ANNIKA Award Watch List: Nov. 9, 2017

ANNIKA Award Watch List: Nov. 9, 2017

Women

ANNIKA Award Watch List: Nov. 9, 2017

The fall portion of the 2017-18 Division I women’s college golf season has come to an end. With the first part complete, who will we mark as the contenders for the ANNIKA Award heading into the spring? It’s shaping up to be a competitive 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.

While a full spring season remains, there’s already plenty of drama in this race. How does everything look with the fall season over?

Find that answer below as we unveil the fourth (and final) fall ANNIKA rankings for 2017-18:

• • •

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: 1)

Year: Sophomore

School: Stanford

Golfweek/Sagarin Ranking: 1

Results: WIN, Nanea Pac-12 Preview; WIN, Stanford Intercollegiate hosted by Condoleezza Rice; WIN, Branch Law Firm/Dick McGuire Invitational; T-2, East Lake Cup; T-3, ANNIKA Intercollegiate Presented by 3M

The buzz: No surprise here. Lee posted three wins and only three head-to-head stroke-play losses total in the fall. She’s got plenty of forceful challengers, but as the fall ends, Lee is the clear ANNIKA favorite.


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

2. Lauren Stephenson (Previous ranking: 4)

Year: Junior

School: Alabama

Golfweek/Sagarin Ranking: 2

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

The buzz: Stephenson was a player to reckon with even as a freshman, but she’s never stopped improving. She’s simply hit another gear this season, too, and it’s boosted her to serious ANNIKA contender. If she remains near the top of the leaderboard every tournament and turns more of those into wins, her ANNIKA chances will look really good.


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)

3. Patty Tavatanakit (Previous ranking: 2)

Year: Freshman

School: UCLA

Golfweek/Sagarin Ranking: 8

Results: WIN, Stanford Intercollegiate hosted by Condoleezza Rice; 2, ANNIKA Intercollegiate Presented by 3M; 3, Nanea Pac-12 Preview; T-16, Battle at the Beach

The buzz: She was the nation’s most promising freshman entering the 2017-18 campaign, and that certainly hasn’t changed after that fall. While Tavatanakit closed out the season with a T-16, it was overall a banner campaign. Her Sagarin ranking may say eight, but that T-16 that saw her drop from second to eighth there feels like an anomaly. We’ll adjust if that thought turns out to be wrong (and we did still drop her a spot on this list after that finish), but for now Tavatanakit has been way too good and consistent to not expect what she did in the first three events to continue in the spring.


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)

4. Maria Fassi (Previous ranking: 3)

Year: Junior

School: Arkansas

Golfweek/Sagarin Ranking: 4

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: Fassi’s slowed down after a win-win start, but that was a pretty high standard. Her follow-up showings have actually been quite promising, as she has so far avoided the disastrous results that have dented her previous campaigns. Fassi showed promise in recent years, but now she seems to have the consistency of a true ANNIKA contender.


UCLA's Lilia Vu is one round away from her first college win.

UCLA’s Lilia Vu

5. Lilia Vu (Previous ranking: N/A)

Year: Junior

School: UCLA

Golfweek/Sagarin Ranking: 3

Results: WIN, Battle at the Beach; 2, Nanea Pac-12 Preview; T-6, Stanford Intercollegiate hosted by Condoleezza Rice

The buzz: Vu somehow quietly won four straight events last spring and finished ranked top 5 the last two seasons. And she’s quietly had a stellar fall. She missed one event, so her smaller sample size hurts her in these rankings. But Vu finished the fall with a win and continued to prove she’s one of the best in the country. More of the same from her, even if doesn’t always get fully appreciated from the outside.

• • •

Next 5

  • Leona Maguire, Sr., Duke
  • Sophia Schubert, Sr., Texas
  • Kristen Gillman, So., Alabama
  • Jennifer Kupcho, Jr., Wake Forest
  • Alana Uriell, Sr., Arkansas

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