Women’s spring preview: West Coast Conference
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
During the month of January, Golfweek will preview the spring season for each conference. Today, we look at the West Coast Conference:
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5 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW
• Top of the class: Pepperdine
• Player to watch: Marissa Chow, Pepperdine
• Freshman to watch: Ciera Min, Gonzaga
• Conference championship: April 14-16, TBD
• Past champions (since 2009): Pepperdine (2009-13)
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(Golfweek/Sagarin rank in parentheses)
• Pepperdine (No. 6): In terms of the conference, the story hasn’t changed much for Pepperdine. The Waves will be going for their 13th consecutive West Coast Conference title this spring, which is much less dramatic than their postseason chances beyond that. Pepperdine has a strong roster featuring three players inside the top 75. The team can contend with the best in the Pac-12 and SEC, the strongest women’s golf conferences. A regional title is not out of the question, nor is a top-five NCAA Championship finish.
• Gonzaga (No. 56): This is the team with the best chance of challenging Pepperdine (even though an upset remains unlikely). The Bulldogs finished second in all four starts in the fall, but are perfectly capable of getting over that hump in the spring.
• San Francisco (No. 81): Won the Hobble Creek Invitational to start the year, then ended the fall with a T-4 at the Wyoming Cowgirl Intercollegiate, which featured a strong field. Peg Barnard and Juli Inkster Invitationals are good events on the Dons’ spring roster.
• Santa Clara (No. 120): It was a very respectable fall for the Broncos. Won the Boise State Bronco Invitational and the SCU Colby Invitational. The Avenue Spring Break Classic highlights Santa Clara’s spring lineup.
• BYU (No. 141): A pair of top fives to start the season but lost steam as the fall progressed. With six starts leading up to the conference championship in the spring, BYU should be prepared.