No. 55: Tulsa men, UTSA women

Team flags at Karsten Creek for the NCAA Championship

Team flags at Karsten Creek for the NCAA Championship

Women's Rankings »

RankNameSchoolRating
1Alison LeeUCLA  69.68 
2Annie ParkUSC  69.98 
3Gaby LopezArkansas  70.08 
4Yu LiuDuke  70.13 
5Stephanie MeadowAlabama  70.15 

Women's Team Rankings »

RankNameRatingEvents
1Southern California 70.56  10 
2UCLA 70.68 
3Duke 70.79 
4Stanford 71.56  10 
5Arkansas 71.66 

Men's Rankings »

RankNameSchoolRating
1Joey GarberGeorgia  68.65 
2Robby SheltonAlabama  68.65 
3Patrick RodgersStanford  68.71 
4Ollie SchniederjansGA Tech  68.85 
5Cameron WilsonStanford  69.10 

Men's Team Rankings »

RankNameRatingEvents
1Alabama 68.97 
2Georgia Tech 69.68 
3Georgia 69.68 
4Oklahoma State 69.77  10 
5California 69.86  11 

Believe it or not, the start of another college golf season is just a few short weeks away. To get you ready, Asher Wildman will break down the top 60 teams for both the men and women. Today, it's No. 55 on the board with the Tulsa men and UTSA women.

•••

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TULSA MEN

2010-11 final ranking: 55

Coach: Bill Brogden (26th year)

Top returnees: Stephen Carney, Arie Fauzi, Chris Worrell, Johny Young Kim, Johannes Veerman

Top newcomers: Freshman Matt Mabrey of Little Rock, Ark.

Projected starting 5: Stephen Carney (sr.), Arie Fauzi (sr.), Chris Worrell (jr.) John Young Kim (so.), Johannes Veerman (so.)

Key losses: None

Key fall tournament: Golfweek Conference Challenge

2010-11 recap: Tulsa had consistent if unspectacular fall and spring seasons, but by coach Bill Brogden’s standards it was a sub-par year. The Golden Hurricane had six top-5 finishes, including a victory at the National Invitational Tournament before failing to advance out of NCAA regionals. “I was disappointed . . . but our freshman did play very well, which is encouraging,” Brogden said.

Freshmen John Young Kim and Johannes Veerman locked themselves in to the starting five for Tulsa in week one and never looked back. Last year was a bit of a learning curve for Brogden’s squad having to rely on two freshman each tournament, but that was valuable experience for his team heading in to this year.

Player to watch: Chris Worrell. “He got better last year and really improved his scoring average,” Brogden said. “He (is playing) well this amateur summer and is starting to believe in himself.”

2011-12 preview: One advantage Tulsa has this year is experience. All five players in Brogden’s expected lineup played all 13 tournaments together last year. Having five returning starters is usually a good thing.

This season, Brogden plans to take a more methodical approach. “I’m trying to get them to understand how to play the game of golf,” he said. “I want them to know what they are doing is right, and stick with it and believe in yourself.”

Tulsa doesn’t have a clear No. 1 player right now, something Brogden hopes will change when the team reports back in the fall. “We don’t have a (Patrick) Cantlay or (Peter) Uihlein on this team,” Brogden said. “Players have to learn how to win and do it for us to be successful.”

Bottom line: The Golden Hurricane are not a national contender, but it could win the Conference USA Championship and realistically advance out of regionals if each of the five starters shows improvement in his game. If that happens, Tulsa could be in the top 30 by the end of the fall.

•••

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TEXAS-SAN ANTONIO WOMEN

2010-11 final ranking: 55

Coach: Carrie Parnaby (fourth year)

Top returnees: Paola Valerio, Fabiola Arriaga, Taylor Newlin, Summer Batiste, Shannon Jungman

Top newcomers: None

Projected starting 5: Paola Velrio (jr.), Fabiola Arriage (so.), Taylor Newlin (so.), Summer Batiste (sr.), Shannon Jungman (sr.)

Key losses: None

Key fall tournament: Golfweek Conference Challenge

2010 recap: In only its sixth season as a program, Texas-San Antonio won its first Southland Conference Championship and played for the first time in an NCAA regional, where they finished 16th out of 24 teams.

“Last year was definitely our best season,” coach Carrie Parnaby said.

In six spring tournaments, the Roadrunners had five top-5 finishes. The young program also held its own against quality competition, compiling a 50-57-3 record against teams inside the top 100 of the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings. UTSA may have overachieved, but at the same time it set the bar for years to come for the program.

Player to watch: Summer Batiste. “Our first year here, her scoring average was 85 and she was redshirted, then she went to 77 to last year’s 76,” Parnaby said. “She hits it 290 off the tee, which is really long for our game. She just needs a bit more experience with her raw talents.”

2011-12 preview: Entering the program’s seventh season, the Roadrunners will try to accomplish another first: a trip to the NCAA Championship. All five starters are back, and the Roadrunners should only get better with another year of experience and confidence after last season’s run.

Parnaby for one is ready. “This team is extremely motivated to get back out there,” she said. “It’s the most fun team I’ve ever coached, and I want to get back out there to continue our momentum.”

Despite last year’s success, not everyone is familiar with the Roadrunners program. In fact, explaining the UTSA name is something Parnaby often has to do when recruiting. “I have people think I’m from the United States Tennis Association (UTSA),” she said.

If the Roadrunners take another step this season, that mistake will happen less and less. In three consecutive years, UTSA’s ranking has improved immensely, from No. 113 in 2008-09 to No. 85 in 2009-10 and another 30 spots last season.

Bottom line: Parnaby clearly has this program heading in the right direction, but how much higher can UTSA go? Expect the Roadrunners to crack the top 50 this year and return to NCAA regional play.

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