Thumbs up: Cal | Thumbs down: WWATC
There’s just a few weeks left in the fall season before players begin going home for turkey time. Before that, though, it’s time for another week of thumbs up and thumbs down.
1.) California (men): It was a shootout this week at the Alister MacKenzie Invitational and after 54 holes, California was the best team standing. California put up a 48-under 804 for three rounds! Some might be looking hard at that number, but I’m here to tell you it was indeed a 48-under team performance to defeat second-place San Diego State at 46 under. After starting the year with a 12th place finish at Olympia Fields, the Bears have been on fire. After Olympia, California finished third at the Windon Memorial, then earned back-to-back wins at the Prestige at PGA West and now the MacKenzie Invitational. Can the Bears make it three in a row as they head to Alpharetta to compete in the U.S. Collegiate?
2.) LSU (men): There was some home cooking down in the Bayou as the Tigers edged out a victory against SEC rival Arkansas by two shots. For three days, LSU shot 848 which was good for 16 under at the Country Club of Louisiana. This was the Tigers’ second victory after winning the Gopher Invitational to start the year back in September. Also, an extra thumbs up to LSU’s Austin Gutgsell, who won the tournament as an individual since he didn’t make the lineup that week. After shooting 10 under, I think Austin now has Coach Chuck Winstead’s attention.
3.) Texas Arlington (men): The Mavericks won what I like to call the Texas Shootout, but it really was the Lone Star Invite at Briggs Ranch. Twelve teams were in the field and nine were from the state of Texas. The Mavs cruised to a seven-stroke victory over Notre Dame, a team that finished runner-up for the fourth time this year. UT Arlington was a team in need of a win after finishing fifth, eighth, seventh, and ninth earlier in the year. The Mavericks accomplished two things at this event: earning a much-needed victory and claiming bragging rights throughout the state of Texas against some familiar teams against which they recruit.
1.) Georgia Southern (men): The Eagles are ending the fall season on a sour note. In their last three events to close out the fall, Georgia Southern finished ninth out of 12 teams at the Gary Koch Intercollegiate, then placed 12th out of 14 at the Mizuno Savannah Intercollegiate, and most recently 13th out of 14 teams at the David Toms Intercollegiate. Just a year ago, Georgia Southern was at the Honors Course competing for a national championship, and now they are battling to get back in to the top 100. The Eagles are ranked 137 in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings, but they might fall in the rankings even more after this finish.
2.) New Mexico (men): The Lobos played at the Alister MacKenzie Invitational, but apparently missed out on all the fun. Of the 16 teams in the field, the Lobos were one of four teams that were unable to shoot under par as a team. California won the event with a 48-under performance and Penn State, which came in 12th, finished at 5 under. Entering the event, New Mexico was ranked 28th in the country, but struggled to beat teams like Wisconsin (152), Colorado (106) and Hawaii (237). Travis Ross was New Mexico’s top performer, finishing sixth with a score of 11-under 202, but after that the next Lobo on the leaderboard was in a tie for 45th place.
3.) Women’s World Amateur Team Championship: Nothing against some international competition, but this event has taken a lot of marquee names away from a premier event coming up this weekend. The Landfall Tradition, which will have 20 of the top teams from across the country, will be losing a little bit of it’s star power this weekend. Due to the uncertainty of who would represent their native countries at the World Amateur in Argentina, several top programs with international players couldn’t commit to the event. One of those teams is Purdue, which won the national championship at Landfall in May. Sophomore Laura Gonzalez-Escallon is one Boilermaker in the field representing Belgium. Other big names in the event include Danielle Kang (Pepperdine), Marta Silva (Georgia), Kelli Shean (Arkansas), Camilla Lennarth (Sweden), and Carlota Ciganda (Spain).