Weekly Top 5: A women's .500 rule?
This isn't the first time I've heard that the .500 Rule is being discussed more among coaches in the women's game. In men's college golf, this is the fifth year that teams have been required to have an overall won-loss head-to-head record of fifty percent or better to be eligible for postseason, but this rule has yet to find a spot on the women's side.
Of the current top 63 women's teams in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, nine have a winning percentage of less than .500. (The top 63 are significant because 63 is this season's projected Magic Number, which is the ranking of the final at-large team to make NCAA regional play.)
- Rk. Team (W-L-T) .pct
- 28. Virginia (44-46-2) . 467%
- 31. Tulane (45-61-1) .425%
- 35. Mississippi (44-62-1) .416%
- 36. Arkansas (39-71-3) .358%
- 46. Wake Forest (33-57-6) .375%
- 48. Oregon State (41-54-1) .432%
- 49. New Mexico (50-60-1) .455%
- 52. Kent State (33-61-2) .354%
- 55. Notre Dame (37-60-3) .385%
- 61. Kennesaw State (57-59-1) .491%
- 62. Michigan (53-59-2) .474%
- 63. Coastal Carolina (33-94-3) .265%
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Match Play champs
For much of the season, talk has centered around Texas being the team to beat this year. Lately, however, Alabama has entered the discussion. In fact, I'd say it is now a must that you include Arkansas. This past week, Brad McMakin's Razorbacks picked up win No. 6 on the year after winning four consecutive matches to claim the title at the Callaway Match Play Championship.
This is important because that winning match-play experience could be very beneficial for Arkansas if they find the top eight after 54 holes of stroke-play qualifying at Riviera later this spring.
Arkansas knocked off Washington State, East Carolina, Chattanooga and then Duke in the finals.
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Prior to the Furman Intercollegiate, the Wofford men's team had not finished better than 10th in six events this year. And as the Terriers face one of the stronger fields on their schedule, who would have thought it would result in their best finish of the season? Behind the play of junior Mark Joye, who placed sixth individually, Wofford tied for third place in the team standings.
Entering the Furman event, Wofford had beaten only 12 teams on the year. The Terriers finished ahead of 17 teams at Furman, including a pair of top-50 teams in Georgia and Purdue. Wofford's 860 total was the lowest 54-hole score since the Terriers placed eighth at the Sea Trail Intercollegiate in September 2007.
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Last Tuesday was a good day for Wichita State golf.
First, it was Grier Jones' men's squad posting a 10-under 278 in the final round to win the Central Florida-hosted Rio Pinar Invitational. That was the team's third victory this year. A few hours later out west, it was Tom McCurdy's women's team doing something that rarely happens.
Trailing Missouri State by 18 shots after 36 holes, the Shockers posted a tournament-low 299 to rally for a 3-shot win at the Monterey Bay Invitational.
"It was unbelievable to come back from that far down," McCurdy said.
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The last time the Long Beach State men played in the postseason was in 2004. It is nearly certain that Long Beach State will snap that streak this year. Ranked No. 50 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Ranking, the 49ers should have an at-large bid locked up and will be the favorite to win the Big West Conference Championship in May.
Most recently, Long Beach State tied Pac-12 power Washington for the team title at the Bandon Dunes Championship. The victory is the third this year for Long Beach State.
Head coach Mickey Yokoi seems to be adjusting well after replacing Ryan Ressa, who resigned from his position during the winter break. Yokoi is certain to celebrate the rewards this program should experience in the future and his experience as the long-time assistant at Arizona State will surely play a role in future success. Still, the job Ressa and former coach Bill Poutre, who now is an assistant at Boston College, laid the groundwork for 49ers golf to become more of a force in college golf.