Men's Midweek Report: Cal ends fall undefeated
Welcome to Golfweek’s Midweek Report. We wanted to use this hump day to update you on all the latest college news and give you a quick glance at what to look ahead to this weekend.
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THE BIG 5
Stories you need to know now...
1. Cal: The Bears completed their undefeated fall with a two-shot victory at the Isleworth Collegiate Invitational. Cal, No. 1 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, will hold onto that undefeated record until at least Jan. 28-29, when it begins its spring season at the Arizona Intercollegiate. The Bears trailed New Mexico by five strokes during Isleworth's final round before winning. Cal placed three players in the top-10 at Isleworth: Michael Kim (1st), Michael Weaver (4th) and Brandon Hagy (T-9).
2. Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets are playing quite well close to home, a good sign considering they're hosting the NCAA Championship. Georgia Tech won the U.S. Collegiate at Golf Club of Georgia after tying for first at the Preview at nearby Capital City Club's Crabapple Course. Ollie Schniederjans made eagle on the U.S. Collegiate's final hole – hitting 5-iron from 220 yards to 3 feet from the hole – to give Georgia Tech a one-shot win. Georgia Tech has finished 1st-2nd-1st in its past three starts.
3. New Mexico: The Lobos are one of the pleasant surprises of the fall. They were No. 5 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings before finishing two shots behind Cal at Isleworth. Only one team – Georgia Tech, which tied Cal for the Preview title – has come closer to beating the Bears. James Erkenbeck tied for second at Isleworth to lead the Lobos.
4. Georgia Southern: The Eagles, No. 50 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, won the Old Dominion/OBX Collegiate by 12 shots for their second consecutive victory. Georgia Southern also won the AutoTrader.com Classic, finishing 29 shots ahead No. 15 Georgia.
5. Wichita State: The Shockers won the Herb Wimberly Invitational, beating No. 29 UNLV by nine shots. Wichita State, No. 51 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, has won three of five starts this season, at the Diet Pepsi Shocker Classic, Colorado State Ram Classic and the Wimberly.
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1. Patrick Rodgers, Stanford: Rodgers was three shots off the lead when the final round of the U.S. Collegiate Championship began. He shot a final-round 67, the low round of the day, to win by four shots. It was his second come-from-behind win in a major tournament this season. He was three back entering the final round at the Olympia Fields/Fighting Illini Invitational before shooting a final-round 67 to win by five. That’s two wins in three starts for Rodgers, a first-team All-American last season as a freshman.
2. Michael Kim, Cal: The short-hitting sophomore is becoming a player-of-the-year candidate. His victory at Isleworth was his fifth consecutive top-10 to start the season. Kim, one of four Cal Bears invited to the Walker Cup practice session, was an honorable-mention All-American last season as a freshman.
3. Cheng-Tsung Pan, Washington: The sophomore’s impressive streak of top-3 finishes continued at the U.S. Collegiate, where he finished second. Pan has been no worse than third in four starts this season: he won the Husky Invitational, was second at the Ping-Golfweek Preview and U.S. Collegiate and third at the Pac-12 Preview.
4. Justin Thomas, Alabama: Thomas followed up his victory at the Jerry Pate with a runner-up finish at the Isleworth Collegiate Invitational. Those results were his two best of the fall after starting with a 10th at the Carpet Capital and 26th at the Preview.
5. Scott Wolfes, Georgia Southern: The Eagles’ top player won the Old Dominion/OBX Invitational for his second victory in four starts this fall. He also won the Invitational at Kiawah, where he beat Florida’s T.J. Vogel, the U.S. Amateur Public Links champion, by a shot. Wolfes finished in the top-10 in all four starts this year, also finishing second at the AutoTrader.com and eighth at the Mason Rudolph. He was No. 32 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings before his latest victory.
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BEST OF THE BEST
How the top 5 teams in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings fared:
1. California: Won, Isleworth Collegiate Invitational
2. Texas: 4th, Isleworth Collegiate Invitational
3. Florida: 6th, Isleworth Collegiate Invitational
4. Washington: 8th, U.S. Collegiate Championship
5. New Mexico: 2nd, Isleworth Collegiate Invitational
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How the top 5 players in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings fared:
1. Talor Gooch, Oklahoma State: T-2, U.S. Collegiate Championship
2. Brandon Stone, Texas: T-21, Isleworth Collegiate Invitational
3. Patrick Rodgers, Stanford: Won, U.S. Collegiate Championship
4. Cheng-Tsung Pan, Washington: T-2, U.S. Collegiate Championship
5. Michael Kim, Cal: Won, Isleworth Collegiate Invitational
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Tournament (team winner; individual winner)
Isleworth Collegiate Invitational (Cal/Michael Kim, Cal)
U.S. Collegiate Championship (Georgia Tech/Patrick Rodgers, Stanford)
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THIS WEEK'S SCHEDULE
Bridgestone Golf Collegiate
Grandover Resort & Conference Center, Greensboro, N.C.
The field: Boston College, Chattanooga, Eastern Michigan, Georgia State, Iowa State, Maryland, Mississippi, Mississippi State, North Carolina State, UNC-Greensboro, Virginia Commonwealth, Virginia Tech
The skinny: Chattanooga’s Steven Fox, the U.S. Amateur champion, and Iowa State’s Scott Fernandez, who’s No. 13 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, highlight the field.
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Stanford Classic at Cypress Point
Cypress Point Club, Pebble Beach, Calif.
The field: Stanford, Washington, USC, UCLA, Georgia, Duke, Michigan, Texas.
The skinny: This three-round event will feature a different match-play format each round. The first round will be four-ball competition, followed by foursomes and then singles matches for the final round.
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Royal Oaks Intercollegiate
Royal Oaks Country Club, Dallas, Texas
The field: Augusta State, Baylor, Iowa, Lamar, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, SMU, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Tulsa.
The skinny: New Mexico, No. 5 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, and No. 6 SMU highlight the field.