Spring preview 2017: Western Athletic Conference

ABQ Journal

Spring preview 2017: Western Athletic Conference

College

Spring preview 2017: Western Athletic Conference

As the college golf season gets ready to resume, Golfweek will preview each automatic-qualifier conference in Division I, offering picks to win, midseason All-Conference teams and more.

For all of our conference previews, click here.

Next up: the Western Athletic Conference.

• • •

Men

Conference championship: April 28-30, Longbow Golf Club, Mesa, Ariz.

Defending champion: Missouri-Kansas City

Team rankings: Grand Canyon (109); Missouri-Kansas City (147), Seattle (150), New Mexico State (160), Utah Valley (162), Texas-Rio Grande Valley (208), Cal State-Bakersfield (269), Chicago State (300)

Midseason All-Conference team: Vinnie Murphy, Grand Canyon (383); Blair Bursey, Utah Valley (427); Luis Medina, New Mexico State (434); Ross Kukula, Seattle (492); Jake Chanen, Grand Canyon (527)

What to expect: New Mexico State had won all but two of the last 10 WAC Championships before UMKC won last spring. UMKC is deep again this year and is led by Ross Kukula and Hubert Tisserand. Francois Lagraule is also on the roster still after being a first-time All-WAC selection last season. But it’s newcomer Grand Canyon that could crash the party this spring. Vinnie Murphy is the conference’s top player and Jake Chanen and Matt McClung are key contributors, as well.

Pick to win: Grand Canyon

• • •

Women

Conference championship: April 19-21, Indian Hills Country Club, Mission Hills, Kan.

Defending champion: New Mexico State

Team rankings: New Mexico State (59); Missouri-Kansas City (134), Seattle (155), Utah Valley (176), Grand Canyon (195), Texas-Rio Grande Valley (216), Cal State-Bakersfield (231), Chicago State (241)

Midseason All-Conference team: Suthavee Chanachai, New Mexico State (135); Dominique Galloway, New Mexico State (273); Kristen Cline, New Mexico State (275); Kennedie Montoya, New Mexico State (302); Camille Orito, New Mexico State (378)

What to expect: New Mexico State is looking for its fourth straight WAC title this spring and is a clear favorite to capture it. The Aggies ended the fall with the WAC’s top four players in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings, and then added midseason transfer Dominique Galloway from Texas during winter break. UMKC’s Cynthia Diaz has a shot at the conference’s individual crown.

Pick to win: New Mexico State

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