Top five from this past week in college golf …
1. THE MAJORS ARE HERE: This past week it was the women playing in the Kraft Nabisco Championship and next week it will be the men at The Masters. Alabama’s Stephanie Meadow and Florida’s Camilla Hedberg were the only two college players to make the cut at the Kraft Nabisco Championship. Three other players missed the cut – Duke’s Lindy Duncan, Florida’s Isabelle Lendl and USC’s Doris Chen. Next week at The Masters we will see U.S. Amateur champion Steven Fox of Chattanooga, top-ranked California’s Michael Weaver and Florida’s T.J. Vogel.
2. STEVEN FOX CHASING WIN: Speaking of Fox, the U.S. Amateur champion turned in his best performance this spring with a runner-up finish at the BancorpSouth Intercollegiate. Fox, who is ranked No. 140 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, also turned in a second-place finish last fall at the AutoTrader.com College Classic. Fox has just one career college victory which came in his freshman season at the Furman Intercollegiate when he shared medalist honors with Clemson’s Ben Martin.
3. USC WOMEN LOOKING SOLID: Compared to California’s wins this year and top ranking in the men’s game, there has been nothing flashy on the women’s side when it comes to the top. However, very quietly USC has quietly put a stamp on being the clear favorite at this point in the season. The Trojans won the SDSU Farms Invitational by a convincing 21 shots over No. 6 Arizona. Three Trojans golfers ranked within the top eight – No. 1 Annie Park, No. 7 Sophia Popov and No. 8 Kyung Kim.
4. AUSTIN PEAY MEN RISING LATE: Peaking at the right time is often a team or player’s goal and that certainly may be the case for Austin Peay, which collected its fifth victory in 10 starts this year. This past week the Governors won the Arkansas State Red Wolf Intercollegiate, finishing 15 shots clear of second-place Samford. Austin Peay, which finished one shot behind Jacksonville State at the 2012 Ohio Valley Conference, has one of the best overall won-loss-tie records in college golf with a 94-10-3 head-to-head record.
5. SAME FOR GONZAGA WOMEN? While Austin Peay is a mid-major making a little noise on the men’s side, Gonzaga is doing the same in the women’s game. Gonzaga won the Challenge at Onion Creek this past week to win for the fourth time this year and third time this spring. The Bulldogs, ranked No. 46 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, are nearly certain to be a lock for an at-large bid into NCAA regional play. Gonzaga has a 99-12-1 record.