Power rankings: Key individuals
Monday, April 19, 2010
The postseason has arrived and teams are starting to secure their regional spots. This week’s power rankings features key individuals who helped their team get a regional bid, won an individual conference title or played well in crunch time.
1.) Nyasha Mauchza, Chris Scialo and John Duthie (Towson). At No. 151 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings entering the CAA Championship, I think it is safe to say Towson was an underdog. Teams like VCU, UNC-Wilmington and Georgia State were considered favorites. These three individuals helped lead the Tigers to their first ever CAA victory and the program’s fourth trip to the postseason.
2.) Russell Henley (Georgia). The Dawgs won the SEC once again and Henley top Dawg. The junior has his eyes set on making a player-of-the-year run, and with a victory at SECs, it can only help his resume.
3.) Justin Martinson (Delaware). Chalk up a victory for the Pennsylvania native. With rounds of 69-72-72, Martinson won medalist honors at the CAA Championship by four strokes over Old Dominion’s Eric Onesi. Not bad for a player ranked No. 490 entering the event.
4.) George Bryan IV (South Carolina). Although South Carolina struggled at the SEC Championship, GB4 did not. Bryan cared rounds of 70-66-68 at Sea Island and was nipped in a playoff by Henley. Bryan now has one more conference title for South Carolina then Steve Spurrier.
5.) Eugene Wong (Oregon). The Pac-10 Championship hasn’t taken place yet, but Wong needs some kudos. He won his second event of the spring at the Western Intercollegiate, and helped lead the Ducks to a seven-stroke victory over UCLA. The Pac-10 has been the most exciting conference of the year, and with the way the Ducks have been playing we may see a quack attach fly south to Chattanooga this summer.
1.) Charlotte Lorentzen (Georgia State). She’s a big reason why the Panthers repeated as CAA champions. The sophomore won first collegiate title by 10 strokes over James Madison’s Nicole Sakamoto. Georgia State is heading back to the postseason.
2.) Brooke Pancake and Helena Blomberg (Alabama). With a T-5 finish from Pancake and a T-7 finish from Blomberg, the Crimson Tide won the program’s first SEC crown. The SEC is an extremely tough conference. It was impressive to see Pancake and Blomberg get the job done over several of top-25 teams.
3.) Michelle Shin (Wake Forest). For the second straight year, the Deamon Deacons are atop the ACC. They can thank star freshman Shin. She made birdies on four of her last six holes to win the ACC Championship at 2-under par. With her strong play, the Deacons held off a final-round charge by Virginia and Duke.
4.) Brittany Altomare and Calle Nielson (Virginia). The Cavs finished just four shots behind the Deacons at the ACC Championship and Altomare and Nielson led the rally. The teammates tied for second and were key contributors, shooting 1 under for the tournament. Along with Wake Forests’ Shin, Altomare and Nielson were the only other two women to finish under par.
5.) Marina Alex (Vanderbilt) and Erica Popson (Tennessee). Both ladies shot 5-under 208 at the SEC Championship. Popson shot 3 under in the final round to catch Alex, who shot 1 over in the final round. Alex then topped Popson on the second hole of a playoff. “Gold Ol’ Rocky Top . . . Rocky Top Tennessee . . .”