Golfweek’s preseason top 30 teams: Men
1.) Oklahoma State
- Go-to guy: Peter Uihlein
- 2009-10 Golfweek rank: 1
Can win national championship if . . . the No. 5 spot contributes. The Cowboys’ top trio of Uihlein, Kevin Tway and Morgan Hoffmann is arguably the best in the country, and Sean Einhaus is a solid No. 4 player.
“The end of the lineup is going to be really important,” head coach Mike McGraw said. “(The No. 5) spot is completely up in the air.”
Among the candidates for the fifth spot are senior Mark Johnson, former California high-school champion Kevin Dougherty, who is coming off a redshirt season, and former AJGA All-Americans Patrick Winther and Talor Gooch.
“I thought (the No. 5 spot) was going to be important at the start of last season,” McGraw said. “Sean (Einhaus) stepped in and played well.”
McGraw is hoping someone can do the same this year – especially in match play at the NCAAs, where the top-ranked Cowboys were upset each of the past two seasons.˝
2.) Augusta State
- Go-to guy: Henrik Norlander
- 2009-10 Golfweek rank: 5
Can win national championship if . . . the Jaguars are comfortable with the expectations that come with being national champs. Head coach Josh Gregory enjoyed playing the underdog role en route to last season’s NCAA title, but the Jaguars won’t surprise anyone if they repeat. They return all five starters from last year, and add transfer Derek Chang, winner of the past two Southeastern Amateurs, from Minnesota.
- Go-to guy: Russell Henley
- 2009-10 Golfweek rank: 13
Can win national championship if . . . Hudson Swafford can return to form. Swafford was a second-team All-American in 2008-09, but redshirted last season because of a shoulder injury. He seems on track after a strong summer in amateur events. Georgia’s top four – Henley, Harris English, Swafford and Aussie Bryden Macpherson – matches up with anyone.
- Go-to guy: Gregor Main
- 2009-10 Golfweek rank: 9
Can win national championship if . . . the Bruins’ foreign players benefit from a year in the States. Sweden’s Pontus Widegren and Portugal’s Pedro Figueiredo performed admirably as freshmen last season but are capable of more. Incoming freshman Patrick Cantlay had a strong summer, including runner-up at the Southern Amateur and semifinals at U.S. Amateur.
- Go-to guy: David Chung
- 2009-10 Golfweek rank: 4
Can win national championship if . . . the Cardinal can carry its summer success over to the college season. Balancing school and golf at Stanford always is a tall task. Chung won the Porter Cup and the Western Amateur, Andrew Yun won the Dogwood Invitational, and Yun, Sihwan Kim and Steve Ziegler all finished in the top 7 at the Northeast Amateur.
- Go-to guy: Eugene Wong
- 2009-10 Golfweek rank: 7
Can win national championship if . . . Wong, the Jack Nicklaus Award winner, and No. 2 player Daniel Miernicki can get consistent help from one more teammate. No other Duck finished in the top 150 in last season’s Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings. You can’t form a flying ‘V’ with only two players.
- Go-to guy: Bud Cauley
- 2009-10 Golfweek rank: 30
Can win national championship if . . . Bobby Wyatt can shoot more 57s. That may be asking a lot, but Alabama will rely heavily on two freshmen, Wyatt and Cory Whitsett, along with its stellar duo of Cauley and Hunter Hamrick, the Western Refining All-America Classic champ.
8.) Texas A&M
- Go-to guy: Cameron Peck
- 2009-10 Golfweek rank: 3
Can win national championship if . . . it can find the right lineup for the postseason. The loss of first-team All-American Andrea Pavan will be softened by the Aggies’ depth. They return 10 players, and add three good ones in Gregory Yates, New Zealand’s Ben Campbell and transfer Jade Scott.
9.) Arizona State
- Go-to guy: Jesper Kennegard
- 2009-10 Golfweek rank: 15
Can win national championship if . . . the Swedes play well. Kennegard leads the way for the Sun Devils, and transfer Oscar Zetterwall, last year’s Sun Belt Conference champ at New Orleans, should shore up the back of the lineup. And finally, former U.S. Junior champ Philip Francis, who has U.S. and Swedish passports, makes his ASU debut after sitting out a season after his transfer from UCLA.
- Go-to guy: Andres Echavarria
- 2009-10 Golfweek rank: 6
Can win national championship if . . . Echavarria continues his strong play from the summer, which included a victory at the Cardinal Amateur and match-play berths at the Western and U.S. Amateur. Echavarria and Arnond Vongvanij both finished in the top 10 in stroke play at the U.S. Amateur.
Nos. 11-30 (final ’09-10 Golfweek rank)
- 11. USC (11)
- 12. Auburn (35)
- 13. Texas (8)
- 14. California (26)
- 15. LSU (31)
- 16. Duke (25)
- 17. Georgia Tech (14)
- 18. Illinois (12)
- 19. Texas Christian ( 22)
- 20. Florida State (16)
- 21. San Diego (29)
- 22. Texas Tech (10)
- 23. Clemson (17)
- 24. Tennessee (28)
- 25. Virginia (21)
- 26. Washington (2)
- 27. North Florida (20)
- 28. Arkansas (36)
- 29. Kent State (39 )
- 30. Michigan (50)
– Sean Martin
• • •
Men’s coaching changes
|Army||Brian Watts||Jimmy Clevenger|
||Mac Gifford (2008-09)|
|Idaho||John Means||Jon Reehoorn|
||Andrew Tank||Jay Horton|
|Long Beach State||Ryan Ressa||Bill Poutre|
|Loyola (Md.)||Chris Baloga||Tom Beidleman|
|Marquette||Steve Bailey||Tom Grogan|
|Nevada||Jacob Wilner||Adam Pohll|
|Oregon State||Jon Reehoorn||Brian Watts|
|South Florida||Chris Malloy||Jim Fee|
|Western Carolina||Carter Cheves||Gorham Bradley|
|Western Kentucky||Phillip Hatchett||Brian Tirpak|
* Tyburski was Colgate’s interim coach in fall 2009