Women's spring preview: Big East

Lindsey Weaver

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RankNameRatingEvents
1Southern California 70.64  13 
2UCLA 70.83  12 
3Duke 70.89  11 
4Stanford 71.74  13 
5Arizona State 71.75  12 

Editor's note: Over the next month, Golfweek.com will be previewing every conference that has an automatic bid into the NCAA Regionals. For all of the women's conference capsules, click here.

• • •

When Lindsey Weaver walked into her first-ever college golf meeting, she thought, “Wow, how cool is this?”

She was at her dream university, Notre Dame, getting an outstanding education and was playing the sport she loved more than anything.

“Notre Dame is an all-around amazing place,” said Weaver, who finished the fall season ranked No. 3 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings. “I love the history and tradition associated with it, the coaches, facilities, the campus . . . just everything.”

In her first semester at Notre Dame, Weaver carried over her play from her junior career, right to her first collegiate tournament. She played as the No. 1 player for Notre Dame in all four fall tournaments, and finished as the low player in all of those tournaments. She was also the runner-up in both the Windy City Collegiate Classic and at the Susie Maxwell Berning Classic. Weaver finished no worse than T-6 in all four tournaments.

On top of all that, she was named the Big East Women’s Golf Player of the Month for the month of October.

“The golf season was unbelievable,” Weaver said.

The team didn’t do too bad, either. They are comprised of two freshman, Weaver and Talia Campbell; two sophomores, Ashley Armstrong and Kelli Oride; and one junior, Kristina Nhim. The team’s best finish was a second at the Susie Maxwell Berning Classic. Add in a three more top-5s as a team, and that’s how you end up being ranked No. 17 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings.

“It was clear right off the bat that our team chemistry trumped everyone else’s. As for our team performance, we played very well, but we all think we could’ve played better than we did,” added Weaver.

As for the spring, Weaver will look for the Fighting Irish and her own game to continue to improve before the Big East Conference Championship. She likes to keep her game simple and just have fun playing golf.

“My favorite part about playing golf for Notre Dame is the places we travel to and the fun I have just spending time with my teammates and coaches,” Weaver said. “And I can’t wait to do it in the spring again.”

• • •

Where is stands now

Top of the class: Notre Dame

Best player of the fall: Lindsey Weaver, Notre Dame

• • •

Past champions

2008: Notre Dame

2009: Louisville

2010: Louisville

2011: Notre Dame

2012: South Florida

• • •

Conference capsules

Notre Dame (Golfweek/Sagarin Ranking: No. 17)

The Fighting Irish didn’t win a tournament this fall, but placing in the top five in three of the four tournaments puts them at the top of the conference. They were runner-up at the Susie Maxwell Berning Classic in Norman, Okla. The team’s last tournament, the Landfall Tradition, cancelled the last two rounds of their tournament due to Hurricane Sandy.

Louisville (No. 58)

Started the season off strong with a fifth-place finish at the Ptarmigan Ram Classic and then won its home tournament, the Cardinal Cup, by one shot. But they didn’t finish higher than ninth in their last three tournaments. Sophomore Emily Haas won her first collegiate tournament, the Cardinal Cup.

South Florida (No. 94)

A shaky fall season, but the 2012 Big East champs will look to bounce back with a big spring. The Bulls best finish was an eighth place at The Waverly. Junior Christina Miller paced the Bulls with three top-15 finishes.

Cincinnati (No. 102)

The Bearcats finished second at the Pat Bradley Invitational to end the fall season while setting a school record with their lowest three-round total.

Seton Hall (No. 114)

Finished no worse than fourth at any fall tournament, including a win at the Rutgers Women’s Invitational and three runner-up finishes at the Lady Bison Fall Classic, St. John’s Intercollegiate and Lehigh Unversity Invitational.

St. John's (No. 127)

Two wins highlight the fall season for the Red Storm at the Tignanelli Townson Invitational and the St. John’s Women’s Intercollegiate. Junior Harin Lee had four top-five finishes in as many fall tournaments, including a win at the Rutgers Women’s Invitational.

Rutgers (No. 146)

The Scarlet Knights are a young team. They have two seniors, Karen Cash and Brittany Weddell, and five freshmen. In the fall, the team had to withdraw from the Lady Paladin Invitational in Greenville, S.C., because of impending weather and air travel cancellations due to Hurricane Sandy.

Georgetown (No. 165)

Best finish was sixth at the Golfweek Program Challenge and the Lehigh Invitational.

Conference championship

April 21-23, Reunion Resort and Golf Club, Reunion, Fla. .

Lance Ringler's prediction

Notre Dame. Big East women's golf has had a bit of changing of the guard. Notre Dame has replaced Louisville as the premier team and even keep an eye on South Florida, which won last year's conference title. The Fighting Irish, with four players in the top 200, will be the clear favorite when the meet at Reunion Resort in mid-April.

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