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 ...
The University of the Incarnate Word, located in San Antonio, is making the transition from Division II to Division I golf in the fall. Officially on June 1, the Cardinals will become a Division I team, and then on July 1, the team will join the Southland Conference.
Though Incarnate Word will be part of the Southland in the fall, it won't officially begin counting as a Division I team until the 2014-15 season because of scheduling purposes, and then will be fully eligible for the NCAA Championships in 2017-18. The university will join the Southland Conference with oversight and assistance for all sports.
“There’s not much of a change,” men’s and women’s head coach Brad Martin said. “The budgets will go up, and there are different NCAA rules. That’s it, but it’s been a fun process.”
They will go through the same conference change that Bryant University recently went through. The Bulldogs, of the Northeast Conference, also made the change from Division II to Division I. They were able to compete in Division I tournaments, even the conference championship, but not count toward the team totals.
“With the realignment, we (Incarnate Word) cannot ...
When Nicole Zhang was making headlines last summer as a semifinalist at the U.S. Women’s Amateur, she was also dropping hints about a second endeavor. Zhang was in the process of launching her own business, but mum was the word until this fall.
Over the next few months, Zhang, a business student at Northwestern, pulled double duty as a college golfer and entrepreneur. She was second in scoring for the Wildcats (she earned one top-5 finish on the season) as she launched Yoga People, the company through which she sells original yoga mat bags. The product, unveiled in December, is designed after the yoga mat bag her mom created a year ago when Zhang couldn’t find anything similar in stores.
Formerly a business student at Notre Dame (Zhang was an Irish golfer for two of her three semesters at Notre Dame, then took the spring of 2012 off completely to concentrate on her golf game and work with California-based swing coach Bryan Lebedevitch), Zhang said the idea really sprouted after a research support class at Notre Dame during which she learned how to analyze a business’ success from every angle.
“I gained the confidence to launch my ...
When UCLA’s Tiffany Lua withdrew from the U.S. Women’s Amateur in August with a sore left wrist, heads turned. Lua, a bubbly, social-media savvy Bruin and a veteran of 22 individual championships and two Curtis Cups, was noticeably absent in the field that week.
The wrist would keep UCLA senior Lua sidelined for the entire fall season. She entered the fall as this magazine’s preseason No. 10 player, her team preseason No. 2.
Lua reports that her wrist has healed enough from the extra rest that she has been able to play spring qualifying rounds with UCLA. It held up enough for Lua to qualify for the Bruins’ first start, the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge on Feb. 11-13. She is “hopeful and optimistic” she’ll be able to play through her entire senior spring.
Without Lua in the lineup, UCLA did not finish better than eighth in four fall starts. The team enters the spring ranked No. 36 by Golfweek.
We are officially back in the swing of things at Alabama and looking forward to getting the spring season started up. We started class a few weeks back, so all of us on the team are back into our groove and balancing class and golf again. The offseason treated all of us really well, but we are very excited to get back into competition in Puerto Rico in a little less than a month.
As for the offseason, as a team we have found some fun things to do besides golf. We all love playing and practicing, but there is a time when we just have to relax and put the clubs up for a little bit. Especially with it being cold out, we have done things such as bowling, seeing many movies, cooking out, and even basketball as a team. One of the biggest reasons I chose to come to school here at Alabama was because of the team; we are all so close and it is basically like a brotherhood. We do most everything together, and that makes this experience at school even better for myself.
The basketball has by far been the most entertaining. Between our lack ...
With the spring college season slated to begin in a little more than a month, we take a look at five questions facing the men as the chase for the NCAA title begins in earnest . . .
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1. How long can Cal stay perfect?
It seems inevitable that No. 1 Cal, which won all five of its fall tournaments, will lose at some point this season. An undefeated season is all but impossible. A regular-season loss will be quickly forgotten if Cal can win this year’s national championship, though. The Bears are the clear favorite to claim this season’s NCAA title after winning the Gopher Invitational, Ping/Golfweek Preview, Pac-12 Preview, Alister Mackenzie Invitational and Isleworth Collegiate Invitational. The Golden Bears have shown their games can travel; their five fall victories came in five states, including a win at the Ping/Golfweek Preview at NCAA host Capital City Club. Cal has won seven of its past eight events, dating to last season’s Pac-12 Championship. The Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters will be Cal’s toughest test among its regular-season spring starts.
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2. And the player of the year is . . .
Cheng-Tsung Pan starts the spring season at No. 1 in the ...
Brennan Webb, a former PGA Tour caddie and most recently an assistant coach at the University of South Florida, was named assistant coach at Georgia Tech on Monday.
Webb joins a staff headed by Bruce Heppler and replaces Christian Newton, who left the school in Augusta to become head coach at Colorado State.
Webb helped guide USF to seven top-10 finishes in 2011-12, including three top-5s. He played a big role in fundraising, recruiting, scheduling and running the USF Invitational while with the Bulls.
"We took some time to find a person with the type of background we were looking for, and we're very happy with Brennan's decision to join our program," said Heppler, who is in his 18th year at Tech. "At East Tennessee State, he played on teams that were ranked among the top five in the country and played in NCAA Championships. He pursued a professional career, and through the various tours he was able to work his way up to the Nationwide Tour (now the Web.com Tour), so that experience is a tremendous resource for the players in our program. He has a reputation as a relentless recruiter, and he has a sincere ...
The Kansas Jayhawks are mostly known for their powerhouse men’s basketball team, but the women’s golf team made a good case in the fall for becoming the school's next driving force.
The team did something that no Kansas women’s golf team has done in two decades: win back-to-back team titles. The Jayhawks won their own Marilynn Smith Sunflower Invitational and the Price’s “Give 'Em Five” Intercollegiate hosted by New Mexico State.
At the Sunflower Invitational, the women claimed their fourth tournament victory in eight years, placing three players in the top 10 to win the team title by 21 strokes over Arkansas State.
In Las Cruces, N.M., for the Price’s “Give 'Em Five” Intercollegiate, Kansas shot a three-round, school-record 871 to win by 10 strokes. KU's previous three-round record was 874, in the spring of 2007.
"At our home tournament we went into the last day with a lead, so I think that was good preparation for being in the same situation this week," head coach Erin O'Neil said after the second victory. "They were definitely more comfortable with the belief that they could win it.”
The main reason for the ...
LAS VEGAS – Not too long ago, the Golf Coaches Association of America national convention was overflowing with talk of change to men’s college golf. That was not the case this year. In fact, it is such a quiet time at the Division I level that a second breakout session was canceled because there were no pressing issues.
The item that garnered most of the attention was the individual portion of the NCAA Championship, which has taken a back seat to the team competition. For at least the next few years, match play will be used to decide the team champion, but NCAA committee members have been forced to address the growing concern that the individual championship has become lost during championship week.
Their task: Figure out a way to get to a 72-hole individual format while maintaining match play to decide the team champion.
Only two of the six committee members were in attendance. San Jose State coach John Kennady and Georgia Southern coach Larry Mays joined Donnie Wagner, NCAA assistant director of championships and liaison to men’s college golf, to address the crowd at the Tropicana Hotel.
The individual champion has garnered very little recognition at the ...
This is a quiet time of year for college golfers, but there’s a couple performances worth noting. The first comes from UNLV’s Kevin Penner, who’s fresh off his victory at the Western Refining College All-America Golf Classic. Penner’s win there put him on a champion’s list that included many players who went on to have professional success. Penner had some success of his own this week against the pros, albeit on a lower level. He won the Nevada Open on Dec. 11-13, shooting 63-63-65 for a five-shot victory over John Hahn and Dusty Fielding.
New Mexico’s Gavin Green is competing this week in his native Malaysia in the Asian Tour’s Iskandar Johor Open. His standing as Malaysia’s top amateur earned him a pairing with Sergio Garcia and Ernie Els. Green is holding his own. He was in ninth place when the second round was suspended due to darkness. He was 3 under after 12 holes in the second round after shooting a first-round 70. Green, one of college golf’s longest hitters, was one shot ahead of Els and four shots behind Garcia, who was tied for the lead with former Northwestern ...
CINCINNATI – Xavier's golf teams will look toward the spring season with even more anticipation than usual.
That’s because the Musketeers expect to be in their new indoor practice facility by February.
Maketewah Country Club has partnered with nearby Xavier University in a master plan and renovation, with the club’s new practice facility as the centerpiece of efforts to revitalize a century-old club with a rich history.
“With this new first-class facility just five minutes from campus, our teams will be more competitive because we can practice year round,” Xavier men's coach Doug Steiner said, “and our ability to recruit has improved tremendously.”
Maketewah, a 1910 Thomas Bendelow design that was modified by Donald Ross in 1929, has hosted a local U.S. Open qualifier for the past 40 years. Among the course’s distinctive qualities: strategic use of angles, challenging greens, rolling terrain and both nines ending with par 3s. However, at 6,680 yards and a par 72 (72.3 rating, 131 slope), Maketewah (MACK-eh-TEE-wah) has struggled to keep pace with the modern game.
Architect Brian Silva, hired to guide the update, implemented a two-phase plan.
• Phase I, begun in the summer, focuses on the ...
The fall Palmer Cup Rankings have been released. The top six golfers in the new ranking at season's end from both the United States and Europe shall be among the 10 in the selection for each team.
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Rank, Name, Year, School, Percentile
1. Michael Kim, Sophomore, California, .9984
2. Talor Gooch, Junior, Oklahoma State, .9958
3. Patrick Rodgers, Sophomore, Stanford, .9934
4. Kevin Penner, Senior, UNLV, .9917
5. Trevor Simsby, Junior, Washington, .9893
6. Justin Thomas, Sophomore, Alabama, .9884
7. Jace Long, Senior, Missouri, .9843
8. Michael Weaver, Junior, California, .9842
9. TJ Vogel, Senior, Florida, .9842
10. Jordan Spieth, Sophomore, Texas, .9834
11. Daniel Berger, Sophomore, Florida State, .9833
12. Brinson Paolini, Senior, Duke, .9809
13. Yi Keun Chang, Freshman, Southern California, .9750
14. Max Homa, Senior, California, .9709
15. Tyler McCumber, Senior, Florida, .9700
16. Brandon Hagy, Junior, California, .9694
17. T.J. Mitchell, Senior, Georgia, .9692
18. Ollie Schniederjans, Sophomore, Georgia Tech, .9692
19. James Erkenbeck, Senior, New Mexico, .9667
20. Stephen Behr, Freshman, Clemson, .9667
21. Ian Davis, Junior, Oklahoma State, .9659
22. Evan Beck, Senior, Wake Forest, .9658
23. Jonathan Garrick, Freshman, UCLA, .9658
24. Anthony Paolucci, Sophomore, Southern California, .9608
159,958 is the number of high school boys who play high school golf.
For many, the journey ends there.
There are only 6,507 NCAA men’s golfers, compared with 67,887 NCAA football players.
But not all of those play at the top level.
There are 2,960 NCAA Division I men’s golfers.
It’s a very selective group of athletes.
Typically, there are seven to 12 players on a college team, so it’s difficult to get noticed by a coach at any collegiate level.
Take Jake Kreuz of Amherst, N.Y., and Camden Nierman of Scottsdale, Ariz., for example. Both are from opposites sides of the country and different golf climates: Kreuz of suburban Buffalo and Nierman from suburban Phoenix. But both have the same common goal: to play college golf.
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Kreuz was a late bloomer. He didn’t pick up the game until he was a freshman in high school and didn’t make the school team until his sophomore year. And by then, he was too late.
“Honestly, coaches look at sophomores and juniors,” Kreuz said. “I mean, I didn’t play in my first AJGA tournament until 2011, at the Killington Junior ...
When the new proposed anchoring ban was announced by the USGA and R&A on Nov. 28 a lot of pros took to social media to express their opinions.
Well, so did college players.
Even though only a few players use the longer putter, it doesn’t mean they don’t have opinions.
California teammates Joel Stalter and Max Homa took to Facebook for their tiff.
Homa had posted that he was excited about the anchoring ban, but upset that it will take four years for the ban to start (2016 is the proposed year). He compared anchored putting to NBA star Dwight Howard of the Los Angles Lakers’ free-throw shooting, “Howard doesn’t get an advantage shooting free throws because he has no touch.”
While Stalter fired back with, “Do metal driver heads and balls that fly further compromise the integrity of the game as well?”
Homa believes, yes, ban anchoring. He believes it is an advantage for players who use this method of putting. He refers to the ‘ys’ (yips), as part of the game.
“I am a traditionalist when it comes to golf, and anchoring seems far different from how the founders of golf would have ...
Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Patrick Rodgers all had big impacts on their respective teams as freshman last season. Spieth and Thomas helped their squads reach the final match of the NCAA Championship, and Spieth's Longhorns took the title.
As great as the 2011-12 campaign was for college freshmen, this season has a chance to be just as special. Once again, Texas has a standout frosh in Brandon Stone, who is ranked third in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings. As does Stanford, who boasts Englishman David Boote, who had three top-10s in the fall. Several other freshmen also made noise this fall in their first semester as collegiate athletes.
Here's a closer look at 12 (Yes, it's holiday time) of the top freshmen in the country and how they fared in their first half-season of college golf:
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David Boote, Stanford
Golfweek/Sagarin rank: 18
Prerequisites: The Welshman won the Welsh Boys National U-18 Championship and was captain of the 2011 Great Britain and Ireland team at the Jaques Leglise Trophy.
First semester report: Boote racked up three top 10s in four tournaments this fall. He was T-7 at the Olympia Fields/Fighting Illini Invitational, T-3 at the Pac-12 ...
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