ANNIKA Award Watch List: Oct. 26, 2017

Courtesy of Stanford Athletics

ANNIKA Award Watch List: Oct. 26, 2017

Women

ANNIKA Award Watch List: Oct. 26, 2017

The 2017-18 Division I women’s college golf season continues, and, with the fall quickly closing, an ANNIKA Award contender from last season has taken over the top spot in the ANNIKA race.

The ANNIKA Award Presented by 3M honors the player of the year in women’s college golf, as selected by college golfers, coaches and members of the golf media.

Stanford’s Andrea Lee finds herself in a familiar position in the latest ANNIKA Award Watch List: At the No. 1 spot. Will she be caught before the fall season ends? Who dropped and what other changes came about on this latest list?

The answers are below with the third ANNIKA rankings for 2017-18:

• • •

Note: Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings are updated through Oct. 23

STANFORD, CA – October 15, 2016: Andrea Lee smiles during the 21st Stanford Intercollegiate at Stanford Golf Course. (Courtesy of Stanford Athletics)

1. Andrea Lee (Previous ranking: 2)

Year: Sophomore

School: Stanford

Golfweek/Sagarin Ranking: 4

Results: WIN, Nanea Pac-12 Preview; WIN, Stanford Intercollegiate hosted by Condoleezza Rice; WIN, Branch Law Firm/Dick McGuire Invitational; T-3, ANNIKA Intercollegiate Presented by 3M

The buzz: Wow, does this seem familiar. Two wins and another top-3 finish in the fall for Lee. Oh wait, that was her freshman fall campaign. She’s actually improved on that this fall. Lee used the last two weeks to fire off wins at the Stanford Intercollegiate and the shortened Nanea Pac-12 Preview to make it three victories and a T-3 in her four fall starts. Two of those wins are co-medalist showings, but that’s really all we can nitpick here. (Her No. 4 Golfweek/Sagarin ranking also has not factored in her Pac-12 Preview win yet.)

The sophomore was always going to be an ANNIKA contender this season, but there was way too much competition to call her the preseason favorite. Well, as her fall season winds down, Lee is certainly the favorite now.


CHON BURI, THAILAND – FEBRUARY 26: Patty Tavatanakit of Thailand plays a shot during day two of the 2016 Honda LPGA Thailand at Siam Country Club on February 26, 2016 in Chon Buri, Thailand. (Photo by Thananuwat Srirasant/Getty Images)

2. Patty Tavatanakit (Previous ranking: N/A)

Year: Freshman

School: UCLA

Golfweek/Sagarin Ranking: 2

Results: WIN, Stanford Intercollegiate hosted by Condoleezza Rice; 2, ANNIKA Intercollegiate Presented by 3M; 3, Nanea Pac-12 Preview

The buzz: Color us unsurprised with this one. Tavatanakit was clearly the best prospect in this freshman class (our preseason rankings reaffirmed that), so it makes sense she is the rookie contending for the ANNIKA. The Thai player (whose full first name is Paphangkorn, but she goes by Patty) has a first, a second and a third in her first three career starts at UCLA – the beginning to her Bruins tenure that coaches likely had foreseen in some way. The freshmen haul for the ANNIKA has stalled in recent years, Tavatanakit is the main newbie hope in 2017-18.


Oct 3, 2017; Eden Prairie, MN, USA; Maria Fassi of Arkansas celebrates her victory with coach Shauna Taylor after the final round of the 2017 ANNIKA Intercollegiate Presented by 3M. (Bruce Kluckhohn/USA TODAY Sports)

3. Maria Fassi (Previous ranking: 1)

Year: Junior

School: Arkansas

Golfweek/Sagarin Ranking: 1

Results: WIN, ANNIKA Intercollegiate Presented by 3M; WIN, Mason Rudolph Championship; T-6, Maryb S. Kauth Invitational; T-11, Ruth’s Chris Tar Heel Invitational

The buzz: Well, Fassi wasn’t going to win every event. After opening the season with back-to-back victories, the junior followed up with T-11 and T-6 performances. Those are solid showings, but with Lee and Tavatanakit playing so well, Fassi drops. She remains No. 1 in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings, but that is likely to change after her T-6 is counted in.


Alabama’s Lauren Stephenson made a spirited run at the 2017 U.S. Women’s Amateur.

4. Lauren Stephenson (Previous ranking: 3)

Year: Junior

School: Alabama

Golfweek/Sagarin Ranking: 3

Results: WIN, Mason Rudolph Championship; 2, Schooner Fall Classic; T-3, Ruth’s Chris Tar Heel Invitational

The buzz: Like Lee and Tavatanakit, Stephenson is a member of the “All Top-3s” Club. Her showing at the Ruth’s Chris Tar Heel Invitational was actually her worst of the season, but barely … on an extremely high bar. She’ll enter her fall finale, the Landfall Tradition, with just three head-to-head losses total in three starts.


KINGSBARNS, SCOTLAND – AUGUST 06: Amateur Leona Maguire of Ireland looks down the 4th hole during the final round of the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Kingsbarns Golf Links on August 6, 2017 in Kingsbarns, Scotland. (Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

5a. Leona Maguire (Previous ranking: N/A)

Year: Senior

School: Duke

Golfweek/Sagarin Ranking: 6

Results: WIN, Ruth’s Chris Tar Heel Invitational; WIN, Jim West Challenge; T-9, Windy City Collegiate Classic

The buzz: The reigning ANNIKA winner (and two of the last three) is back on the main list! Maguire recently picked up her second win of the fall and doesn’t seem to be slowing down her senior year. In fact, Maguire erased any doubt about leaving after the fall as she dropped out of LPGA Q-School’s final stage again. She got through second stage in order to gain Symetra Tour status, which she will use after the 2017-18 college season is over. Anyway, if you’re wondering why Maguire is so low on the list despite two wins, she’s played the nation’s 158th-toughest schedule thus far. That’s easily the weakest – next-worst is 96th – among those on the ANNIKA list.


Sophia Schubert and her caddie talk on the third hole during the final round of match play at the 2017 U.S. Women’s Amateur at San Diego Country Club in Chula Vista, Calif. on Sunday, Aug. 13, 2017. (USGA/Steven Gibbons)

5b. Sophia Schubert (Previous ranking: 4)

Year: Senior

School: Texas

Golfweek/Sagarin Ranking: 5

Results: WIN, Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invitational; T-7, ANNIKA Intercollegiate Presented by 3M

The buzz: Texas hasn’t competed since the last ANNIKA list, and with other ANNIKA contenders playing so well, she does drop. But Schubert doesn’t deserved to be kicked off, though, Texas has one more fall event. If the reigning U.S. Women’s Amateur champ plays well there, she’ll likely go into the winter firmly on this list.

• • •

Next 5

  • Kristen Gillman, So., Alabama
  • Alana Uriell, Sr., Arkansas
  • Maddie McCrary, Sr., Oklahoma State
  • Emilia Migliaccio, Fr., Wake Forest
  • Linnea Strom, Jr., Arizona State

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