Monday Top 5: Hoffmann enters POY talks
1.) Hoffmann enters Player of the Year talks
Morgan Hoffmann led his Oklahoma State Cowboys to a come-from-behind victory this past weekend at the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters winning the individual title and inserting himself into Player of the Year talks. Hoffmann, who shot a 10-under 62 as a freshman on the par-72, 7,510-yard at Southern Highlands layout, posted a 3-under 69 in the final round to go along with a 69-68 to give the junior a two-shot win over Texas A&M’s Jordan Russell.
The victory vaulted Hoffmann from No. 14 to No. 5 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, but the big mover this week was UCLA freshman Patrick Cantlay. Cantlay replaced Oklahoma State’s Peter Uihlein in the top spot. Cantlay finished third at Southern Highlands while Uihlein was T-21. Uihlein is now ranked No. 2.
2.) What a finish!
If you turned away from Golfstat’s live scoring to check out what was going on in the world of college basketball, you may have thought something was wrong when you saw the final scores from the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters.
Midway through the final round, Oklahoma State still trailed by double digits. But the Cowboys four counting scores on the back nine totaled 2-under to give them a 5-under 283 total and a seven-shot win over Texas A&M and a 10-shot cushion over California, which led after 36 holes.
“On that back nine at Southern Highlands a lot of shots can be exchanged, it’s just one of those things that can happen at Southern Highlands,” Oklahoma State coach Mike McGraw said. “We didnt do anything amazing – just played some good golf and (the players) just want to win.”
The victory is Oklahoma State’s fourth in seven starts.
3.) The .500 watch
Looks like there is a new team thinking about the .500 rule. USC is now 45-46-2 after the Trojans tied for 12th at Southern Highlands, beating only Baylor and Arizona. The Trojans are ranked No. 29 in the latest Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, but must have an winning overall head-to-head record to be postseason eligible.
Arizona finished last at Southern Highlands, adding an 0-14 record to its total and has falling back to 35-55-2 (they are now ranked No. 75). The Wildcats will need some good play to get on the right side of the .500 Rule.
Another team at the Southern Highlands tourney that was hurt a bit was TCU. The Horned Frogs went 4-9-1 with their T-10 and now have an overall record of 34-50-3. TCU is ranked No. 41.
4.) Good day to be a Razorback fan
Very quietly the Arkansas golf program is garnering attention.
First, the men’s squad has won back-to back starts with a victory this past weekend at the Seminole Intercollegiate. The win came a week after topping a solid field at the John Hayt Intercollegiate. Brad McMakin’s squad held off a charging Kennesaw State and the host Florida State Seminoles to collect the title. It’s been said before, but this is another team that might cause problems for the favorites if they find the top eight at Karsten Creek later this spring.
The Arkansas women’s team may be creeping towards the top even more quietly than the men. Seemingly out of nowhere, Shauna Estes’ squad took control of the LSU Golf Classic during the final round and won going away. Freshman Emily Tubert, who could be mentioned in Freshman of the Year talks, helped lead her teammates to a 7-shot victory over a very good field. Tubert finished third - just a single shot out of a playoff won by Duke’s Lindy Duncan.
5.) Dowling and Gators win
The Florida women’s team picked up its first victory of the season last week at the SunTrust Gator Women’s Invitational. Even with the event being played on its home course, Florida’s win was a convincing one. The Gators finished 18 shots clear of second-place Florida State.
Florida has not been much of a threat on the national stage the last couple of years and a lot of eyebrows were raised when they hired Jan Dowling to replace Jill Briles-Hinton as women’s golf coach two years ago.
However, Dowling did come from a good background as the assistant at Kent State and Duke, coaching under the guidance of two of the best in the game in Mike Morrow and Dan Brooks. Give this program a little bit longer and we may soon see a top-10 women’s team in Gainesville.