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.
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THE BIG 5
Stories you need to know now…
1. Penn State: Talk about a season-defining victory. The Nittany Lions won the Mercedes-Benz Intercollegiate, finishing ahead of five teams ranked inside Golfweek’s top 30. Head coach Denise St. Pierre called it one of the best victories in program history. It also followed a victory at Penn State’s own Nittany Lion Invitational the week prior.
2. North Carolina: Victory at the Ruth’s Chris Tar Heel broke a couple of long streaks. The Tar Heels hadn’t won their home tournament since 1992, and hadn’t won back-to-back since 2004. North Carolina also won the Liz Murphey Fall Preview on Oct. 7, and will take a 2-2 fall record into the offseason.
3. Oklahoma: The Sooners won the Susie Maxwell Berning Classic at home, and by 29 shots, for their first victory of the fall season. It was made even sweeter as junior Chirapat Jao-Javanil won the individual title.
4. Methodist: Truly the powerhouse of Division III women’s golf. The Monarchs generally make headlines each spring, they’ve won the national championship each of the past 15 years, but their final-round comeback at Golfweek’s Division III Fall Invitational was equally impressive. Said head coach Tom Inczauskis of his team rallying from eight shots back, “It was amazing, just amazing. It was a tremendous comeback for them.”
5. Wisconsin: The Badgers won the team title at the Hooser Invitational after an Indiana player was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard. Wisconsin’s Lindsay Danielson led the charge with a new 54-hole school record (3-under 213) that gave her medalist honors for the first time in her career.
1. Paula Reto, Purdue: Reto has emerged as the solid leader for Purdue this season, leading the team in each of its three fall starts. Reto won the third title of her college career at the Mercedes-Benz Intercollegiate, finishing at 5-under 211 and one shot ahead of runner-up Laura Wearn of Furman. Next up for Reto and Purdue? A trip back to Wilmington, N.C., for the Landfall Invitational. It’s where the Boilermakers won their maiden NCAA Championship in 2010.
2. Kathy Boehm, College of Charleston: Boehm and her team deserve a nod for traveling well. As the only East Coast team in the field at the Wyoming Cowgirl Desert Intercollegiate, Charleston finished second out of 19 teams. Boehm was the individual medalist.
3. Hayley Davis, Baylor: Davis is the only returner from the Baylor squad that last year qualified for the NCAA Championship for just the second time in program history. Davis is fulfilling the leadership role well, however. At the Tar Heel, she led the team to its second runner-up finish in the past three tournaments. Davis finished second individually behind Florida’s Isabelle Lendl.
4. Chirapat Jao-Javanil, Oklahoma: The reigning NCAA individual champion shot a final-round 68 at the Susie Maxwell Berning Classic, Oklahoma’s home event, to jump from second to first. It’s her first victory since the national championship, and the fourth of her college career.
5. Florida individuals: It’s worth noting that a Florida player has claimed individual medalist honors in each of the Gators’ three starts this season. Sophomore Camilla Hedberg won the season-opening Cougar Classic, and senior Isabelle Lendl has won the past two (the Dale McNamara Invitational and the Tar Heel).
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BEST OF THE BEST
How the top 5 teams in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings fared
1. Washington: DNP
2. Arizona: DNP
3. USC: DNP
4. Duke: 4th, Ruth’s Chris Tar Heel
5. Florida: 9th, Ruth’s Chris Tar Heel
How the top 5 players in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings fared
1. Sally Watson, Stanford: DNP
2. Isabelle Lendl, Florida: Won, Ruth’s Chris Tar Heel
3. SooBin Kim, Washington: DNP
4. Lindy Duncan, Duke: T-9, Ruth’s Chris Tar Heel
5. Tonje Daffinrud, Denver: 10th, Susie Maxwell Berning Classic
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Tournament (team champion; individual winner)
Ruth’s Chris Tar Heel (North Carolina; Isabelle Lendl, Florida)
Merecedes-Benz Intercollegiate (Penn State; Paula Reto, Purdue)
Golfweek Division III Fall Invitational (Methodist; L. Giovannettone, Methodist)
Susie Maxwell Berning Classic (Oklahoma; Chirapat Jao-Javanil, Oklahoma)
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THIS WEEK’S SCHEDULE
Stanford (Calif.) GC
The field: Washington, UC Davis, Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon, Oregon State, Cal, Stanford, Vanderbilt, Texas, Georgia, Oklahoma State, Pepperdine, USC, UCLA, Harvard, San Jose State
The skinny: Arguably the toughest West Coast tournament so far this year. Top-ranked Washington and No. 2 Arizona would add a lot of validation to their respective seasons with a victory here. All eyes on USC, UCLA and Arizona State, as usual. Finally, don’t count out host Stanford. Senior Sally Watson currently is the top-ranked player in the country, and there are fierce underclassmen behind her. (Off topic but of interest: The event will be hosted by Condoleezza Rice.)
Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown
Stallion Mountain GC, Las Vegas
The field: Colorado State, Fresno State, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas State, Kennesaw State, Long Beach State, Minnesota, Mississippi State, Missouri, New Mexico State, North Texas, Penn State, San Diego State, Central Florida, UNLV, Washington State, Wisconsin
The skinny: Penn State returns to competition after a big victory at the Mercedes-Benz. Wisconsin also is a team to watch after its Hoosier Invite victory.