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 ...
AUBURN, Ala. – Kim Evans carries a Sprite can in front of her stomach to avoid full-on belly hugs. The Auburn coach was diagnosed with ovarian cancer three days ago, and understandably wants all that love and support coming in from the side. And rest assured, the side hugs are aplenty.
“I’m ready to fight it,” Evans said Friday morning while on her way to a full body scan in Birmingham. “I would strap myself up to (treatment) today if they’d let me.”
Evans, 54, said she has learned more in her 26th year of coaching than ever before. With Auburn playing host to this week’s NCAA East Regional, Evans knew she couldn’t keep silent about her illness. She called Danielle Downey, the former All-American and LPGA player who came back to Auburn last fall to finish her degree, and said simply: “I have cancer, buddy.”
They both cried.
Downey filled in as a student assistant earlier this spring when assistant coach Margaret Shirley had to return home to Atlanta after facing her own health issues. When the team came over to Evans’ home off College Street on Tuesday evening, Downey stayed behind. She didn’t want ...
Team leader: Vanderbilt (5-over 289)
Individual leader: Annie Park, USC (4-under 67)
In position: 2. USC (290), 3. Purdue (291), 4. Oregon (292), 5. Baylor (295), T-6. Georgia, South Carolina (296), 8. California (297)
Chasing: 9. Denver (299), T-10. Texas A&M, Arizona (300)
Often a bridesmaid: It’s been a close-call kind of season for Vanderbilt as the spring was dotted with three runner-up finishes and two fourth-place finishes. The Commodores now are facing off against top-ranked and top-seeded USC at Stanford (Calif.) Golf Course.
It’s the 14th consecutive regional appearance for Vanderbilt (15th overall), but here’s a little something different: The Commodores were sent west for the first time in program history. Vanderbilt made just one other trip west of the Mississippi this year, for the Stanford Intercollegiate in October. The team finished fifth.
Vanderbilt counted even-par rounds from Kendall Martindale and Irina Gabasa on Thursday, then added a 74 from Jenny Hahn and a 75 from Lauren Stratton. It left them with a slim one-shot lead on USC, which already won at Stanford in the fall. The Trojans got a big boost from first-semester freshman Annie Park in Round 1 as Park shot 6-under 67 ...
Team leader: Florida (6-under 282)
Individual leader: Emily Collins, Oklahoma (5-under 67)
In position: 2. Oklahoma (283), 3. Duke (284), 4. TCU (290), T-5. Michigan State, UC Davis (291)
Chasing: T-7. Mississippi State, Arizona State, Wisconsin, Indiana (292), 11. Coastal Carolina (293)
Change in the lineup: So much of Florida’s success in the fall – the Gators won twice and finished runner-up once – was built upon the Camilla Hedberg-Isabelle Lendl one-two punch. Florida’s regional lineup, however, requires a double-take. Lendl’s name is missing.
“We wanted to field the best team we could so kind of a mutual understanding that she wasn’t going to travel with us,” head coach Emily Bastel said.
Lendl, No. 44 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings and the second-highest Gator, finished 64th at the SEC Championship and T-32 before that. In her absence, however, fellow senior Mia Piccio stepped up with a 3-under 69 at the Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club in Normal, Okla., and junior Elcin Ulu led the team with a 68. That’s a career-low round for each player, and freshman Ursa Orehek also tied her career-low 71.
A 6-under total gets the Gators off to a solid start. That’s ...
Team leader: Alabama (11-under 277)
Individual leader: Emma Lavy/Arkansas, Erica Popson/Tennessee, Emma Talley/Alabama (5-under 67)
In position: T-2. Tulane (283) T-2. Arkansas (283) 4. UCLA (288) 5. Texas (289) T-6. Oklahoma State (290) T-6. North Carolina (290) T-8. Northwestern (292) T-8. Notre Dame (292)
Chasing: 10. Tennessee (294) 11. East Tennessee State (297) T-12. Mississippi (299) T-12. Auburn (299)
Staying power: Erica Popson has worried about being a one-year wonder. That sophomore campaign was so impressive, despite the injured thumb, or perhaps because of it. And she hasn’t had a year anything like it since.
In fact, it has a been a lackluster final semester for Popson, who will turn professional immediately following the postseason. Her last four finishes: seventh, T-7, T-23, T-23.
When Popson first came to Tennessee, she thought a sports psychologist was for crazy people. She avoided the school’s shrink. When she was injured, however, Popson had trouble dealing with downtime and gave it a whirl.
Last semester, Popson met with Dr. Joe Whitney once a week. Before coming to Auburn, site of her 2011 SEC Championship victory, Popson and Whitney talked about trying to ride her momentum from here two years ...
At its grassroots level, golf is a sport based on wagering – for a soda, for a dollar or, in a tournament setting, for a trophy or a gift certificate. Betting is a large part of country-club culture, and a recent NCAA survey shows that also is the case among college golfers.
The NCAA released a report this month from a quadrennial survey of member institutions regarding gambling behaviors among student-athletes. The total number of athletes – male and female – who report wagering on sports has decreased or remained stagnant in all three NCAA divisions since the 2008 study. Men’s golf, however, stands out at every level – and not for positive reasons.
According to the survey findings, 21.3 percent of Division I men’s golfers reported wagering on sports, a violation of NCAA rules, at least once a month. That number is more than twice as high as any of the other 10 Division I men’s programs surveyed. At the Division II and III levels, men’s golf also leads in sports wagering. And while wagering by athletes in other sports is going down, it is rising among male golfers. When the three divisions are combined, the percentage of ...
AUBURN, Ala. – This week at the Auburn University Club, it’s all about earning a berth into the NCAA Championship. Tulane has accomplished the feat three times in program history.
Last week was about a different kind of birth for head coach Andrew Pratt – the birth of his second son, Weston Rountree Pratt. Born May 2 at 2:46 a.m., Weston entered this world three weeks early at 6 pounds, 9 ounces.
“It was tough to leave him,” said Pratt, beaming. His in-laws are back home in New Orleans helping wife Sara stay sane.
Anything that happens these next few weeks on the golf course is icing for Pratt. A successful birth trumps a successful berth every time.
And yet, Pratt’s Waves did their best to make Papa Pratt proud, carding a 5-under 283 on a sunny day in ’Bama to trail the Tide by six strokes. It was a solid start for seventh-seeded Tulane, which counts three freshmen on its roster of five.
Leading the way for the Waves was freshman Emily Penttila, who posted eight birdies in a 4-under 68. She rattled off five in a row on Nos. 3-7. Thursday’s round was her 10th ...
AUBURN, Ala. – Emily Tubert knows the power of one. At last year’s SEC Championship, she shed a tear when supporters “called the hogs” after host Arkansas lost by one stroke. Weeks later, she was holding her breath around the ninth green at the NCAA Central Regional, the fate of her team’s future in the hands of an Oregon player.
That time, the Razorbacks fell on the right side of one. They squeaked into nationals in their region’s eighth and final position.
“It’s amazing,” said Tubert. “You hit so many golf shots ... hundreds of shots over three days with five girls, and it comes down to one.”
On Thursday, 72 teams at three regional sites will try to qualify for the 24-team NCAA Championship in Athens, Ga. It’s an odd 54-hole event in that more attention is paid to the team that finishes eighth rather than first. Eight teams advance from each site.
Arkansas is the No. 2 seed in a solid NCAA East Regional field. Tubert, noting the depth of this year’s team, expects to battle at the top of this year’s leaderboard against top-seeded Alabama, the 2012 NCAA champion.
Tubert’s final-round ...
Cheryl Stacy has announced she will resign as head coach of the Michigan women’s golf team. Stacy is at the end of her fourth season as head coach of the Wolverines, a position she took after four seasons as an assistant coach.
“It has been a great honor to have been at the University of Michigan over the last eight years,” said Stacy. “Throughout my time in Ann Arbor, I have had the privilege of surrounding myself with some of the greatest student-athletes and many, many quality young ladies. Being able to help and mentor them on and off the golf course is something I will always remember fondly. I wish nothing but great success for the program in the future.”
During Stacy’s career, Michigan twice advanced to the NCAA Central Regional as a team. Michigan, ranked No. 88 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings, ended its season with a 10th-place finish at the Big Ten Championship on April 28.
Michigan will begin an immediate search for Stacy’s replacement.
Information from Michigan Athletics used in this report
Detroit has entered the bonus period. With nine victories so far this season and Horizon League Championship rings on the way, anything else that happens this spring is only icing on the cake.
“That’s the tournament where, when we think about it, everything we do is, ‘Do this for the Horizon League,’ ” said junior Lindsey Lammers, Detroit’s leading scorer.
The Titans accomplished the unthinkable April 28 by earning a ninth season victory at the conference championship, their 11th start this season. That victory total ties the total number of team titles Detroit has won since the program’s inception in 2005. Head coach Terri Anthony-Ryan has been the only coach.
The 1994-95 Arizona State team that won 10 times in a season, ending with the NCAA Championship, is thought to hold the women’s record for most victories in a season.
Detroit’s success this season is mind-numbing. But as you trace your way through the Titans’ results, the MAC Preview, this team’s third start of the season, seems wildly out of place. It’s not only the one tournament out of 11 that resulted in something less than a runner-up finish, but the Titans finished last ...
Women’s regional play begins May 9 at three sites across the country. Here are some random thoughts heading into postseason:
Sure winning is important, but that has never been the point of a regional. Regionals are a qualifier for the national championship, so finishing in the top eight and advancing to the grand finale is the focus this week. For many teams, that is the goal each year: Earn a spot in the NCAA Championship. Only a few teams have a shot at winning the title, but advancing to the finals is is what most programs consider to be a successful year.
Speaking of winning the title, the eventual NCAA champion has won the regional title seven times in the past 11 years. There is certainly some stock in winning a regional. Odds are a regional winner will win the championship this year.
That brings us to regional victories. Since the NCAA went to a three-regional format in 2001, top-ranked USC and UCLA have each won seven regional titles. Those teams are followed by Duke, with five regional titles. No other team has won more than two.
Now back to the qualifying point about regional play. The women’s ...
NCAA women’s regionals kick off on May 9 at three sites around the country. The top eight teams in each of the 24-team fields will advance to the national championship, to be played May 21-24 at the University of Georgia Golf Course in Athens, Ga.
Our women’s college golf gurus have predicted which eight teams will advance out of each regional. How did we do last year? Lance Ringler correctly picked 16 of the 24 teams at the national championship. Beth Ann Baldry and Julie Williams correctly picked 15.
Regional sites and staff picks listed below:
East: Auburn (Ala.) University GC
Central: Jimmie Austin OU GC, Norman, Okla.
West: Stanford (Calif.) University GC
East: Alabama, Arkansas, UCLA, North Carolina, Virginia, Oklahoma State, Texas, Northwestern
Central: Duke, Oklahoma, Florida, Washington, Arizona State, UC Davis, Michigan State, Iowa State
West: USC, Arizona, Vanderbilt, Purdue, Stanford, Georgia, Baylor, Pepperdine
• • •
Beth Ann Baldry
East: Alabama, Arkansas, UCLA, North Carolina, Virginia, Oklahoma State, Texas, Northwestern
Central: Duke, Oklahoma, Florida, Washington, Arizona State, Texas Tech, Michigan State, N.C. State
West: USC, Arizona, Vanderbilt, Purdue, Stanford, Georgia, Baylor, Pepperdine
• • •
East: Alabama, Arkansas, UCLA, North ...
The NCAA has announced the 21 teams and six individuals that will compete in the Division III Women’s National Championship field. The championship will be held May 14-17 at the Baytowne Golf Course at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Destin, Fla.
• Mary Hardin-Baylor
• Claremont McKenna-Harvey Mudd-Scripps Colleges
• George Fox
• Washington University in St. Louis
• Texas at Tyler
• Centre College
• Illinois Wesleyan
• St. Olaf
• Southwestern Texas
• Carroll (Wis.)
• Concordia (Wis.)
Individuals: Emily Javadi, University of the South; Sharon Li, Ithaca; Elizabeth Cheng, Hollins; Emily Guthrie, Whitworth; Catherine Wagner, Wisconsin-Eau Claire; Doyle O’Brien, St. Thomas (Minn.)
When Auburn hosts the NCAA East Regional later this week, head women’s golf coach Kim Evans won’t be there. Evans is taking a brief leave of absence due to undisclosed health issues, according to the university.
“I am very disappointed to have to miss the NCAA Regional, but your health is just something that you don’t play with,” Evans said in a university press release. “The doctors advised me to take care of everything now, so that is what we did. I am feeling better, though, and hope to be back with the team at nationals in a couple weeks.”
Auburn won the SEC Championship in 2012, but missed advancing to the national championship by nine shots. The Tigers this year enter regionals ranked No. 39 by Golfweek, and with the No. 14 seed.
Former Tiger All-American Danielle Downey, who has been a student assistant this season, will lead the team during the NCAA Regional, which begins May 9. Downey played at Auburn from 1999-2003.
Information from Auburn Athletics used in this report
Senior Anderson earned her 20th career victory at the Summit League Championship on April 24, and her third conference title. Of those 20 victories, 18 were in Division I fields, which breaks the unofficial record Juli Inkster set at San Jose Sate. Inkster won 17 times, all in Division I fields. Anderson will play the NCAA West Regional with her North Dakota State teammates beginning May 9.
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