New Mexico sophomore Gavin Green finished 22nd in the Malaysian Open on Sunday, his second consecutive top-25 in an event on a major pro tour. The Malaysian Open was co-sanctioned by the European and Asian tours.
Green, who is from Malaysia, shot a final-round 69 to finish at 6-under 210 (73-68-69). Thailand’s Kiradech Aphibarnrat shot 13-under 203 to win by one shot over Italy’s Edoardo Molinari. The event was shortened to 54 holes because of inclement weather.
“It gives me good confidence,” Green said. “It tells me that I can play with the professionals. I still have two years in college and then we will see what happens.”
Green, the 2012 Malaysian Amateur champion, was the top Malaysian finisher this week, and the first Malaysian amateur in 10 years to make the cut at the Malaysian Open. He also finished 18th at the Asian Tour’s Iskandar Johor Open late last year. Green was paired with Sergio Garcia and Ernie Els in the first two rounds of that event, which also was held in Malaysia. He first competed in the Johor Open at 13 years old.
Green, arguably the longest hitter in college golf, won his first collegiate ...
Ally McDonald has started to cement herself in the Mississippi State record books.
And she’s only a sophomore.
“She is an incredibly talented young lady. When she came in, her work ethic and talent level was through the roof,” head coach Ginger Lemm said.
McDonald, a Mississippi native, has finished in the top 10 in five of seven tournaments this year for the Bulldogs. That includes her first collegiate win at the Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown during the fall portion of the season.
No. 43 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, her most recent finish was at the SunTrust Gator Invitational, where she shot 71-74-69 (4 over) to finish T-4.
After last year’s All-SEC Freshman team performance, what has she done for an encore?
She has taken the reins as No. 1 in all seven of the Bulldogs' tournaments, picking up the team's top finish each time.
During her freshman campaign, she finished with a 74.33 stroke average, .13 higher than No. 1 on the list, Amanda Mathis. As of now, she has a 72.24 average, making that more than two strokes better Mathis’ record.
“She has a sound swing that she works with her ...
You think 36-hole days are long? Those are just figurative marathons. UCLA assistant men’s golf coach Brandon Christianson completed a real one, the Los Angeles Marathon, this past weekend. It was Christianson’s second marathon. He also completed the Santa Barbara Marathon in November.
The Bruins may have the only coaching staff comprised completely of marathon finishers. Head coach Derek Freeman completed the 2001 Oklahoma City Marathon.
Christianson completed Sunday’s race in 4 hours, 12 minutes, 58 seconds for an average pace of 9:39 minutes per mile. It was an improvement of nearly 45 minutes over his Santa Barbara time.
Christianson, who caddied for Kevin Chappell and Jason Gore before becoming UCLA’s assistant for this season, started running in the summer of 2011. His long-distance running has helped him lose 95 pounds.
“I think I just felt like I could do it,” Christianson said of running marathons. “There wasn’t any great reason. I just wanted to see if I really could.”
Christianson runs approximately 60 miles per week at the peak of his training. That can be tough to do with a coach’s travel schedule. He once squeezed in a 13-mile in the evening ...
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – For the first time in three years, Florida did not claim the team title at its own Gator Women’s Invitational. At the end of a cloudy day at the deceptively hard Mark Bostick Golf Course, Florida was third to Alabama (by four shots) and Oklahoma (by two more).
The absence of that trophy is hardly an indicator of the season. The Gators are No. 6 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings –second only to Alabama (No. 4) in the SEC.
Florida has won twice so far this season in full-field events, and both victories were in the fall. That’s a stout season to follow, as sophomore Camilla Hedberg pointed out in Gainesville.
“We’re doing pretty good this spring season, too, but it doesn’t feel as good as it actually is,” Heberg said. “...We’ve become way better than last year and I just think we’re going to keep getting better and better.”
The team dynamic for this Gator squad seems to be working, and that starts with Hedberg. She’s ranked No. 7 individually by Golfweek. Her two individual victories in the fall coincided with the team’s victories at the Cougar Classic and ...
The percentage of players who play professional sports after a career in college athletics is very small. Those who are fortunate enough to play in the NFL, NBA or MLB often were evaluated against their peer group and had the door opened through a draft of college or amateur players. That’s never been the case with the PGA or LPGA tours. There always has been a qualifying school that the college stars had to enter alongside veteran players who might have spent as many as 20 years playing for pay.
I have always thought it would be a good thing if the professional golf tours would hold a very simple draft day-like event to give instant access to a few college players once the collegiate season was completed. That idea leads me to this week’s top 5:
Last week at Las Colinas Country Club in Irving, Texas, a one-day, 18-hole tournament offered two spots into next month’s North Texas LPGA Shootout. Out of the 18 players in the field, North Carolina junior Casey Grice and Texas senior Madison Pressel earned the chance to play with the pros. Just imagine if the PGA Tour or even the LPGA ...
It has been one heck of a spring break trip for the Duke golf team.
On March 6, six players -- Brinson Paolini, Mads Soegaard, Adam Sumrall, Julian Suri Michael Ricaute and Tim Gornik -- and head coach Jamie Green traveled west for the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters in Las Vegas.
The team started preparations for the Southern Highlands tournament with a practice round. The next day, the three-day tournament started. The team finished T-10 at 29-over 893. Paolini was the low team member with rounds of 75-74-70 to finish T-16.
“It was good. Our first event of spring was in Jacksonville, and we played well there, but it was good to get a full tournament under our belt because that was shortened due to weather,” Paolini said. “ It is probably one of the best fields in college golf, and we played well. But we also identified what we needed to work on moving forward.”
While more than half the team was out west, three other players (Austin Cody, Motin Yeung and Turner Southey-Gordon) were playing in the Bash by the Beach tournament in Myrtle Beach, S.C., as individuals. All three players finished in T-18 or better.
Continuing out west, the ...
PALM HARBOR, Fla. – The road to a PGA Tour card can be a difficult one for young professionals.
Not only are sponsor exemptions harder to come by this year with standard Tour events getting just two unrestricted sponsor exemptions, but the transition to professional golf, especially for players leaving college early, can be equally tough.
Patrick Cantlay, Jordan Spieth and Peter Uihlein –- all of whom are playing in the Tampa Bay Championship this week at Innisbrook Resort –- are faring better than most.
Cantlay is the only one of the three playing on a sponsor exemption this week in Palm Harbor. He is also the only one with a victory on a major professional tour after his win at the Web.com Tour’s Colombia Championship earlier this month.
“I feel really comfortable playing out here,” said Cantlay, who fired a 1-under 70 Thursday on the Copperhead course.
The former UCLA star and 2011 U.S. Amateur runner-up turned pro following his sophomore season in Los Angeles last June. He’s earned $195,411.11 in five starts on the PGA Tour this year, making two cuts, but currently leads the Web.com Tour money list by $11,310. The top ...
When the LPGA tour returns to Texas this spring for the first time in more than 20 years, the field will include a healthy number of college players. Madison Pressel and Casey Grice have earned spots in the North Texas LPGA Shootout, while Chelsea Mocio and Katerina Ruzickova earned spots in the event’s Monday qualifier.
The LPGA conducted a Collegiate-Amateur Shootout on March 12 and granted 18 college players the chance to compete for spots in the tournament. Pressel, a senior at Texas, and Grice, a junior at North Carolina, posted rounds of even-par 71 at Las Colinas Country Club in Irving, Texas to earn the exemptions.
Pressel is the younger sister of LPGA player Morgan Pressel, and is coming back from five months on the sidelines with a torn labrum. Grice is a native Texan. Mocio and Ruzickova are teammates at Texas A&M, and will compete alongside a field of professionals in a Monday qualifier on April 22. Two spots will be available in the tournament, which will be played at Las Colinas on April 25-28.
It’s hard to overlook what the Campbell women’s team is doing.
In its first eight starts of the 2012-13 season, the Fighting Camels have won five team titles.
They started the season strong with a 40-shot victory at the Golfweek Program Challenge. Moving on, the Fighting Camels went into a two-tournament drought where they finished T-4. Then came back-to-back victories at its own Fighting Camel Classic and the Palmetto Intercollegiate. This included eight- and 21-shot victories, respectively.
Next came the team’s worst finish of the season, a seventh-place finish at the Hurricane Invitational. It was their first tournament after winter break for the players.
“What really happened was that we just made some big numbers at the wrong time,” head coach John Crooks said. “I obviously wasn’t pleased with our finish, but we knew what we needed to work on.”
Bounce-back wins came in less than a week span. They first won the Kiawah Island Classic by three in a tight race with the College of Charleston and then the JMU Eagle Landing Invitational by 21 shots.
“Anytime you win, it’s exciting,” Crooks said.
He added this stat: In the five tournaments the Camels have ...
After last spring’s NCAA Championship, Molinaro is a notable surname in women’s college golf. Italian Giulia Molinaro ended four years at Arizona State by making a run at the individual title and finishing T-6.
Giulia has since graduated and turned professional, but younger sister Sofia is in her freshman year at Savannah (Ga.) College of Art and Design. The younger Molinaro found the NAIA school after five years at the IMG Golf Academy in Bradenton, Fla. While there, Molinaro always thought she’d eventually join a Division I golf roster, but the transition to SCAD has been seamless.
“I’ve been playing really well,” Molinaro said. “I like it so far.”
In five NAIA starts so far as a freshman, Molinaro has finished outside the top 10 only once. She finished T-38 and T-32 in the team’s two Division I starts. Molinaro and sophomore Alazne Urizar of Venezuela vie for the top spot on the roster. It’s a healthy rivalry, head coach Amanda Workman explains, and one that keeps both at the top of their respective games.
“It’s been awesome to have a freshman come in and be in the top five right away,” Workman ...
It’s time to take a little bit deeper look into what is going on in college golf. This week’s top 5:
Men’s teams have adjusted well since the .500 Rule was put into play several years ago. For coaches, it’s simply a matter of putting a little more thought into your competition schedule. But there are some things coaches just can’t control, and that leads me to this question: Is that pesky .500 Rule going to claim any victims this year? Postseason begins in not quite two months, and there are eight teams inside the top 80 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings that have a less than .500 head-to-head winning percentage: Iowa (51), Indiana (55), Augusta State (59), Kennesaw State (60), UC Davis (62), San Diego State (63), Alabama-Birmingham (70) and East Tennessee State (74).
Speaking of the .500 Rule, the women’s game is certainly going to have a few changes in the next few years. When the NCAA finals are televised for the first time in 2015, match play likely will have found a spot in the championship format. But what about the .500 Rule? A Golfweek poll conducted this summer revealed ...
UCLA will have two times the fun this weekend. That's because the Bruins are fielding not one, but two, five-man teams for tournaments this weekend.
The Bruins, No. 6 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, is playing both the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters and Bandon Dunes Championship. Head coach Derek Freeman will coach the team at Southern Highlands in Las Vegas, while assistant Brandon Christianson will take the team to Oregon to lead them at scenic Bandon Dunes. Both tournaments are Friday-Sunday.
Seniors Pontus Widegren (No. 11 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings) and Pedro Figueiredo (40), junior Anton Arboleda (105), redshirt sophomore Manav Shah (73) and freshman Jonathan Garrick (55) will compete at Southern Highlands, which features arguably the year's strongest field
The Oregon-bound fivesome is a young group. Sophomores Jay Hwang (117), Matt Pinizzotto (150), and Preston Valder (NR) will team with freshmen Lorens Chan (200) and Reilly McMahon (NR) are playing Bandon's Old Macdonald course. The Bandon Dunes field is highlighted by No. 4 Washington.
In one of the best fields in college golf, Southern Highlands Golf Club can play as one of the toughest courses players will see all year. The Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters in Las Vegas will play host to Golfweek’s top three teams and more.
Cal, Texas and Alabama, 1-2-3 in the rankings, respectively, are coming off victories in their respective last tournaments.
No. 1 California played earlier this week at the Fresno State Lexus Golf Classic in Fresno, Calif. The team won by 37 shots over tournament-host Fresno State to collect a school-record seventh victory of the season in eight starts. The team also finished 1-2-3 on the individual leaderboard. Sophomore Michael Kim, No. 1 in the Golfweek Rankings, won his third event in four starts dating back to the fall and has top-10 finishes in all eight tournaments this season. Brandon Hagy, who didn’t qualify for the Amer Ari Invitational, was back in the lineup and finished second, six shots behind Kim. U.S. Amateur runner-up Michael Weaver finished third.
Texas, No. 2 in the rankings, swept titles at the Bayou City Championship on Feb. 24. The Longhorns won their second title of the season with a ...
5 questions with Arkansas Razorbacks' Gabriela Lopez
Freshman Gabriela Lopez of Mexico City earned her first collegiate victory Feb. 25 at the Westbrook Invitational at Westbrook Village GC in Peoria, Ariz.
1. How does it feel to win your first college tournament?
It feels awesome. To represent my country, the university, the team and myself is just awesome. It’s a great opportunity to improve and move forward with my game. My recent results have been amazing in showing how I’ve been growing for the past five months at Arkansas. My short game and putting have been huge and I am just so grateful for my coaches to help me in improving my golf skills and mental skills.
2. Did you know you shot a course-record, 6-under 66 at Westbrook Village Golf Club during the final round?
No, I had no idea, until now. (Laughs) I was just playing, you know? It was my lowest competitive round and it feels awesome. It just shows that I can go low when I am fully committed to what I’m doing. I feel like I can do great things in the future. Everyday in practice, it’s a process, and it ...
The No. 1 Cal men’s team took a detour on its way to Las Vegas this week. The Bears are playing the Fresno State Lexus Classic on Monday and Tuesday before play begins Friday at the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters, one of the top events of the year.
There was an important reason for the team’s trip to Fresno. Fresno State head coach Mike Watney is retiring at season’s end, and Cal coach Steve Desimone wanted to be there to pay homage to Watney, a Golf Coaches Association of America Hall of Fame member.
Watney’s invitations to his event decades earlier helped Desimone gain visibility for his program as it was transitioning from a club team to an intercollegiate squad.
“When I think of Mike, I think of a guy who is a first-class gentleman,” Desimone said. “Mike invited us to the Classic a couple of times when we had no business playing in it. I can never say ‘thank you’ enough. It would have been easy for him to say, ‘You guys have to get better.’ Playing the Classic helped turn the program into what it is now.”
Watney played the PGA Tour in 1978 ...
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