2012 NCAA Women's Championship: Staff picks
Monday, May 21, 2012
The NCAA Women's Championships begins May 22 at Vanderbilt Legends Club in Franklin, Tenn. Golfweek's writers made their picks for the individual and team winners.
Tee times and pairings can be found here.
Lance Ringler also broke down the 24-team field after regional. Find that recap here.
Golfweek writers will be at the Legends Club all week, so check back for daily updates.
• Team - UCLA
I went with the Bruins last year, and that worked out well for me, so I feel the need to go with them again this year. Why? Only five different teams have beaten UCLA this year for a total of just six head-to-head losses - the lowest in college golf this year. UCLA has three players ranked in the top 12 of the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings.
• Player - Lindy Duncan (Duke)
I just can’t find a reason not to pick her.
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• Team: LSU
The Tigers show up every week thinking they can win, and tying UCLA for the West Regional title made me look at them a little differently. LSU has won four times this year, and with its very best game for the next four days, has the potential to knock off the favorited Bruins. I may be alone in this pick, but then again, how many people pegged LSU’s Austin Ernst to win last year’s individual title?
• Player: Lindy Duncan
She seems to be playing exceptionally well right now, and has already won on this course -- at the Fall Preview. That might be a mental obstacle for some, but Duncan is smart, focused and a grinder.
• • •
BETH ANN BALDRY
• Team: Alabama
Picked them last year, too. (Thought about pasting in last year’s capsule but decided against.) It’s time for the Crimson Tide, ranked No. 2, to shine. They finished a disappointing eighth last year. Four starters return for Bama, including senior Brooke Pancake.
Mic Potter, one of the nation’s best coaches, has led the Tide to three titles this season. Said it last year and I’ll say it again – he’s due.
• Player: Sophia Popov
Not the obvious choice. In fact, the USC sophomore has had trouble stringing three solid rounds together this year. But she has the ability to go low, and if she can erase one bad round with three impressive ones, she’ll be right in it. Hampered by an injury earlier in the season, Popov has one title to her credit in the spring and a pair of top-5 finishes in the Pac-12 Championship and NCAA Central Regional. It’s feast or famine with this player. This week we’re going with feast.