Golfweek’s preseason top 30 teams: Women
- 2009-10 Golfweek rank: 7
- Go-to girl: Maude-Aimee LeBlanc
Can win national title if . . . there are no surprises. The Boilermakers return the five starters who brought the first NCAA women’s title to a cold-weather school. Plus, they add freshman Alex Stewart, who should compete for a starting spot. Coach Devon Brouse said last season wasn’t easy between personal issues, competitive struggles and team chemistry problems. He said the Boilermakers got their “butts kicked” at NCAA regionals, and that prepared his international squad for championship battle. They now know what it takes.
“There are always expectations in golf,” Brouse said. “Mine are probably as high as anyone’s.”
LeBlanc led Purdue to the promised land and returns for her senior season. Brouse said the Canadian used to be the kind of player who stood on the range all day doing what she does best: pounding drives. Now she works on her weaknesses.
The Boilermakers don’t have many.
- 2009-10 Golfweek rank: 1
- Go-to girl: Stephanie Kono
Can win national title if . . . redshirt sophomore Lee Lopez and freshman Ani Gulugian come up as huge as head coach Carrie Forsyth has predicted. The Bruins ended last season ranked No. 1 despite a disappointing sixth-place finish at the NCAA Championship, where they were nonfactors. “We had one bad round,” Forsyth said.
- 2009-10 Golfweek rank: 3
- Go-to girl: Lisa McCloskey
Can win national title if . . . Lizette Salas and Pepperdine transfer McCloskey create a sense of chemistry in the absence of Jennifer Song and Belen Mozo. The Trojans also welcome Germany’s Sophia Popov, (winner of the 2010 International European Ladies Amateur), Rachel Morris and 15-year-old Pearl Jin, whose elbow injury still is an issue.
- 2009-10 Golfweek rank: 5
- Go-to girl: Camilla Lennarth
Can win national title if . . . ’Bama truly believes it can hang with Purdue and the West Coast. Coach Mic Potter is quietly building a powerhouse down South, with help from around the world. The Tide finished third at NCAAs last spring and returns its top three players. Potter also adds Northern Ireland’s Stephanie Meadow, who provides instant depth.
- 2009-10 Golfweek rank: 4
- Go-to girl: Margarita Ramos
Can win national title if . . . one of the Wildcats cranks it up. Former assistant Laura Ianello, named head coach five days after the NCAA Championship, has all five starters back, but not a single player ranked inside the top 15. Wildcats won three times last season, including the Pac-10 and NCAA West Regional titles.
- 2009-10 Golfweek rank: 8
- Go-to girl: Lindy Duncan
Can win national title if . . . a decorated pair of freshmen, Laetitia Beck and Alejandra Cangrejo, transition easily to life in Durham. The Blue Devils carry one senior, three sophomores and two freshmen on their roster. It’s a promising lineup for a program that has lost some luster.
- 2009-10 Golfweek rank: 6
- Go-to girl: Cydney Clanton
Can win national title if . . . the intrasquad competition that coach Kim Evans has predicted pans out. Tigers return four of last year’s starting five and add three freshmen. The youngsters must push one another hard to fill the shoes of Candace Schepperle.
8.) Wake Forest
- 2009-10 Golfweek rank: 10
- Go-to girl: Cheyenne Woods
Can win national title if . . . Woods, a junior, progresses as much this season as she did last. Demon Deacons suffered a huge disappointment last year when they failed to advance out of regionals, but a solid core returns this season, led by Woods and ACC individual champion Michelle Shin.
- 2009-10 Golfweek rank: 11
- Go-to girl: Brittany Altomare
Can win national title if . . . Bob Rotella, the team shrink, performs a miracle. Chances are slim that the Cavs win it all, but with five returning players from last season’s NCAA lineup, they should improve on their 13th-place finish.
- 2009-10 Golfweek rank: 13
- Go-to girl: Marina Alex
Can win national title if . . . senior Megan Grehan steps up. Ranked No. 5 last season, Alex was the only Commodore inside the top 100. She can’t do it alone. Freshman Renee Sobolewski and a healthy Lauren Stratton (back injury) also should help.
Nos. 11-30 (With final ’09-10 Golfweek rank):
- 11. Stanford (18)
- 12. California (17)
- 13. Georgia (15)
- 14. Pepperdine (9)
- 15. Arkansas (30)
- 16. LSU (21)
- 17. Tennessee (12)
- 18. Florida State (22)
- 19. Florida (19)
- 20. North Carolina (32)
- 21. Ohio State (24)
- 22. Tulane (27)
- 23. Michigan State (14)
- 24. Texas Christian (26)
- 25. South Carolina (25)
- 26. Texas A&M (23)
- 27. Texas (29)
- 28. San Diego State (42)
- 29. Denver (16)
- 30. Kent State (33)
– Beth Ann Baldry
Women’s coaching changes
|Arizona||Laura Ianello||Shelly Haywood|
|Arkansas State||M.J. Desbiens
|Bradley||Mary Moan||Bo Ryan|
||Mike Whitson||Joni Stephens|
|Florida Gulf Coast||Megan Spero||Brittany Bertilson|
|Florida State||Amy Bond||Debbie Dillman|
|Indiana State||Greg Towne||Mike Whitson|
|Kentucky||Golda Johannsen Borst||Myra Blackwelder|
|Miami||Patti Rizzo||Lela Cannon|
|Mississippi State||Ginger Brown-Lemm||Christi Sanders|
|Nevada||Chad Spencer||Adam Pohll|
|Princeton||Nicki Cutler||Amy Bond|
|UNLV||Amy Bush||Missy Ringler|
|Western Carolina||Mallory Hetzel||Steve Lott|