Midweek: Armstrong rises; Arkansas women cruise
Welcome to Golfweek’s Midweek Report. We wanted to use this hump day to update you on all the latest women’s college news and give you a quick glance at what to look ahead to this weekend.
THE BIG 5
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1. Arkansas: The Razorbacks hadn’t won a team title since claiming the LSU Classic two years ago, so it seems fitting that the victory to break that streak was in Baton Rouge. Arkansas finished 10 shots ahead of Tulane, earning a fourth consecutive top-3 finish.
2. Tulane: Speaking of teams that are talented enough to break a streak of almosts, Tulane earned yet another runner-up at the LSU Classic. It marks the third runner-up finish this season for the Green Wave, No. 20 in Golfweek’s rankings. Tulane has just one more start, the Bancorp South Rebel Intercollegiate, before the Conference USA Championship.
3. Kent State: The Golden Flashes won the John Kirk/Panther Intercollegiate at Eagles Landing Country Club on March 26. Kent State finished 11 shots better than Old Dominion, and earned its first victory of the season. This is a team that traditionally plays a difficult schedule, and the Golden Flashes have just one more regular-season start before playing for a 15th consecutive title at the Mid-American Conference Championship.
4. Notre Dame: On the shoulders of sophomore Ashley Armstrong, the Irish claimed victory at the Briar’s Creek Invitational. It’s the first victory of the season for No. 25 Notre Dame, and the team did it by quietly lowering its team score in each round at Briar’s Creek.
5. Navy: Here’s to the newly formed Navy women’s golf team, which made the C&F Bank Intercollegiate its first official tournament start. After a couple of dual matches to end the month, Navy will be back in action April 5 at the UNC-Wilmington Lady Seahawk Classic.
1. Ashley Armstrong, Notre Dame: After claiming victory at the Insperity Lady Jaguar Intercollegiate last week, Armstrong earned a second at Briar’s Creek. These are college victories No. 2 and 3 for Armstrong, who won the individual title at last year’s Big East Championship.
2. Emily Tubert, Arkansas: Tubert, a U.S. Curtis Cupper, won her second title this season and the fifth of her career at the LSU Classic. It’s a good sign for Arkansas that this powerful player seems to be on the upswing as postseason approaches.
3. Madelene Sagstrom, LSU: The sophomore led the field in birdies (with 13) at the LSU Classic and tied for second with Tulane’s Maribel Lopez Porras. Though still relatively young, Sagstrom has emerged as the Tigers’ anchor this season. She carries a team-low 72.55 scoring average, and now has consecutive runner-up finishes.
4. Alice Kim, Gonzaga: Kim was the lone amateur at the LPGA’s Kia Classic, and earned the spot by winning the UC Irvine Invitational earlier this month. Kim shot rounds of 77-89 to miss the cut in her first LPGA start.
5. Laura Wearn, Furman: She’s an under-the-radar player to watch. Wearn finished second at the Briar’s Creek Invitational, thank in large part to a final-round 67 that included four birdies in her last seven holes. Wearn is No. 37 in Golfweek’s rankings.
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THE BEST OF THE BEST
How the top 5 teams in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings fared
1. USC: DNP
2. Duke: DNP
3. Oklahoma: DNP
4. Alabama: DNP
5. Stanford: Avenue Spring Break Classic (in progress)
How the top 5 individuals in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings fared
1. Annie Park, USC: DNP
2. Kelsey Vines, Oklahoma State: DNP
3. Mariah Stackhouse, Stanford: Avenue Spring Break Classic (in progress)
4. Stephanie Meadow, Alabama: DNP
5. Kimberly Kaufman, Texas Tech: DNP
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Tournament name (team winner; individual winner)
Briar’s Creek Invitational (Notre Dame; Ashley Armstrong, Notre Dame)
LSU Classic (Arkansas; Emily Tubert, Arkansas)
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THIS WEEK’S SCHEDULE
Bryan National Collegiate
Bryan Park Championship Course, Browns Summit, N.C.
The field: Arkansas, Auburn, Duke, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Louisville, Michigan State, N.C. State, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, UNC-Wilmington, UNC-Greensboro, Vanderbilt, Virginia, Wake Forest
The skinny: Duke and Florida could stage a good battle for the title at Bryan Park, but Vanderbilt, North Carolina and Arkansas also could be tough.
Challenge at Onion Creek
Onion Creek Club, Austin
The field: Arkansas-Little Rock, Eastern Michigan, Gonzaga, Idaho, Iowa, Indiana Purdue-Indianapolis, Kennesaw State, Seattle, South Dakota State, Stephen F. Austin State, Texas Tech, Washington State
The skinny: This could end up as a battle between Texas State, the tournament host, and Texas Tech, No. 15 in Golfweek’s rankings.