Brandon Stone, who recently completed his freshman season at Texas, has turned professional. Stone, the 2013 NCAA freshman of the year, has signed with IMG for management and marketing representation.
Stone, who finished the season at No. 2 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, will make his pro debut at the European Tour's BMW International Open on June 20-23 in Munich, Germany, on a sponsor exemption.
When Stone went to Texas, he was the No. 1-ranked amateur in South Africa. During his freshman year, he was named the 2013 Big 12 Conference Player of the Year and Big 12 Newcomer of the Year.
Stone won three times with the Longhorns. He won his first collegiate event, the Carpet Capital Collegiate, and added victories at the Bayou City Collegiate Championship and the Big 12 Championship. He leaves Texas with a 71.24 stroke average. He recorded seven top-10 finishes and placed no worse T-36 in 12 events. Stone tied for second in the stroke-play portion of the recent NCAA Championship before the Longhorns lost to Illinois in the match-play quarterfinals.
"I have had an amazing year in Texas, and I would like to thank the University of Texas golf coaches ...
California’s Michael Kim topped the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings at the end of the year. As a sophomore in 2012-13, Kim won four individual titles as his Golden Bears won 11 times before finishing runner-up in the NCAA match-play finals. Kim, 19, of Del Mar, Calif., received the Jack Nicklaus Award at the end of the season.
The Golden Bears ended the season atop the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings after bowing out in the semifinals of the NCAA Championship. Cal won 11 times in the 2012-13 season, which included nine regular-season victories, the Pac-12 Championship and the NCAA Pullman Regional. The Golden Bears also took the No. 1 seed in the national-championship match play after finishing atop the 54-hole stroke-play leaderboard. Senior Max Homa won the individual title.
Michael Kim of California, Abilene Christian's Alex Carpenter, Brad Shigezawa of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, Oklahoma City's Sondre Ronold and Jake Argento of South Mountain (Ariz.) Community College were introduced on Sunday as the winners of the Jack Nicklaus awards as the top golfers in NCAA Divisions I-III, NAIA and the junior college levels.
Kim flew in from Atlanta, where Cal was competing in the Division I golf championship, for the trophy presentation. He left right after the ceremony to make it in time for a U.S. Open sectional qualifier Monday.
Nicklaus presented the trophies and spoke about his days in the early 1960s playing at Ohio State.
He said he received two $1,000 scholarships playing golf — and he made them last into his senior year.
"College golf was not a big deal then," said the winner of 18 major championships and two U.S. Amateurs. "We played four or five matches against other teams and never played in tournaments. Then we had the Big Ten (tournament) and NCAAs. It was a spring sport only. It just wasn't that big of a deal. But it was big enough to get us here."
MILTON, Ga. -- You had California from the Pac-12, Alabama from the SEC and Texas from the Big 12. An impressive threesome. All won their conference titles this season.
Entering this week’s NCAA Championship finals at Capital City Club’s Crabapple course, they had combined for 23 tournament titles. Cal and ‘Bama were Nos. 1 and 2 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings and the top two seeds in the 30-team starting field. Texas was ranked third and listed as the No. 4 seed.
They were considered by most as the cream of the crop -- college golf’s Big 3 -- in the 2012-13 season and drew the bulk of attention all year.
Then there’s Illinois. Not many people would place the Fighting Illini in the same class with this threesome. Maybe they don’t belong among this group (just don’t tell them that). But one thing I know, what coach Mike Small and his teams have done over the last half dozen years has been truly remarkable.
The Illini have shown that a northern, Midwestern program can compete against the Western and Southern big guns and be an intregal part of college golf’s power players.
“This program has ...
MILTON, Ga. -- Scott Strohmeyer was your typical late teenager when he enrolled at Alabama in the fall of 2008.
A know-it-all, thinking he needed little coaching – basically too big for his own britches.
He'd redshirt that first year with the Tide, albeit with a bit of a chip on his shoulder.
When he returned for his sophomore academic year, his attitude got in the way of progress on the course – something he could ill afford, considering he didn't pick up the game until he was 12 or 13 and seemingly leaving himself a big learning curve against college golf's best. He had no top-10s in 11 events his first season.
He was refusing to listen to head coach Jay Seawell.
"I thought I knew everything," said Strohmeyer, a native of Auburn, Ala. "Coach and I kind of butted heads, mainly because of me. I needed to be woken up. I thought I knew everything, I thought I knew how to play golf. I thought, 'Who is this coach telling me how I should play golf?'"
That attitude didn't work for Teri Strohmeyer, Scott's mother. She wasn't too happy with her son's stubborn behavior ...
MILTON, Ga. After heartbreak last year at the NCAA Championships, Alabama got sweet redemption in winning its first National Championship with a 4-1 victory over Illinois at The Capital City Club’s Crabapple course.
It caps off an under-the-radar spring for the Crimson Tide. As all eyes were on California, Alabama, No. 2 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, won six of its seven spring tournaments. Senior Scott Strohmeyer, junior Cory Whitsett and sophomore Justin Thomas all won in the spring (Whitsett won three times).
Bobby Wyatt got off to an extremely fast start Sunday. He won his first seven holes against Illinois freshman Thomas Detry. In that span, he made five birdies and won holes Nos. 1 and 6 with pars. Wyatt’s first lost hole came with a bogey at No. 9, but he closed his match early on No. 13 when his flop shot at the par 3 rolled in for birdie.
Said Wyatt of that shot: “I was really in trouble. I didn’t think I could keep it on the top slope where the pin was and had to hit it as high and soft as I could. I landed it right where I wanted ...
MILTON, Ga. -- Redemption.
Alabama has it, a year after a heartbreaking loss in the NCAA Championship, the Tide secured a 4-1 win over Illinois on Sunday at the Capital City Club to win the school's first national championship.
Here's how it all played out on Sunday:
• • •
Update #44: 12:08 a.m. EDT
Cory Whitsett vs. Alex Burge: Whitsett halved No. 15 – which is all it took to win his match 4 and 3 – and give Alabama the national championship.
Scott Strohmeyer vs. Brian Campbell: Nearly simultaneously, Strohmeyer wins No. 16 by a stroke to clinch his match 3 and 2.
Justin Thomas vs. Thomas Pieters: Pieters wraps up his match 1 up, giving Illinois its lone point of the finals.
MATCH: Alabama 4-1
• • •
Update #44: 12:02 a.m. EDT
Trey Mullinax vs. Charlie Danielson: Danielson's approach finds the rough on the right side, while Mullinax finds the right side of the green and has about 35 feet to the hole. Danielson chips to about 6 feet and Mullinax leaves himself about a 3-footer. Danielson misses and Mullinax converts his par to win the hole – and the match at 1 up. It's Alabama's fourth ...
MILTON, Ga. – Being the coach of the better seed, Alabama's Jay Seawell was on the clock first. However, Seawell deferred to Illinois coach Mike Small to insert the first player on the board for the national-championship match, which is set to begin at 8 a.m. EDT at Capital City Club’s Crabapple course.
“You're kind of dumb if you don’t, I think,” Seawell said. “If you have an advantage, at least it gives you a chance to see the style or matchup.”
Small expected Seawell to defer to him, and answered by staying with Thomas Detry to lead the Illini into the final match. Seawell matched Small with Bobby Wyatt, Alabama’s top-ranked player.
“We wanted Bobby Wyatt to lead us, but I wanted to see who he threw out there,” Seawell said.
Like Detry, Wyatt has been first out for the Crimson Tide in each of the first two matches.
In match No. 2, Alabama went with Trey Mullinax and Illinois picked Charlie Danielson.
Sticking with the same order he had used in opening two rounds of match play, Small went with his best player, Thomas Pieters, for Match No. 3. Seawell answered with Justin ...
MILTON, Ga. -- Illinois coach Mike Small and two of his players -- Alex Burge and Thomas Pieters -- had some thinking and possible planning to do on the eve of this year’s NCAA Championship finals title match at Capital City Golf Club’s Crabapple course.
All three advanced through local qualifying for this year’s U.S. Open and are scheduled to compete in Sectional qualifying on Monday, the day after the Fighting Illini take on Alabama to decide the national collegiate champion.
Small, an accomplished player in his own right who has played in three previous U.S. Opens, and Burge, a sophomore, are scheduled to attempt qualifying in St. Louis, Mo., while Pieters, a junior from Belgium and 2012 NCAA champ, is on tap for Springfield, Ohio.
“We’re going to have to really think about that Monday qualifying,” Small said shortly after his Illini stunned top-ranked California 3 and 2 in the semifinals. “We haven’t crossed that bridge just yet. We’ll talk about it tonight and come to some conclusion tomorrow.”
One good thing for the threesome, due to possible weather issues moving into the area, the starting time for Sunday’s title match was bumped ...
Illinois’ dream season continued. California’s came to a heartbreaking, tear-filled end.
Both happened Saturday after the Fighting Illini gutted out a 3-and-2 victory over the Bears in the semifinals of the NCAA Championship at the Capital City Golf Club’s Crabapple course.
With each team having two points on the board, the match came down to the clash of college golf titans – Cal’s Max Homa, the Pac-12 champion who two days earlier won the NCAA individual crown, and Illinois’ Thomas Pieters, the reigning Big 10 champion and 2012 NCAA individual winner.
It will rank as one of the most exciting and intense matches since this format was introduced in 2009, spilling over two extra holes. On the 20th hole, the par-4 second, Pieters two-putted from 12 feet for par while Homa made bogey, three-putting from some 50 feet and lipping out his 10-foot comebacker for par.
“Thomas Pieters is one tough competitor and he showed it today,” said Illinois coach Mike Small, completing his 13th season at the Illini helm. “What a day this has been, for our team, for our program.
“In (match play) format there is such a small margin for error. Our guys are not ...
MILTON, Ga. –– Alabama coach Jay Seawell and his players have heard the question many times now.
How will last year’s loss to Texas motivate you to get back to the NCAA Championship final?
“We’ve answered that question for a whole year,” Seawell said.
And they’ve answered it the same way.
“We start at zero every day; that’s kind of our motto,” Seawell said. “Every time you peg it in the ground, you’re starting over.”
After a 3-0-2 victory over Georgia Tech Saturday at the Capital City Club’s Crabapple course – a win that has Alabama one win away from a national title for the second straight year – the Crimson Tide no longer have to answer that question.
They’ll play Illinois for a national title on Sunday morning.
“There’s only one team in the country that can say they’ve been to the championship match two years in a row, and it’s a tremendous honor to just be a part of it,” said Alabama senior Justin Thomas, who defeated Seth Reeves, 3 and 1.
The Crimson Tide, who had beaten New Mexico 4-1 a day earlier, looked like they had a chance to ...
MILTON, Ga. It took nearly 43 months, but Cory Whitsett got his revenge.
More than three years removed from a loss in the match-play final of the Polo Junior Golf Classic to Ollie Schniederjans, the two were paired in the day's final match at the NCAA Championship on Saturday.
And this one went decidedly in Whitsett's favor, taking a 1-up lead on the first hole and never looking back in a 3-and-2 victory that helped propel his Alabama squad to a 3-0-2 victory over Georgia Tech, earning a berth in Sunday's final against Illinois.
"I knew Ollie was going to be a very tough opponent today; he was clutch in getting Georgia Tech into today," said Whitsett, No. 4 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings. "I knew he was great in match play. He beat me in match play three or four years ago at Polo. I didn't think that much about it. But a little dig there."
Strategy by Tide head coach Jay Seawell played into the match-up, holding off on putting Whitsett in the lineup until last, hoping Tech coach Bruce Heppler would do the same with Schniederjans.
"I wanted him to play Ollie; I ...
MILTON, Ga. -– It was the heavyweight match-up of the day – the 2012 NCAA medalist, Illinois’ Thomas Pieters, and the 2013 medalist, California’s Max Homa, in the semifinals of the NCAA Championship.
And, as it should be, the match went 20 holes and ultimately decided who would advance to the finals at the Capital City Club’s Crabapple course on Sunday.
Pieters hit his wedge shot, from a side-hill lie, to 10 feet on the 20th hole -- the par-4 second -- and two-putted for par, while Homa, who had so much adrenaline hitting his approach shot from 75 yards, hit to 60 feet, sent his birdie putt 10 feet past and missed the comebacker -– a deadly three-putt.
Homa had three three-putts in his last 11 holes.
The day started with the two standout players exchanging pars until the sixth hole, when Homa walked in 25-foot birdie putt and Pieters missed his 8-footer.
Homa would add a birdie at No. 8 to go 2 up, extending it on No. 9 with a par to make the turn with a three-hole advantage.
On the 8th, Pieters put his approach shot over the green. When he chipped it back to the flag, it went ...
MILTON, Ga. -- And then there were four -- or, the Final Fore, as they call it here at the NCAA Championship.
The favorite? Still alive, as Cal knocked off Arizona State on Friday.
The biggest challenger? Still alive, as Alabama blasted New Mexico on Friday.
The hometown favorite? Still alive, as Georgia Tech outlasted UNLV.
The surprise? That'd be Illinois, who knocked off defending champ Texas.
So, all of the storylines are there today, as Cal takes on Illinois in the first set of matches, followed by Alabama and Georgia Tech.
We'll keep you updated all day long from the Capital City Club. And off we go!
• • •
Update #28: 2:48 p.m. EDT
• Alabama vs. Georgia Tech update: Bobby Wyatt is 1 up on Anders Albertson with two holes left. Justin Thomas is 2 up on Seth Reeves with three holes to play. Cory Whitsett leads Ollie Schniederjans, 4 up, with four to play. The only match 'Bama trails is the one involving Scott Strohmeyer, who is 1 down to Bo Andrews with three to play.
• • •
Update #27: 2:43 p.m. EDT
• Cal vs. Illinois update: Max Homa three-putts for bogey and Thomas Pieters win the match ...
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