St. Mary’s (Calif.) became the first men’s Division I team to punch its ticket into this year’s NCAA post-season when it captured the West Coast Conference Championship, April 17, at Gold Mountain Golf Club in Bremerton, Wash.
In gaining the league’s automatic qualifier into the NCAA regionals, the Gaels survived a late charge from San Francisco and won its second consecutive WCC title for the first time in school history.
With a closing 4-over-par 292, St. Mary’s finished two strokes better than San Francisco while Brigham Young, San Diego and Gonzaga tied for third, eight shots back.
“I’ve said all season the best thing about this team is the depth,” said St. Mary’s coach Scott Hardy, now in his 12th season at the Gaels’ helm. “That certainly proved the case (at WCC Championship) as everyone contributed.”
Leading the way to the championship title for the Gaels were senior Ben Geyer and sophomore Jonathan De Los Reyes, both finishing at 1-over 217 and tying for seventh. Senior Mac McClung tied for 11th at 3 over, while junior Alex Bungert tied for 18th at 6 over. Junior Dalan Refiogiu placed 22nd at 8 over.
While his players enjoy their time at Augusta National on Monday, Augusta State head coach Kevin McPherson will be hard at work. He has an important task: try to find a one-day event that the Jaguars can play in order to get their record above .500 and become eligible for an NCAA postseason bid.
Augusta State is a program defined by its postseason success. The Jaguars won NCAA titles in 2010 and 2011, the first team to win consecutive championships since Houston in 1984 and 1985. Augusta State has a losing head-to-head record this season and no events remaining on its schedule, leaving it in danger of missing NCAA regional play.
The Jaguars entered their own Augusta State Invitational at No. 58 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings. That ranking, easily good enough to earn a postseason bid, was expected to improve after the team finished second to No. 4 Texas at the Augusta State Invitational. Augusta State held a 62-66-1 record after its home event and scheduled season finale.
The Jaguars do have one day of regular-season competition remaining, though. NCAA rules allow golf teams to compete 24 days per season; Augusta State has only played 23 days because ...
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. – Robert Meadow was reaching for water bottles after carting his daughter Stephanie’s crimson Alabama team bag off the Dinah Shore Tournament Course on Thursday. It was a sneaky hot day in the desert for the Ulsterman, who has donned the white caddie jumpsuit this week at the Kraft.
Meadow, a junior on Alabama’s team and Golfweek’s No. 4-ranked player in the country, hasn’t played a tournament in the desert since junior golf. She was fourth at the 2010 AJGA Thunderbird International at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz.
“It’s very tough; greens are firm,” Meadow said of the course. “You kind of just shoot at the pin and fire.”
Starting on the back, Meadow double-bogeyed No. 13 and bogeyed No. 15. She had three birdies on the front to get to 1-over 73 for the day.
Meadow attended a three-day Vision54 camp in January, and has kept in touch with co-founders Pia Nilsson and Lynn Mariott since. They waited for her off the ninth green on Thursday. This week, they have Meadow concentrating on decreasing the tension in her upper body.
“Their scope of things is so big,” Meadow said. “It’s ...
Steven Fox is in good form in advance of his Masters appearance. The U.S. Amateur champion finished second Tuesday at the BancorpSouth Intercollegiate, matching his best finish of the season.
Fox, a senior for Chattanooga, shot 8-under 208 (69-69-70) at Reunion Golf and Country Club in Madison, Miss., to finish two shots behind Central Arkansas’ James Newton, who followed consecutive 67s with a final-round 72. Fox matched his low 54-hole total of the season.
He was coming off a 63rd-place finish in his previous college start, at the Auburn Tiger Shootout, and a last-place finish at the PGA Tour’s Arnold Palmer Invitational, where he shot 78-81. He missed the cut in his other PGA Tour start in 2013, shooting 70-78 to miss the cut by five shots at the Farmers Insurance Open.
“I struck the ball solid, putting was streaky, but I thought going into the week that I was ready to go, and I just didn’t play anywhere near where I wanted to,” Fox said after the Arnold Palmer Invitational. He began working with swing instructor Brad Rose earlier this year. Rose also is the instructor for two-time PGA Tour winner Scott Stallings.
Fox will face ...
TCU freshman Paul Barjon is from Nournea Cedex, New Caledonia.
You may be asking yourself . . . Where?
It is considered a French province, although New Caledonia is located in the Pacific.
Still not sure?
How about just to the east of Australia, and just above New Zealand.
There you go.
When he lived in New Caledonia, Barjon played on only three golf courses growing up.
Now, Barjon lives in Nice, France, so he can travel and play in the top European tournaments.
Adding to his career win list, Barjon won his first collegiate event March 30 at the U.S. Intercollegiate at Stanford Golf Course. He shot two straight rounds of 66, in the first and second round, and finished with a 3-under 67 for a three-shot victory over Stanford’s Patrick Rodgers.
“I played really well, and it was mostly because of my putting,” Barjon said. “During my last round, I had a lot of 12-15 foot putts. And the up and down I had on No. 15 for birdie, really helped me win.”
He and Rodgers were tied heading into the final day.
“It feels pretty good (to get my first win)” Barjon said. “It’s just another step ...
Senior Tyler Raber figures to play a key role for UC Davis as it tries for a third straight Big West Championship later this month.
And if the Aggies can get a performance out of Raber similar to the one he showcased at the Stanford U.S. Intercollegiate, three in a row could go from being a good possibility to a safe bet.
Raber shot a 5-under 65 in the final round March 30 to cap off his best individual finish of the season, finishing third, five shots back of winner Paul Barjon of TCU and two back of runner-up Patrick Rodgers of Stanford.
“Tyler Raber had an amazing tournament,” UC Davis coach Cy Williams said. “It was a really strong, national field and he crushed it.”
He beat notables Andrew Yun and David Boote of Stanford, Julien Brun and Pontus Gad of TCU, Anthony Paolucci and Yi Keun Chang of USC, and St. Mary’s Ben Geyer – all while helping UC Davis to a fifth-place showing, its most impressive team finish of the season. The Aggies, ranked No. 64 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, bested a handful of higher-ranked teams – including No. 10 USC, No. 31 Northwestern and ...
1. AUSTIN PEAY'S BEST WIN EVER? Austin Peay has won a few Ohio Valley Conference titles, which certainly are at the top of the list in terms of notable wins in program history. However, the Governors’ victory at the Memphis Intercollegiate on March 26 might be the biggest in program history. Senior Dustin Korte won individual medalist honors as Austin Peay, ranked No. 103 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, topped a field that included No. 25 Texas Tech and three teams in the top 50. The victory was Austin Peay’s fourth this season and will likely make them the favorite to win the OVC this spring.
2. TIDE LINGER IN BACKGROUND: Normally, Alabama would figure prominently into college golf conversations this time of year. This year, however, California has stolen some of the spotlight from Jay Seawell’s team, largely because the Golden Bears have won eight of nine events this year. The Crimson Tide have won half of their starts this year and haven’t gotten much attention for it, but that could change during the next few weeks. With four players ranked in the top 16, this squad appears to be peaking at the right ...
Steven Fox, the U.S. Amateur champion, made his second PGA Tour start of the year, missing the cut in the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill with rounds of 78-81. Fox, 22, a senior at Chattanooga, also missed the cut earlier this year in the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines. His next appearance on Tour will come at the April 11-14 Masters.
Thoughts on the week?
I was really looking forward to this week. I was hitting it well, and I got out there and made too many mistakes, too many mental errors. I need to learn how to play golf again. I struck the ball solid, putting was streaky, but I thought going into the week that I was ready to go, and I just didn’t play anywhere near where I wanted to. I didn’t drive the ball well all week. At least at Augusta National, you can hit it a little bit of everywhere.
What are your thoughts on your upcoming Masters appearance after this week’s play?
I still feel confident. I like Augusta National. I’ve played well out there (Fox estimates he has played eight practice rounds). I’m still excited ...
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 ...
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