of 69.4.

The Tigers and Long will put their winning streak on the line this weekend at the Hawkeye Taylor Made Invitational.

2.) Record performance

The Portland State women’s golf press release called the team’s 28-shot victory at the Wyoming Cowgirl Classic “easily the finest tournament performance in school history.” Who could argue? The Vikings set five school records at the Cowgirl Invitational.

“I knew they were capable of playing that well,” said Portland State coach Kathleen Takaishi “They each individually have gained confidence over the spring and it just came together this week. They are excited about how they played and I think they now know that they are this good.”

The win at the Wyoming Cowgirl Invitational was the second victory in as many starts. Prior to the record-setting performance, Portland State had won the Anteater Invitational – which was the better victory of the two. However, the recent win should give the Vikings a lot of confidence. Ranked near the bubble at 57th by Golfstat, (71st by Golfweek) to receive an at-large bid, Portland State might need to rely on winning the Big Sky Conference Championship. The Vikings will be the heavy favorite to win and earn the league’s automatic qualifying bid into the postseason. Portland State beat the other eight Big Sky Conference schools on the same course – the Ocotillo Resort – which they will play April 18-20 for the Big Sky Championship.

3.) Elite Company

San Diego State’s J.J. Spaun won the ASU/Thunderbird Invitational this past weekend and is the only other player besides former Arizona State golfer Phil Mickelson to have won back-to-back ASU/Thunderbird Invitationals. Mickelson won consecutive titles in 1991-92.

Spaun, a junior, made birdie on his final hole to finish just a single shot ahead of Cal State-Northridge’s Nick Delio. Spaun posted rounds of 70-69-67 for a 7-under 206 total on the par-71, 7,057-yard Karsten Golf Course on the campus of Arizona State. Spaun, who now has four top fives in seven starts this year, now has two career wins - both at the ASU/Thunderbird Invitational.

4. The Masters

Three college players teed it up at Augusta National – Lion Kim (Michigan), David Chung (Stanford) and Peter Uihlein (Oklahoma State) – and all three missed the cut. Kim and Chung finish at 4 over while Uihlein finished at 5-over.

It’s been seven years since an amateur playing college golf has made the cut at the Masters. The last to do so was UNLV’s Ryan Moore and Vanderbilt’s Luke List in 2005. Moore finished at 1 under and tied for 13th place, which happens to be Moore’s best finish at Augusta.

5.) Conference Championships

The conference championship segment of college golf got started Monday. Twenty-eight men’s conference winners will receive an automatic bid into the postseason, as well as the individual champions, while on the women’s side we will see 25 winners earn their league’s AQ. Individual winners in women’s golf do not get an automatic invite.

Continue to check Golfweek.com for conference championship news.

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