NCAA regional breakdown: Eugene (Ore.) Regional
Thursday, May 8, 2014
Golfweek’s fourth-ranked team, Stanford, leads a charge of 12 teams and 10 individuals into the Eugene (Ore.) Regional at Eugene Country Club.
Including Stanford, there are eight top-50 teams making a trip to the northwest playing for a chance to advance to the NCAA Championship.
Over the next few days, our college golf experts will breakdown each of the six NCAA regionals, answering some of the most asked questions for each regional.
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- WINNING TEAM: Stanford, the Pac-12 Conference champions, has posted four wins in its last five starts and is playing as well as any team in the country. The Cardinal are ranked No. 24 in the country, but have played much better than that this spring compiling a 70-7-4 overall head-to-head record while playing the toughest schedule since the winter break.
- SLEEPER (OUTSIDE OF TOP FIVE SEEDS): It’s hard to call Oregon a sleeper playing on its home course and No. 7 seed on paper is more like a No. 3 or 4 seed in reality. Oregon, which played in eight events this spring, have been sliding a bit as of late, but should be able to take advantage of playing at home against several teams well outside their comfort zone.
- MEDALIST CONTENDERS: It may be as simple as listing only the Stanford duo of Patrick Rodgers and Cameron Wilson. But, we can also add Tennessee’s Oliver Goss, Houston’s Roman Robledo, South Carolina’s Matthew NeSmith and San Jose State’s Cody Blick.
- INTRIGUING STORYLINE: Since the end of the fall season, when Houston was ranked 17th, the Cougars have been closely watched. And that will not change when they tee it up in NCAA regional competition. Houston is one of the more storied programs in all of college golf and with the Cougars return to possible national title contention it is story that won’t stop until the very end.
- THE FIVE TEAMS ADVANCING WILL BE . . . Stanford, Oklahoma, Houston, Oregon and Baylor.
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- WINNING TEAM: Houston. Sure, Stanford is the favorite as the top seed, but the Cougars are a deep and talented team, as well, with Roman Robledo leading the way.
- SLEEPER (OUTSIDE OF TOP FIVE SEEDS): North Florida. The Ospreys might have lost some firepower from a year ago in Sean Dale and Kevin Phelan, but junior M.J. Maguire and the rest of the crew from Jacksonville, Fla., could sneak into the NCAA Championship.
- MEDALIST CONTENDERS: Stanford's Patrick Rodgers is one win away from tying Tiger Woods' school-record 11 career victories, and it's a good bet that he'll do it in Eugene. Also, keep an eye on South Carolina's Matt NeSmith, who played well at the SEC Championship and could surprise.
- INTRIGUING STORYLINE: Baylor isn't exactly a household name when it comes to men's golf, but the Bears are competing in a 17th straight NCAA regional. That experience could earn Baylor an NCAA Championship berth.
- THE FIVE TEAMS ADVANCING WILL BE . . . Houston, Stanford, Oklahoma, Oregon, Baylor.
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- WINNING TEAM: Stanford. It’s safe to say the Cardinal are one of the hottest teams heading into the postseason with two top-5 players in Patrick Rodgers and Cameron Wilson leading the charge.
- SLEEPER (OUTSIDE OF TOP FIVE SEEDS): Oregon, the host of the Eugene Regional, knows Eugene CC better than anyone. Having won a regional in 2010, head coach Casey Martin knows what it takes to advance to the championship, even with his young and talented team.
- MEDALIST CONTENDERS: Two of three Hogan Award finalists – Stanford teammates Patrick Rodgers and Cameron Wilson – are in the field and both have finished in the top 3 in the last three events, which includes a win from each player. Rodgers has a bit more incentive to go out and win as he would tie Tiger Woods for most wins in school history. Others to keep in mind: Houston’s Roman Robledo and Tennessee’s Oliver Goss.
- INTRIGUING STORYLINE: Liberty, ranked 35th by Golfweek, won the Big South Championship for its second victory of the season and seem to be peaking at the right time. The Flames – the sixth seed in Eugene – are looking to advance to the NCAA Championship for the second time in program history behind senior Niklas Lindstrom.
- THE FIVE TEAMS ADVANCING WILL BE . . . Stanford, Houston, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Liberty.