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.”
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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)
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• • •
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)
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• • •
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 ...
AUBURN, Ala. – There are times in sports when the human spirit shows such resiliency, such fight in the face of adversity that a golf ball-sized lump starts forming at the base of the throat, without warning.
Kim Evans, a woman who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer four days ago, declared just off the 18th green at Auburn University Club that she was the happiest person on earth. And that was before her Tigers had secured the eighth position at the NCAA East Regional, advancing to the NCAA Championship for the first time since 2010.
An outpouring of love can do that to a person.
The scene around the 18th green on Saturday was emotional. When Victoria Trapani finished her round, her cancer-stricken mother, a pleasant and positive woman who followed for 54 holes, cheered loudly for her youngest daughter. It was a victory for the Trapani family to simply be back on the course – together. Victoria shot 75, her score counting for the first time all week, and then busted out the pom poms as her teammates rolled in.
Evans, 54, came out to watch the 14th-seeded Tigers tee off and then drove the two miles back home and took ...
Team winner: Alabama (20-under 844)
Individual winner: Stephanie Meadow (13-under 203)
Also moving on: Teams –– 2. Tulane (852) T-3. Arkansas (864) T-3. Oklahoma State (864) 5. Texas (871) 6. Northwestern (874) 7. UCLA (875) 8. Auburn (877)
• • •
• • •
Last shall be first: The best story coming out of the East Regional wasn’t at the top of the board, but rather the bottom of the cutline. Tournament host Auburn, seeded 14th, squeaked into its first NCAA Championship since 2010. The gusty performance came four days after head coach Kim Evans was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
“I wouldn’t say I coached this team to nationals,” said student assistant Danielle Downey, who was at the helm this week. “I cheerleaded them. This is coach’s team.”
Auburn finished three strokes ahead of Tennessee, thanks in large part to the gritty play of junior Marta Sanz, who played the last two rounds 7 under par.
• • •
Regional romp: Alabama extended its winning streak to five consecutive events with a breezy victory at the NCAA East Regional. It’s the school’s seventh title of the season. The Tide made fewer putts in the final round, shooting 2-over 290, but their ...
Team leaders: Purdue, Vanderbilt (9 over, 577)
Individual leader: Annie Park, USC (67-71, 4 under)
In position: 3. USC (11 over); 4. South Carolina (13 over); 5. Stanford (17 over); 6. Baylor (18 over); 7. Oregon (21 over); 8. Georgia (27 over);
Chasing: 9. Kent State (28 over); 10. Arizona (30 over); 11. Ohio State (32 over)
Boiling over: Led by Paula Reto's 2-under 69 and a pair of 1-over 73s from Margaux Vanmol and Kishi Sinha, Purdue posted an impressive 2-over 286 Friday at the par-71 Stanford Golf Course to move into a tie for the team lead with overnight leader Vanderbilt.
Reto's leadership is nothing new for the Boilermakers, as she has won three individual titles this season, with Purdue winning the team title in two of those tournaments, including the Big Ten Championships. Reto had 16 even- or under-par rounds coming into the Regionals, by far the leader on the team. The senior has a 72.83 scoring average in 30 rounds this season.
Purdue won four team titles this season and has finished no worse than third in its last five tournaments, which includes three wins.
• • •
The race is on: Barring a blow-up round ...
Team leader: Alabama (22-under 554).
Individual leader: Stephanie Meadow, Alabama (10-under 134).
In position: 2: Tulane (568). T-3: Arkansas (577), Oklahoma State (577) 5: Texas (580). 6: North Carolina (582). 7: Auburn (583). T-8: UCLA (586), Tennessee (586).
Chasing: 10. Northwestern (590) 11. Notre Dame (596) 12. Kentucky (597).
• • •
Still rolling: At this point in the East Regional, it’s not a matter of who, but how many. Alabama leads by 14 strokes over Tulane after two rounds with a 22-under 554 total.
“It’s a matter continuing our momentum,” said head coach Mic Potter, who looked at live scoring only to see how low they could go.
“There’s a standard of excellence that we want to play to.”
For excellence, look no further than Stephanie Meadow, the SEC winner who leads teammates Emma Talley and Jennifer Kirby by four strokes. Meadow’s 10-under total ties a school record for 36 holes.
Meadow credits some of her success to a new putter she put in the bag right after winning SECs. The Odyssey Versa 2-Ball markings helped improve Meadow’s alignment, and the insert provided added feel.
The British Amateur champ also credits her work with mental gurus Pia ...
Team leader: Oklahoma (7-under 569)
Individual leader: Emily Collins (7-under 137)
In position: 2. Duke (575), 3. Florida (589), T-4. Arizona State, Coastal Carolina (590), T-6. Texas Tech, UC Davis, Mississippi State (591)
Chasing: T-9. Michigan State, N.C. State (592), 11. TCU (593) 12. Wisconsin (595), 13. SMU (598)
• • •
Here comes the home team: Oklahoma remained steady in Round 2 of the NCAA Central Regional, a day when many other teams lost ground. Holding ground, however, is a little easier to do when regionals is on such familiar territory.
The Sooners are playing in their own backyard this week, at the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club in Norman, Okla. That course also will host the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links later this summer.
Oklahoma added three shots to its first-round 5-under 283 total, and with a second-round 286 is now at 7 under for the tournament. The Sooners lead Duke by six shots. On Friday, Oklahoma counted rounds of 70 from three players: Anne-Catherine Tanguay, Chirapat Jao-Javanil and Emily Collins.
Collins shot a bogey-free 67 Thursday, her first blemish-free round in competition.
“The home course definitely helps because we all know the bounces and the breaks,” Collins ...
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