It seemed appropriate this week to step outside the ropes of the college game and talk about the U.S Golf Association’s proposed anchoring ban. A lot of opinions have emerged from the professional side of the game, but what are college coaches saying?
This week’s top 5 …
Mike Small, University of Illinois men’s golf coach
“In my opinion, I feel the anchoring ban should be upheld, at least for competitions. I believe that (anchoring) is not a true representation of the spirit of the game and of the way the game was intended to be played. Anchoring does not only help the player to control nerves when they putt, but it helps to master one of the most frustrating aspects of putting: A consistent setup. Many players struggle with having a consistent ball position when putting, but with the putter anchored, it definitely measures the ball position exactly the same on every putt, a very distinct advantage.”
Jamie Green, Duke University men’s golf coach
“My opinion is that clubs should be used with a player’s hands, alone. The biggest challenge now is that long putters/anchored putters were allowed decades ago. It should have ...
It’s all coming together nicely for the USC men.
After sharing the team title with Washington at The Prestige at PGA West on Feb. 20, the Trojans won a second straight event, capturing the North Ranch Intercollegiate on Feb. 26. Add in a T-4 in their spring opener at the Amer Ari Invitational and it’s been an ideal start to 2013 for USC head coach Chris Zambri.
“I’m really pleased,” Zambri said. “All our guys are showing signs of being good enough and that we can be a really great team.”
Just how good has USC been?
The Trojans didn’t win during the fall, but also didn’t finish worse than T-4. They are the No. 7 team in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, rising a spot after their victory in Westlake Village, Calif.
Freshman Yi Keun Chang has been a huge boost for this squad, winning his first collegiate title at the North Ranch. The victory was his fourth top 10 of the season, and he hasn’t finished worse than T-26 in six events this season.
“He’s a hard worker,” Zambri said. “He’s really solid from tee to green, not super long ...
Augusta State won its first title since the 2011 NCAA Championship at Saturday’s Forest Hills Collegiate. This win, while not as historic as that second consecutive national title, was important. The Jaguars are in need of victories to return to the postseason.
Augusta State shot 6-under 570 Saturday at Forest Hills Golf Course in Augusta, Ga., to finish 16 shots ahead of Northern Illinois. The Jaguars started the final round with a one-shot lead, but shot a tournament-low 278 in the second, and final, round of the one-day, 36-hole event. USC Upstate’s Brad Sill won the individual title with an 8-under 136 (66-70), one shot better than Augusta State’s Alex Wennstam (71-66).
Augusta State needed the head-to-head victories to improve its record as the postseason nears. Teams ranked in the top 70 of the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings generally receive at-large postseason bids. They must have a .500 or better record to earn such a bid, though.
The Jaguars are No. 62 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, but with a 31-54-2 record after playing the nation’s 32nd-toughest schedule, according to the Sagarin rankings. Augusta State must rely on at-large bids because the Jaguars are not ...
The spring season is off and running, and in these early stages there have been a few surprises, especially on the plus side.
Here are a few teams you may, or may not, have heard much from last fall, but are starting to make some noise:
• BYU: While the Cougars didn’t have a terrible fall – three top 5s in five starts – they are starting to crank things up in 2013. Against a pair of solid fields, BYU finished third at the John Burns in Hawaii and followed with a second this week in California at USC’s North Ranch Invitational.
• Houston: Under second-year coach Jonathan Dismuke, these Cougars are quietly moving up the rankings. In four fall events, they finished no worse than third, with a win at the Lone Star, and then a second to open the spring at the Bayou City.
• Long Beach State: Talk about turning things around. Here’s a team that in three fall starts posted an 11th and a 12th and were 107th in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings. No doubt the 49ers will be improving that status after opening the spring with victories at the Folino and their own Del Walker.
• North ...
Last spring, Texas head coach John Fields gave then-sophomore Brax McCarthy a task: Qualify for the U.S. Amateur.
Fields’ directive was in response to McCarthy’s question about how to earn a spot on the Texas roster. For Golfweek's No. 2 team in the country, it’s standard walk-on procedure, so McCarthy got to work on his game.
McCarthy, of Fort Worth, Texas, missed earning one of three available spots in the U.S. Am at the qualifier at nearby Mira Vista Country Club in early July. Figuring he had missed his chance at being a Longhorns golfer, McCarthy resigned himself to finishing his college career at Texas as a recreational player and a marketing major.
McCarthy spent the summer playing and practicing with buddies at Ridglea Country Club. He played the Texas Amateur (he finished T-38) and the North Texas Amateur (T-10). Two weeks before the start of fall classes, McCarthy got a call from Fields. He had a spot as a walk-on.
It’s at this point in the conversation that McCarthy uses the words “thankful” and “fortunate” at least a dozen times.
McCarthy validated Fields’ decision over the weekend at the Bayou City Collegiate Championship ...
It was a big week for three players on the Haskins Award Watch List, which came out on Feb. 15.
North Carolina State’s Albin Choi, California’s Joel Stalter, TCU’s Julien Brun and Texas' Brandon Stone have now won multiple individual titles during the 2012-13 college golf season.
Choi, of Toronto, picked up his third victory this season at the Puerto Rico Classic in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, on Feb. 19. It was his third title in his past six starts. He also won at the Tar Heel Intercollegiate and the Warrior Wave Intercollegiate in the fall. This was his seventh collegiate victory for the Wolfpack. No. 26 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, Choi leads the Wolfpack with a 70.2 scoring average.
Stalter, who has moved up to No. 11 in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings, won his second consecutive victory at the John Burns Intercollegiate in Kahuku, Hawaii, at Turtle Bay Resort on Feb. 22. He shot 12-under 204 (67-70-67). Stalter, from Amneville, France, also was co-medalist at the Arizona Intercollegiate on Jan. 29 with teammate Michael Kim. He helped Cal claim its sixth win of the year in seven tournaments.
Brun, a sophomore from Antibes ...
For those of you who are involved with or closely follow college golf, you might be surprised that we have yet to see a sub-60 round at the collegiate level. Equipment, coaching and the players dedicate to the sport have dramatically improved scoring in the last 15 years, and it’s hard to believe someone hasn’t put up 59 on a college scoreboard.
If anything, one might think that somewhere along the way a coach, tournament director or sponsor might have a favorable course setup in order to have the celebrated score posted in their event. Afterall, the headlines and attention that will come with that groundbreaking score at the collegiate level will garner headlines that reach past those that normally cover the college golf scene.
Seven players have posted a round of 60:
- Southeastern’s Louisiana’s Matthew Carvell (2008 Aldila Scenic City Invitational)
- Washington’s Zach Bixler (2007 Alister Mackenzie Invitational)
- Duke’s Michael Schachner (2007 NCAA Championship)
- BYU’s Daniel Summerhays (2006 Ping/Golfweek Preview)
- Washington’s Brock Mackenzie (2003 Oregon Duck Invitational)
- Georgia Tech’s Bryce Molder (2000 Palmetto Dunes Invitational)
- Arizona State’s Paul Casey (1999 Pac-10 Championship)
Which leads me to this week ...
Oklahoma has been quite the surprise team this spring.
In the Sooners' past two tournaments, played in just a week’s time, they finished first and second, respectively.
On Feb. 12, the Sooners won the UTSA/Oak Hills Invitational at Oak Hills Country Club in San Antonio. The 14-team tournament featured five teams among the top 50 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings.
The Sooners won by posting a 54-hole total of 10-over 862 to finish one stroke ahead of North Texas. Oklahoma entered the final round three strokes behind the Mean Green.
Less than a week later, the Sooners finished second in the Puerto Rico Classic at Rio Mar Country Club in Rio Grande. OU trailed No. 5-ranked Alabama by seven shots in a field that included eight teams in Golfweek's top 50.
Oklahoma played to within one stroke of Alabama until the final five holes the Crimson Tide until the final five holes. During that stretch, Alabama went 7 under.
Will Kropp and Abraham Ancer have been been major contributors to Oklahoma’s early-spring success. Kropp, a senior from Edmond, Okla., finished in the top 5 at both events, including a runner-up in Puerto Rico. Ancer, a ...
Cal head coach Steve Desimone has been in the coaching business for more than 30 years, but even he was impressed. “It was the best qualifying round I’ve ever seen,” he said. And it came from a freshman.
James Yoon’s course-record 62 last week at San Francisco Golf Club earned him a spot in the Bears’ lineup for this week’s John Burns Intercollegiate, which gets under way Wednesday. The Burns is Cal’s first event since it finished third at the Arizona Intercollegiate, ending the team’s five-event winning streak. The No. 1 Bears were undefeated after the fall season.
“It kind of shakes you up a little bit,” Desimone said about the winning streak’s conclusion. At least his team had an eventful qualifying process after Arizona. Michael Kim, the nation’s No. 1 player, made a double-eagle on the course’s 18th hole the same day as Yoon’s 62.
The Bears’ lineup will have a new look at the Burns. Yoon is playing in place of U.S. Amateur semifinalist Brandon Hagy. It’s the first time this season that one of Cal’s top four players – Hagy, Kim, Max Homa and Michael Weaver ...
PARRISH, Fla. – Lindsay Hulwick hasn’t yet passed the one-week mark as a head coach. Still, she’s already bonded with her team.
Hulwick, who spent seven years as an assistant coach at Denver before taking the assistant coaching job at Georgia this fall, has been in this game long enough to know that when an opportunity presents itself, it’s wise to take it.
After finding out Feb. 13 that she had the Denver head coaching job – a position left vacant when longtime coach Sammie Chergo resigned earlier this month – Hulwick flew back to Denver the next day to get reacquainted with her new players. She already has a relationship with all of the girls on the roster because she recruited each one. She has coached four of the five players who traveled to the Central District Invitational this week, Denver’s first spring start.
“I really wanted to make sure that I had met with them,” Hulwick said. After a team meeting and a short practice, Hulwick returned east with her team on Feb. 16.
In the frenzy of accepting the new job, Hulwick had time only to pack about eight boxes from her Georgia apartment and ship ...
Mariah Stackhouse has difficulty finding the words to describe her final round at the Peg Barnard Invitational. Stackhouse found the zone on Sunday and shot a 10-under 61 at Stanford Golf Course that set an NCAA women’s scoring record.
The Stanford freshman has heard former LPGA star Annika Sorenstam talk about her round of 59 many times, and has heard Sorenstam describe feeling that day like she could do no wrong. It’s the idea Stackhouse had soon after her round began with an eagle.
Stackhouse made an 11-footer at the first hole, then went on to birdie Nos. 2, 4 and 5 before holing a 27-footer for another eagle, at No. 7. Two more birdies helped her make the turn at 9-under 26. She had only nine putts on that side, getting up and down on both of the greens she missed.
The next birdie came at No. 12, which put Stackhouse at 10 under entering No. 13. She calls Nos. 13 and 14 holes that “can either be really good, or they can trip me up a little bit.” Stackhouse bogeyed both of those holes, but birdied Nos. 16 and 17 to get back to 10 under ...
The spring season is under way and the journey to late May has started for most teams, whether that means actual competition or just practice. With that being said, it’s time to examine the top five things that have caught my eye since the ball got rolling again.
There might be a theme with this list that has to do with a recent tweet. I tweeted about not understanding why many teams, who have not yet had a chance to hit a ball outside, would begin the spring season in an event that included teams that have been practicing outside all winter. I did get some very good responses, but I stand my ground on my opinion that teams simply should take a little more time before getting the spring under way. Perhaps try to squeeze in another fall event for those cold-weather schools to help relax a bit longer in the spring. According to NCAA guidelines, a team only has to participate in eight contests to be eligible.
Whatever the case may be, this does create a bit of an imbalance in the college golf world. This is very important for bubble teams who are trying to gain ...
Former Cal golfer Daniela Holmqvist became a media sensation Wednesday when word circulated that after being bitten by what she was told was a black widow spider during a pre-qualifier for the season-opening LPGA event in Australia, Holmqvist simply kept playing. As the story goes, the Swede whipped a golf tee out of her pocket, cut open the bite to drain the poison and then played the remaining 14 holes.
She shot 74, but it wasn’t enough to qualify for the tournament. Still, Holmqvist, 24, left a hero.
So I went to see a doctor. On a double dose of antibiotics and some other stuff 4 times per day. Also the wound needed some attention, Holmqvist tweeted Tuesday.
The next tweet? I asked the doctor if I could do a workout today... Her response “the death-stare”.
Holmqvist’s story went viral on Wednesday, and her Twitter following nearly doubled.
Holmqvist apparently was bitten by a redback spider, which is similar in appearance and related to the black widow spider. The black widow is indigenous to North America, not Australia. According to researchers at the University of Melbourne, about 250 patients are treated for redback bites each year. Since discovery ...
Patrick Cantlay, Blayne Barber and Luke Guthrie have been pro for less than a year, but they won't find themselves on foreign ground when they tee off today at the PGA Tour's Northern Trust Open. That's because all three competed in last year's NCAA Championship at famed Riviera Country Club.
Talk about a quick turnaround.
Guthrie and Cantlay will play together for the Northern Trust Open's first two rounds. They tee off at 1:25 p.m. Thursday on Riviera's first hole. Barber also will tee off at 1:25 p.m., but will start on the 10th hole.
Guthrie had the worst finish among the trio at last year's NCAA Championship (T45, 73-72-74), but is the only one of the three who is a PGA Tour member this year. Guthrie, a second-team All-American in 2012 for Illinois, finished in the top 20 in three consecutive PGA Tour starts shortly after last year's NCAA Championship, then finished second on the Web.com Tour money list in just 10 starts. He has made the cut in three of five PGA Tour starts this season, with three top-30 finishes.
Cantlay is making his third ...
Few college coaches kick tradition when it’s time to host an event. It’s why Florida State’s tournament could be a breath of fresh air.
Florida State/Texas A&M
Tennessee/Texas San Antonio
UNC Greensboro/UNC Wilmington
Third-year Florida State coach Amy Bond decided more than a year ago that she wanted to create a different kind of event, but she wasn’t sure exactly what the format would be. She had commitments by the summer of 2012, but it wasn’t until a recruiting trip to Europe later that summer that she created what would become known as the Match Up. t will be played Feb. 15-17 at Southwood Golf Club in Tallahassee, Fla.
Bond was having a conversation with a handful of colleagues and decided on a count-five format that would make every stroke matter.
The Match Up will feature 12 teams, and each team has a partner (Bond originally sent invitations to five teams, and allowed each to choose its own partner). Partner teams will be paired together for the first two rounds, and players will play in twosomes. Pairings will be reshuffled for the final round ...
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