Welcome to Golfweek’s Mid-Week 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.
THE BIG 5: Stories you need to know
1.) Texas: How’d the Longhorns open their NCAA title defense? With a five-shot Carpet Capital win, highlighted by a record 22-under 266 in the second round. Hook ‘em.
2.) Cal: The Bears exhibited their depth with a 14-shot victory at the Gopher Invitational. The Bears had three of the top four players on the leaderboard, led by runners-up Max Homa and Michael Kim.
3.) Florida: Wasn’t a strong field, but a 24-shot victory is always a great way to start the season, especially at a scenic setting like Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course. Four Gators placed in the top five.
4.) Alabama: The preseason No. 1 team couldn’t get the best of the Longhorns, losing to them in the NCAA Championship match, then finishing 14 shots back at Carpet Capital.
5.) Georgia Tech: There were high hopes for the Jackets this year, but the preseason No. 4 got off to a rough start with a T-11 in the 15-team field at the Carpet Capital.
1.) Brandon Stone, Texas: The past two Haskins Award winners have been freshmen (UCLA’s Patrick Cantlay, Alabama’s Justin Thomas). Thomas started his campaign by winning Carpet Capital. Stone did the same, showing he’s more than a suitable replacement for countryman Dylan Frittelli in the Longhorns lineup.
2.) Justin Thomas, Alabama: The Haskins Award winner, and 2011 Carpet Capital champion, finished 10th in defense of his Carpet Capital title.
3.) Steven Fox, Chattanooga: It was a solid season debut for the U.S. Amateur champion. He finished 19th at Carpet Capital (71-74-74). Not bad considering the spotlight under which he now finds himself.
4.) Jason Burstyn, Colorado: The senior from Miami, Fla., is 2-for-2 this season, opening his campaign by winning the first two titles of his college career. He’s 13 under in five rounds with a 69.0 scoring average. He won the Gene Miranda Falcon Invitational on Monday.
5.) Nathan Anderson, North Dakota State: His sister, 2012 Curtis Cup player Amy, has re-written the record books at North Dakota State. Nathan made his own history, as well. He won the Navy Invitational with a 4-under 138, tying the NDSU 36-hole tournament record.
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BEST OF THE BEST:
How the top 5 teams in the Golfweek preseason rankings fared
1.) Alabama: third, Carpet Capital Collegiate
2.) California: Won, Gopher Invitational
3.) Texas: Won, Carpet Capital Collegiate
4.) Georgia Tech: T-11, Carpet Capital Collegiate
5.) UCLA: DNP
How the top 5 players in the Golfweek preseason rankings fared:
1.) Justin Thomas, Alabama: 10th, Carpet Capital
2.) Jordan Spieth, Texas: T-2, Carpet Capital
3.) Chris Williams, Washington: DNP
4.) Patrick Rodgers, Stanford: DNP
5.) Bobby Wyatt, Alabama: T-4, Carpet Capital
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TOURNAMENT RESULTS (team champion; individual winner)
Carpet Capital Collegiate (Texas; Brandon Stone, Texas
Northern Intercollegiate (Indiana; Denny McCarthy, Virginia)
Gene Miranda Falcon Invitational (Colorado; Jason Burstyn, Colorado)
Gopher Invitational (Cal; Corey Conners, Kent State)
The Invitational at Kiawah (Florida; Scott Wolfes, Georgia Southern)
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Tar Heel Intercollegiate
UNC Finley Golf Course, Chapel Hill, N.C.
The field: Boston College, Charlotte, Duke, East Carolina, East Tennessee State, Furman, Gardner-Webb, Maryland, North Carolina, North Carolina State, UNC-Greensboro, UNC-Wilmington, Virginia Commonwealth, Notre Dame
The skinny: Notre Dame gets a sneak peek at some of its new ACC foes: Boston College, Duke, Maryland, host North Carolina and North Carolina State. It was announced Wednesday that the Irish would be joining the conference in all sports but football.
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Wolf Run Intercollegiate
Wolf Run Golf Club, Zionsville, Ind.
The field: Akron, Butler, Eastern Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, IPFW, IUPUI, Miami (Ohio), Michigan State, Northern Illinois, Ohio State, Texas Tech, Wisconsin.
The skinny: The host Hoosiers are coming off a 15-shot win in their season-opening Northern Intercollegiate. Illinois, and NCAA champion Thomas Pieters, also are in the field.
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Golfweek Conference Challenge
Spirit Hollow Golf Club, Burlington, Iowa
The field: Ball State, Campbell, Central Arkansas, Florida Gulf Coast, Iowa, Jacksonville State, Kansas, Long Beach State, Louisiana-Lafayette, Missouri, San Francisco, San Jose State, Tulsa, Wake Forest, Xavier
The skinny: Schools from 15 different conferences gather in Middle America, allowing teams to face opponents they normally wouldn’t encounter. Host Iowa finished sixth last year and won in 2010.
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Inverness Club, Toledo, Ohio
The field: Florida State, Kent State, Liberty, Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern, North Texas, Penn State, South Florida, Toledo.
The skinny: Defending champion Kent State, which qualified for match play at last season’s NCAA Championship, highlights the field at this classic Donald Ross design. Florida State and Liberty, the 2011 Inverness runner-up, also finished in the top 10 at NCAAs.
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Kikkor Husky Invitational
Gold Mountain Golf Club, Bremerton, Wash.
The field: Arizona State, BYU, Gonzaga, Loyola, Minnesota, Oregon, Pacific, Pepperdine, Seattle, St. Mary’s, San Diego State, Texas A&M, UC Davis, Washington, Washington State
The skinny: Just as important is the corn hole tournament – the 2012 Kikkor Golf Cornhole Championship – that will be held before the event. Weather shortened this event to just 18 holes last year. Washington senior Chris Williams, the world’s No. 1 amateur, is the defending champion. The host Huskies also won the team title.