Welcome to Golfweek’s Women’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:
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THE BIG 5
Stories you need to know . . .
1. Alabama: With a season-low 11-under 277 in the final round of the Ping/ASU Invitational, Alabama ended the regular season with victory No. 4. It’s the third consecutive for the Crimson Tide, and the first on the West Coast. Next up: the SEC Championship.
2. Duke: Speaking of East Coast teams excelling on the West Coast, the Blue Devils made a serious run at the Ping/ASU title, too. Duke held the 36-hole lead, but couldn’t keep up with the final-round Alabama rally. Duke finished second, but a victory would have been the first for the team this season.
3. Long Beach State: This team edged Tulsa by a single shot on April 16 at the Fresno State Lexus Classic. It’s the second victory this year, after the 49ers won their own Gold Rush in February.
4. Coastal Carolina: The Chanticleers won their sixth Big South Conference title in program history, earning one of the first Automatic Qualifiers of the season. Watch out for Coastal Carolina in the postseason. This team kicked around the 2011 East Regional lead before finishing fourth to easily advance that year.
5. Chattanooga: The Mocs own the Southern Conference. Chattanooga won its fourth consecutive Southern Conference title with a six-shot victory over Furman. The Mocs’ 31-over 895 total is the lowest team score from the five years the tournament has been played at Moss Creek’s Devil’s Elbow course, and the second-lowest in conference history.
1. Emma Talley, Alabama: The freshman from Kentucky has been a big part of Alabama’s success this season, and finally earned her first individual victory at the Ping/ASU Invitational.
2. Elizabeth Tong, Indiana: Tong led her Indiana team to a three-shot victory this season. It’s become apparent that Indiana plays well at home. This is their second victory in Bloomington, Ind., to go along with two runners-up. The next challenge will be playing well down the road in French Lick, when the Big Ten Championships rolls around at the end of the month.
3. Agathe Sauzon, Chattanooga: The sophomore won the Southern Conference individual title on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff with College of Charleston’s Mary Chandler Bryan.
4. Brittany Henderson, Coastal Carolina: Henderson won the Big South Conference individual title for the second consecutive year. She birdied her final hole to beat teammate Lena Schaeffner by a shot.
5. Simone Hoey, Long Beach State: The senior won her second career title while leading her team to a victory in Fresno, Calif. Hoey and her teammates barely edged Tulsa to get the victory.
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THE BEST OF THE BEST
How the top five teams in the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings fared:
1. USC: T-5, Ping/ASU Invitational
2. Alabama: Won, Ping/ASU Invitational
3. Oklahoma: DNP
4. Duke: 2nd, Ping/ASU Invitational
5. Arkansas: DNP
How the top five individuals in the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings fared:
1. Annie Park, USC: T-27, Ping/ASU Invitational
2. Stephanie Meadow, Alabama: T-8, Ping/ASU Invitational
3. Kelsey Vines, Oklahoma State: DNP
4. Mariah Stackhouse, Stanford: T-5, Ping/ASU Invitational
5. Tiffany Lua, UCLA: T-17, Ping/ASU Invitational
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• Ping/ASU Invitational (Alabama; Emma Talley, Alabama)
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THIS WEEK’S SCHEDULE
April 19-21, Sedgefield CC, Greensboro, N.C.
The field: Boston College, Duke, Florida State, Maryland, Miami, N.C. State, North Carolina, Virginia, Wake Forest
The skinny: After last week’s performance at the Ping/ASU Invitational, it’s hard to argue against Duke as a favorite. The toughest competition likely will come from North Carolina and Virginia.
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April 19-21, Greystone Golf Club
The field: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt
The skinny: The SEC is one of the deepest conferences in women’s golf, so the conference championship traditionally is good theater. Early bets might be placed on Alabama after last weekend’s West Coast victory, but Florida and Arkansas could contend, too.