Five questions for the new college season
Another season of college golf is underway and there is a lot to be excited about. Here are five questions I hope to have an answer for by the spring:
1.) Is the third time the charm? At the 2008 NCAA Championship at Inverness, Oklahoma State lost in the first round of match play to Georgia. In 2009 at The Honors Course, the Cowboys lost to Augusta State in the finals. This year the NCAA will be at Karsten Creek, the home course for OSU coach Mike McGraw’s squad. There is no doubt that the Cowboys are the most talented team every time they tees it up, but can they get over their match play funk? If the Cowboys fail to win it all this year at home, it would be not only a major upset, but a big disappointment.
2.) Is there another Purdue? Everyone thought either UCLA, USC or ASU would win the NCAA Women’s Championship last year at Landfall. Instead, Purdue shocked the women’s college golf world and won it all. A door has opened for other teams not in the “Big Three.” Auburn, Wake Forest, Michigan State, Duke and Arizona have all had strong regular seasons, but can they make a postseason run when it counts?
3.) Do you have the time? Later this year, the GCAA and NCAA are going to look in to the pace of play situation in college golf. Really? It has taken this long? Coaches, players and the media believe nothing can be done. How about this for a start: Issue penalties. It would be nice to see one tournament act as a lab-rat this year and issue slow play penalties for a weekend. The 4 1/2 round has turned into an acceptable six hours of wasted sun light. It is time to see what can be done about slow play once and for all.
4.) Who will emerge as the nation’s top player? Peter Uihlein won the U.S. Amateur. David Chung won the Western Amateur and Porter Cup. Russell Henley was the top-ranked player at the end of last year. Scott Langley is the defending NCAA champion. It will be fun to watch to see who truly is the top dog. Keep in mind that I didn’t even mention Patrick Reed, Morgan Hoffmann or Kevin Tway. Golf fans should appreciate this college golf season, because it will be a great one to watch.
5.) When will we see the Arizona State women? ASU currently has just three players on its roster: Carlota Ciganda, Nicole Jones and Guilia Molinaro. The Sun Devils have been a top-5 team for the last five years, and now they don’t have five players! How does something like this happen? It seems like a safe assumption that ASU will not play in the fall. When will we see this team with a full squad? Will they be ready to go in the spring? Do they know which players will make the lineup when they have a squad? There are just too many questions right now, and they aren’t fun ones to ask.