Wildman’s quick hits: FSU, women’s No. 1, PoY

There were several interesting storylines this past week in college golf, so let’s take a look back:

1. F-S-Who became F-S-U once again. It’s been a rough season so far for the Seminoles. Last year, FSU was one match from competing for a national championship; this year, the Seminoles may not even have a chance to compete for one. Before playing in the USF Invitational, the ’Noles had a head-to-head record of 32-50-1 and dropped to 48th in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings. However, with a second-place finish in a 21-team field, FSU was able to pick up 18 wins (Florida Southern is a D-II school, so FSU doesn’t get a win). Now, FSU will move up to 50-51-1, but will constantly be reminded that it had to pull out of a star-studded tournament a few weeks ago (John Hayt) to get back in position to make a postseason run. Only five teams at the USF Invitational were ranked inside the top 100 in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings, and with this runner-up finish, FSU should jump up a few spots. FSU replaced the John Hayt with the USF Invitational, and the Seminoles got what they wanted: needed wins for a postseason push.

• • •

2. Battle for No. 1. Alabama has had an impressive run as the top-ranked women’s team, but it may be coming to an end. Second-ranked Southern Cal defeated the Crimson Tide at the Allstate Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate, and while the Trojans were winning in Louisiana, the third-ranked UCLA Bruins were winning the Bruin Wave Invitational. Both UCLA and Alabama have won three times this season, and the Trojans have won twice. It’s becoming clear that not one of these teams will pull away, and that after the NCAA Championship in College Station, we still may not know who the best team truly is. Either way, three teams are playing and looking like the best team in the country, but only one can end the year that way.

• • •

Reader poll

Who is college golf’s player of the year?

  • UCLA freshman Patrick Cantlay 35%
  • Oklahoma State junior Peter Uihlein 50%
  • Florida senior Bank Vongvanij 10%
  • Other 5%

40 total votes.

3. The player-of-the-year race will be close. Earlier in the season, it appeared that Oklahoma State’s Peter Uihlein was running away with the No. 1 spot in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings. Then Florida’s Bank Vongvanij went on an amazing run and has held on to the No. 2 spot in the rankings for most of the season, in large part because of his two tournaments titles (Isleworth, JU Invitational). Also, Vongvanij sported a head-to-head record of 340-5-4 before competing in the John Hayt, where he finished T-15. Now, another player is emerging as a serious contender for the player-of-the-year race, and it’s UCLA freshman Patrick Cantlay. The freshman sensation recently won the USC Intercollegiate, his third victory of the season. All three players have had sensational years, and this race for player of the year is great for college golf. Pretty soon we will get to see if either Cantlay or Vongvanij can defeat Uihlein on his home course at Karsten Creek, where the three players try to win the best college tournament of them all: the NCAA Championship.

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