ATHENS, Ga. – Standing on the first hole with Alabama during Monday’s practice round for the NCAA Women’s Championship was a lesson in accuracy.
The Crimson Tide’s tee shots came loudly and in quick succession, and landed in a tight group across the middle of the fairway. Head coach Mic Potter had his players on a brisk pace around the University of Georgia Golf Course as the sun burned off a morning haze and dried out damp greens.
Alabama is aiming for national title No. 2 this week, season victory No. 8 and consecutive victory No. 6. Potter says the latter two stats are more relevant than the first. Last year is last year.
“That really has nothing to do with what we may or may not do this year, other than that if you store those positive experiences . . . it’s definitely something to build on,” Potter said. “I think the main thing in golf is you always attend to the shot at hand, do the best you can with it and do that all day long.”
Senior Jennifer Kirby, and juniors Stephanie Meadow and Hannah Collier return from Alabama’s 2012 national-championship team. This year the team ...
The 72-hole NCAA Women’s Championship begins May 21 at the University of Georgia Golf Course in Athens, Ga. Golfweek writers made their picks for the individual and team winners.
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Beth Ann Baldry
Team: We’re in the South, which means a hot team like Alabama feels right at home in nearby Athens, Ga. The Tide have won seven titles this season, including the NCAA East Regional and the SEC Championship. With junior Stephanie Meadow playing some of the best golf of her young career, Team 'Bama should be brimming with confidence.
If they couldn’t return to Nashville, site of their first NCAA crown, head coach Mic Potter said the University of Georgia’s course is the next best place. Expect familiarity to play a key role during the next four days.
Individual winner: Georgia’s Emilie Burger will be flying solo this week on her home course, making this a bittersweet experience for the senior from Hoschton, Ga. No one in the field, however, has as much local knowledge as Burger.
She’s ranked 16th by Golfweek and has two victories this season ...
ATHENS, Ga. –- Hands folded behind her head, reclined in a tall office chair, Emilie Burger shouts out of the golf office at the University of Georgia Golf Course, “Hey coach, check this out!”
Head coach Josh Brewer comes around the corner and, smiling, shakes his head at his player as she sits behind his desk. It’s from this position, ninth green visible over her right shoulder, that Burger answers questions on the eve of the national championship, which happens to be taking place in her backyard.
A framed white caddie bib emblazoned with Burger’s name leans against the wall in the corner of Brewer’s office, but Burger takes up much more real estate here than that. The senior has been the face of Georgia women’s golf this year. Younger teammates call her “Grammy,” and there are a lot of those. Five freshmen joined the Georgia roster in the fall, and Burger, an athletic 5-feet-9-inch blonde, knew it was her responsibility to set an example for them.
When Burger found out that former head coach Kelley Hester wouldn’t return for Burger’s senior season, she sat down with Georgia Athletic Director Greg McGarity. Coaches and players ...
University of Georgia Golf Course
• • •
7:33 a.m. - 8:17 a.m.: Arizona State, Texas, Stanford
8:25 a.m.: Individuals Olafia Kristinsdottir (Wake Forest), Kelly Shon (Princeton), Emily Burger (Georgia)
8:39 a.m. - 9:23 a.m.: UC Davis, Northwestern, Arizona
12:03 p.m. - 12:47 p.m.: Duke, Alabama, USC
12:58 p.m. - 1:42 p.m.: Oklahoma, Tulane, Purdue
7:30 a.m. - 8:14 a.m.: Wisconsin, UCLA, Oregon
8:25 a.m.: Individuals Ying Luo (Washington), Erica Popson (Tennessee), Jennifer Ha (Kent State)
8:36 a.m. - 9:20 a.m.: Michigan State, Auburn, San Jose State
12:00 p.m. - 12:44 p.m.: Mississippi State, Arkansas, Vanderbilt
12:55 p.m. - 1:39 p.m.: Florida, Oklahoma State, South Carolina
• • •
7:33 a.m. - 8:17 a.m.: Mississippi State, Arkansas, Vanderbilt
8:28 a.m. - 9:12 a.m.: Florida, Oklahoma State, South Carolina
11:53 a.m. - 12:37 p.m.: Wisconsin, UCLA, Oregon
12:48 p.m.: Luo, Popson, Ha
12:59 p.m. - 1:43 p.m.: Michigan State, Auburn, San Jose State
10th Tee ...
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Annie Dulman was less than 100 miles from the dorm room she knows as home in Winter Park, Fla., but the NCAA Division II Women’s National Championship still was an exhausting trip. By the time the Rollins freshman reached the 17th fairway in the fourth and final round, there was little gas in the tank. On a sweltering day at LPGA International, Dulman pulled the pink towel from her golf bag and laid prone in the middle of the fairway, shading her face until it was her turn to hit.
Dulman capped her freshman season with a T-9 (12-over 300) at the national championship, where she played as an individual. Rollins, ranked third by Golfstat, wasn’t able to advance out of a loaded South Regional that included the top three finishers at the national championship –- Lynn, Nova Southeastern and Barry. Dulman, however was a good respresentative for the Tars.
It’s been a whirlwhind season for the Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., native, who said she first considered Rollins because she was looking for a place with warm weather. It helped that mom Laura, Annie’s swing coach, already knew Rollins head coach Julie Garner. Laura ...
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The conclusion of the NCAA Division II Women’s Championship felt more like a trip to the water park than the end of a golf tournament. There wasn’t a dry eye Saturday afternoon among the Lynn University contingent after the Fighting Knights narrowly edged an equally emotional Nova Southeastern team.
There also wasn’t a cooler within reach of the Barry squad that wasn’t raided in order to properly douse individual champion Nancy Vergara.
“Amazing,” Vergara, a sophomore, said at the end of the day. “After a hot day, even better.”
The final round of the national championship was stifling amid the lush foliage that lines LPGA International’s Legends Course. Pressure was high, too, as defending champion Nova Southeastern led Lynn by a single shot entering the final round.
Vergara, the Venezuela native, trailed by one shot entering the final round, but shot 3-over 75 Saturday for a 3-over 291 total and a one-shot victory. She had to make a 6-foot putt at the last to do it.
Vergara sunk that putt, then ducked out of the way of the Nova-Lynn battle that had been swirling around her all day. Those two teams, both ...
One of the longest reigns in NCAA championship history is over. After 15 consecutive national titles, the Methodist stranglehold on Division III women's golf has been broken.
Mary Hardin-Baylor won its first NCAA Division III National Championship on Friday at the Raven Golf Club in Destin, Fla.
The Cru shot 87-over 1,239 to win by eight shots over runner-up Texas-Tyler, which won the men's title. Methodist (1,259) was third while George Fox (1,267) and Williams (1,282) rounded out the top 5.
Mary Hardin-Baylor's Taylor O'Rear shot 13-over 301 to finish third individually behind runner-up Kelsey Morrison (300) of George Fox and medalist Laura Lindsey (296) of Texas-Tyler.
The Player of the Year race in college women’s golf will go down to the wire this season. The candidates: USC freshman Annie Park and Stephanie Meadow, a junior at Alabama. What’s most impressive about this showdown is that young Park has only been enrolled at USC since January. But in that time she has played in eight college tournaments and won three times. Meanwhile Meadow, a seven-time winner, is heating up at the right time.
The pair met once this season at the Allstate Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate, where they tied for eighth. They’ll meet next at the NCAA Championship May 21-24 in Athens, Ga.
Their seasons by the numbers:
Annie Park, Levittown, N.Y.
Golfweek/Sagarin Ranking: 1
Scoring average: 71.71
Rounds in the 60s: 4
Tournament victories: Bruin Wave Invitational, Pac-12 Championship, NCAA West Regional
Top 5s: 5
Top 10s: 6
Worst finish: 27th
Head-to-head vs. top 25: 28-21-7
Overall record: 564-54-9
Coach Andrea Gaston says: “Annie is unbelievable, just her consistency.”
• • •
Stephanie Meadow, Jordanstown, Northern Ireland
Golfweek/Sagarin Ranking: 2
Scoring average: 71.1
Rounds in the 60s: 10
Tournament victories: SEC Championship, NCAA East ...
Greg Robertson has been named head women’s golf coach at Kent State. Robertson becomes the second head coach in program history, replacing Mike Morrow, who started the program in 1997.
Robertson spent the past 11 seasons as the associate head coach at Purdue. He was named the Jan Strickland Assistant Coach of the Year in 2005. The Boilermakers women have advanced to the NCAA Championships during each of the past 11 seasons. Maria Hernandez won the NCAA individual title in 2009, and Robertson helped guide the women’s team to the national title in 2010. It was a program first.
“I’m extremely pleased to be joining the Kent State women’s golf program,” Robertson said. “I’ll be looking forward to building on the foundation from the Coach Morrow years and the success that those teams have had. I’m thrilled to be part of an athletic program in which the commitment, resources and facilities devoted to golf are second to none. Everything is in place for this team to be nationally competitive year in and year out.”
Robertson was a member of Oklahoma State’s 1995 national championship-winning team, played professionally for three seasons and spent one ...
Virginia Tech will add women’s golf to its list of intercollegiate athletics beginning in the fall of 2015. A national search for a head coach begins immediately, with the goal to have a coach in place by July 1, 2013 to begin recruiting student-athletes and building the program.
Women’s golf will be the 22nd intercollegiate sports team at Virginia Tech, and the first addition since softball for the 1995-96 season. That was before the Hokies joined the ACC for the 2004-05 season. Virginia Tech will be the 11th ACC school to field a women’s golf team.
“We have been working toward this day since joining the ACC, but wanted to make sure that everything was in place for this program to succeed before starting this process publicly,” Director of Athletics Jim Weaver said. “Our men’s golf program has proven that golf at Virginia Tech can be highly successful.”
Virginia Tech men’s team is ranked No. 35 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, and will compete later this week in the NCAA regional at Palouse Ridge Golf Club in Pullman, Wash.
Recruited student-athletes will start practice in the fall of 2014 and will redshirt in the ...
The sophomore tied the best round of her college career with a final-round 68 that helped the Bulldogs cement their place inside the top 8 at the NCAA Central Regional. Mississippi State, the No. 19 seed, finished third to earn its first national-championship berth. McDonald eagled the 16th hole but double bogeyed the 18th. She finished the tournament with a 10-under 206 total that left her five shots ahead of three players tied for second.
The Badgers entered the NCAA Central Regional with the No. 20 seed and advanced to the national championship for the first time since 2003. It’s only the second time Wisconsin has qualified for the NCAA finals in program history, and the Badgers set a new record for lowest-seeded team to advance out of regionals. Wisconsin climbed from 12th to seventh in the final round at Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club in Norman, Okla., and Kris Yoo led that charge with a bogey-free 65.
There was little surprise at the top of the three NCAA regional leaderboards on May 11. Top-ranked USC won its ninth regional title, Duke notched its eighth – and first since 2007 – and Alabama, the defending national champion, easily won by eight shots.
Those three teams are at the top of the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, and the national champion likely will be one of those three. In fact, seven of the last 11 NCAA champions have won a regional title. Alabama still looks like the team to beat heading to the NCAA Championship May 21-24 at the University of Georgia Golf Course.
This past weekend was not about winning, however. It was about advancing to the national championship, the single act by which many programs define their season.
That brings me to my top 5 headlines from the NCAA women’s regional play:
1. Disappointing end: More low seeds are advancing than ever before. This year, eight teams from outside the top-eight seeds advanced, which ties the record. That amounts to some disappointment for several teams that saw their season come to an unexpected, screeching halt. The team that comes to mind is Washington. At the end of the fall ...
Team winner: USC (7-over 859)
Individual winner: Annie Park, USC; Paula Reto, Purdue (7-under 206)
Also moving on: 2. Purdue (860), 3. Vanderbilt (869), 4. South Carolina (874), 5. Stanford (875), T-6. Arizona, Oregon, San Jose State (889)
• • •
• • •
Credit the freshmen: USC won its fourth consecutive regional on Saturday, this time with major help from two freshmen.
Annie Park, the top-ranked player in the country, and Kyung Kim, reigning U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links champion, went a combined 11 under at the Stanford University Golf Course. Kim posted 8-under 63 while Park contributed 68. Kim won the individual title at Stanford last fall as the team won its first of six victories so far this season.
USC, Golfweek’s top-ranked team and the top seed in the West Regional, finished one shot ahead of Purdue. The Trojans’ final-round 4-under 280 helped them climb ahead of the Boilermakers in the final round and finish at 7-over 859 for the tournament.
Park finished tied for individual medalist honors with Purdue’s Paula Reto. Both players shot 7-under 206 for 54 holes. Kim was part of a tie for third two shots back.
• • •
In the door: Arizona, Oregon ...
Team winner: Duke (13-under 851)
Individual winner: Ally McDonald, Mississippi State, 10-under 216
Also moving on: 2. Oklahoma (857), 3. Mississippi State (872), 4. Florida (877), 5. Airzona State (878), 6. UC Davis (880), 7. Wisconsin (883), 8. Michigan State (884)
• • •
• • •
Eight times atop the magic eight: Eight always is a significant number at NCAA regionals – it’s the number of teams that gets to advance to the NCAA Championship – but particularly special this year for the Blue Devils. With a final-round 12-under 276 at the Central Regional, Duke secured its eighth NCAA regional victory on Saturday and its 25th national-championship berth. The Blue Devils posted a 13-under 851 total at the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club in Norman, Okla.
The victory is especially significant for Dan Brook’s experienced Duke team because it’s only the second this season. Duke broke the ice with a 24-shot victory at the ACC Championship, and took the No. 1 seed into regionals. The Blue Devils are No. 3 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings.
“Every season is a different thing and we just keep going after it,” said Brooks. “It took us a while to get a win ...
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