Women's Midweek Report: Kim, Chen carry USC
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. USC: What USC consistently does with five players has become downright inspiring. Despite a short roster, USC won the Stanford Intercollegiate, arguably the toughest West Coast event of the fall season, on the shoulders of a couple of underclassmen (freshman and medalist Kyung Kim and sophomore Doris Chen). Key for the Trojans was a first-round 2-over 286. No one else could ever catch up. Perhaps it’s a motivator knowing that every player must deliver. At Stanford, all five players counted a least one score for the 54-hole event.
2. UCLA: It’s been a different kind of fall for the Bruins. In three starts, UCLA has finished ninth, T-8 and most recently, T-8 at the Stanford Intercollegiate. Senior Tiffany Lua has yet to start because of a wrist injury, and the team has relied heavily on senior Lee Lopez and junior Ani Gulugian. The Bruins play one more event, the Betsy Rawls Invitational, before entering the offseason.
3. Florida International: Won the Pat Bradley Invitational at home on Oct. 23 earning its second consecutive win at the event and eighth since the tournament began in 1977. For perspective, the Panthers’ 54-hole, 12-over 876 total is the second-lowest team total in the event’s history. They finished 26 shots ahead of Cincinnati.
4. Campbell: The Camels earned a second victory this season at their own Fighting Camel Classic. Campbell deserves a spot on the women’s college golf radar for winning its season opener, the Golfweek Program Challenge, by 40 shots. The team followed with a top-5 finish at the Golfweek Conference Challenge. Two Camels have won individual titles (Kaylin Yost won at the Fighting Camel). To reiterate: Campbell could be this year’s sleeper.
5. Indiana: A week after finishing runner-up at home thanks to a scorecard error, Indiana got a little revenge by winning in Las Vegas. Kudos to the Hoosiers for regrouping to end their season on a high note.
1. Kyung Kim, USC: The freshman came up in a big way for her Trojans, leading the team to victory at the Stanford Intercollegiate. Her closing rounds of 66 and 68 helped USC hang on for the title.
2. Mariah Stackhouse, Stanford: Another strong freshman performance. Stackhouse (T-9) was the low player for the home team at the Stanford Intercollegiate, leading the Cardinal to a third-place finish.
3. Washington’s one-two punch: The Huskies remain the top-ranked team in the nation, and finishing second at the Stanford Intercollegiate, a Pac-12 heavy field, adds a lot of credibility to Washington’s fall season. SooBin Kim and Charlotte Thomas are two of the hottest players in the nation at the end of the fall season. Each has one victory so far.
4. Meghan MacLaren, Florida International: The freshman won the Pat Bradley Invitational for her second victory in three college starts. She also won the Wolverine Invitational last month.
5. Kaylin Yost, Campbell: Set a new 36-hole tournament record at the Fighting Camel Classic, thanks in part to a second-round 3-under 69 that included six birdies. It was one of only three sub-par rounds of the entire tournament.
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BEST OF THE BEST
How the top 5 teams in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings fared
1. Washington: 2nd, Stanford Intercollegiate
2. USC: Won, Stanford Intercollegiate
3. Oklahoma: DNP
4. Arizona: 4th, Stanford Intercollegiate
5. Duke: DNP
How the top 5 players in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings fared
1. Isabelle Lendl, Florida: DNP
2. SooBin Kim, Washington: 2nd, Stanford Intercollegiate
3. Lindy Duncan, Duke: DNP
4. Lindsey Weaver, Notre Dame: DNP
5. Camilla Hedberg, Florida: DNP
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Tournament (team champion; individual winner)
Stanford Intercollegiate (USC; Kyung Kim, USC)
Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown (Indiana; Ally McDonald, Mississippi/Elizabeth Tong, Indiana)
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THIS WEEK’S SCHEDULE
The Landfall Tradition
CC of Landfall (Nicklaus), Wilmington, N.C.
The field: Arizona, Duke, Florida State, Iowa State, Michigan State, Mississippi, N.C. State, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Purdue, South Carolina, Texas Tech, UNC Wilmington, UNC Greensboro, Wake Forest
The skinny: Purdue is the defending champion here, after righting an otherwise unmemorable fall season in 2011 with a victory at Landfall, site of the Boilermakers’ NCAA title in the spring of 2010. Arizona should be a strong title contender, too.
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Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invitational
The University of Texas GC, Austin
The field: Alabama, Arizona State, Arkansas, Auburn, Denver, Florida, Illinois, Kent State, New Mexico, Pepperdine, TCU, Texas, Tulsa, UCLA, UNLV
The skinny: Alabama and Florida are the top-ranked teams in this field, and UCLA could get some fall redemption with a strong finish. Keep an eye on Grace Na and Pepperdine, too.
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The Alamo Invitational
Briggs Ranch GC, San Antonio
The field: Baylor, Colorado, East Carolina, Kentucky, Louisville, LSU, Nebraska, North Texas, Oklahoma, SMU, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Texas State, Tulane, UTSA
The skinny: Oklahoma is coming off a record-breaking victory at home. Tennessee and Texas A&M had strong finishes at the Mercedes-Benz Intercollegiate, and host Texas-San Antonio has the talent, but has had a slow fall after a four-win season last year.