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Ron Balicki

Stories by Ron

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Whitsett, Alabama run out to Linger Longer leads

Led by Cory Whitsett, Alabama charged out to an eight-shot lead after the weather-delayed opening round Saturday in the Linger Longer Invitational at the Great Waters Golf Course at Reynolds Plantation.

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Bandon Dunes restores Colorado's winning form

Eclipsing four starts in which the Buffaloes couldn't get near a top-10 finish, Colorado won at Bandon Dunes to return to its early-season winning ways.

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Notebook: Watney retiring, but leaves behind legacy

This weeks addition of the men's college notebook highlight the coaching tenure of Fresno State's Mike Watney, who is retiring at season's end. See what kind of life he's lived at Fresno State and what else he's done for the golf community.

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North Florida, Oklahoma among spring's surprises

Ron Balicki takes a look at some of the surprise college men's teams so far this spring, including North Florida, Oklahoma and TCU.

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Men's spring preview: SEC

Each of the 14 teams that now comprise the SEC ended the fall ranked 45th or better, including five in the top 15 and nine in the top 30. Pretty impressive, to say the least.

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Men's spring preview: West Coast Conference

Who would have thought five or six years ago that St. Mary’s would be a team of prominence not only within the West Coast Conference, but on the national scale as well? Yet, that’s exactly where the program is today.

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New Mexico ends Cal's perfect season in Arizona

New Mexico opened the season with a victory at the Arizona Intercollegiate, shooting 8-under 844. It halts Cal's perfect season as the Bears finished third, behind TCU.

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Hossler will not play this spring for the Longhorns

Beau Hossler, who recently enrolled at Texas, will not play for the Longhorns this spring. Hossler will go to class and work out with the team until the fall season starts.

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ASU, TCU tied for lead at Arizona Intercollegiate

Arizona State came charging out in the afternoon to catch TCU and share the lead when play was stopped due to darkness Monday in the Arizona Intercollegiate at the Golf Club at Vistoso.

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Men's spring preview: Mountain West

New Mexico will be the team to beat when the nine conference teams gather together to determine the 2013 conference champion the first week in May at the Omni Tucson (Ariz.) National Resort.

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Tom Denn, 79, excelled as 'Voice of Porter Cup'

His health declining for more than a year, longtime voice of the Porter Cup Thomas Denn, 79, died of heart failure in his sleep Jan. 21.

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Throwback: '86 Masters rates as Jack's finest hour

In honor of Jack Nicklaus' 73rd birthday on Monday, we are taking the time to go back to his victory at the 1986 Masters Tournament.

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To USGA, Walker Cup mid-am quota 'a win-win'

The USGA announced Jan. 14 that a minimum of two mid-amateur players will be a part of the 2013 U.S. team that will attempt to regain possession of the Walker Cup following GB&I’s 14-12 victory in 2011 at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club in Scotland. The last time a U.S. Walker Cup team had more than one mid-amateur was 2003.

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Preview: A pledge of allegiance to amateurs

The likes of Jordan Spieth have pledged themselves to the pinnacle of amateur golf, the Walker Cup, only to be swayed to the professional game a short time later. That is a trend that concerns many.

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Men's spring preview: Big 12

Gone from last season's NCAA championship squad are Dylan Frittelli and Jordan Spieth. In came Brandon Stone, and now Texas coach John Fields is considering bringing Beau Hossler into the fold a bit earlier than he had anticipated.

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Men's spring preview: Atlantic 10 Conference

Men's college golf spring preview: When the time comes for the Atlantic 10 Conference Championship in April, Charlotte will be the team to beat - again.

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2012 in review: Top 10 men's amateur storylines

From Steven Fox winning the U.S. Amateur, to Nathan Smith capturing a record fourth U.S. Mid-Amateur to a 14-year-old from China qualifying for next year's Masters, our Ron Balicki breaks down the year that was in men's amateur golf.

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Year-in-review: Top 10 senior amateur storylines

It comes as little surprise that the bulk of the top storylines in 2012 were produced by the top four players in the Golfweek/Wilson Senior Amateur Rankings, including the likes of Paul Simson and Chip Lutz.

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My Year in Golf: Ron Balicki

Tears of joy. Tears of heartbreak. Smiles of elation. Frowns of disappointment. Our Ron Balicki saw it all along his travels on the amateur and college circuits. He reflects on the year that was . . .

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Major amateur tournaments won't go against ban

Don’t expect to see any of the major amateur tournaments going against the U.S. Golf Association and its ban on the anchored stroke.

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Balicki: Cal's Desimone deserving of Lemmon Award

California coach Steve Desimone -- truly one of the good guys in college golf -- will be the first college golf coach to receive the Jack Lemmon Award.

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All-America Golf Classic is about history, tradition

For more than 35 years it has been the showcase of the stars -- those currently within the collegiate ranks and those whose future takes them to the highest level in professional golf. The event’s catch phrase is “Where Legends Get Started” and it truly lives up to that billing.

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Notebook: McGraw keeps Cowboys moving forward

Mike McGraw refused to dwell on a less-than-successful 2011-12 season for Oklahoma State. Instead, the Cowboys kept moving forward, evidenced by a victory at the Royal Oaks Intercollegiate.

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Q&A: Bob Covington, general chairman, NCAA Championship

Golfweek caught up with Covington, a Capital City Club member who is in charge of preparations for the May 28-June 2 NCAAs, during the U.S. Collegiate in Alpharetta, Ga.

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Balicki: A thrilling U.S. Collegiate finish

Over the last 30 years, I’ve watched my fair share of college tournaments and the players who make up the game. I’ve seen a lot of great shots and plenty of exciting and thrilling finishes.

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Schniederjans' eagle propels Georgia Tech at USCC

With an incredible eagle from Ollie Schniederjans on the final hole, Georgia Tech wins U.S. Collegiate by a single shot over defending champion UCLA.

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UCLA closing in on title defense at U.S. Collegiate

UCLA returned to this year’s U.S. Collegiate Championship for a title defense, and after two rounds, the Bruins are again at the top of the leaderboard.

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USC, Gooch lead early at U.S. Collegiate

After missing the first two tournaments of the season, Oklahoma State's Talor Gooch leads after the first round of the U.S. Collegiate.

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Crabapple course will 'test your patience'

The Crabapple course at the Capital City Club in Atlanta, site of this season's NCAA Championship, has earned the praise of college coaches at the Ping/Golfweek Preview.

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Ping/Golfweek preview good model for pace of play

Ping/Golfweek Preview was a good example of appropriate pace of play, says Ron Balicki.

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Cal, Georgia Tech tie for Ping/Golfweek Preview title

California used a final-round, 4-under 276 to vault into the lead and then watched as host Georgia Tech managed to tie it up and the two powerhouses will share the Ping/Golfweek Preview title.

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UCLA takes 36-hole lead at Ping/Golfweek Preview

UCLA gets through an up-and-down day with a one-shot advantage over UNLV as teams prepare for final round of Ping/Golfweek Preview.

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Tough Crabapple course draws great reviews

The Capital City Club's Crabapple course drew great reviews Sunday during the Ping/Golfweek Preview and should be a good test for the NCAA Championship.

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UNLV takes one-shot lead at Ping/Golfweek Preview

San Diego State's Tom Berry takes the early lead at the Ping/Golfweek Preview, while UNLV holds a one-shot advantage over UCLA on the team side.

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Smith defeats Rank for record 4th Mid-Am title

Nathan Smith made history Thursday by winning his fourth career U.S. Mid-Amateur title. He now owns the most Mid-Am titles of any player.

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Smith, Rank advance to U.S. Mid-Am finale

History will be made Thursday at the U.S. Mid-Amateur in Illinois. Either there will be a four-time champ for the first time (Nathan Smith) or the youngest titleholder (Garrett Rank).

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Meet the Mid-Am finalists: Smith and Rank

Meet the U.S. Mid-Amateur finalists, Garrett Rank of Canada and Nathan Smith of Pittsburgh.

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Jackson, Smith looking for historic titles at Mid-Am

Tim Jackson is trying to put his name in the U.S. Golf Association record book and become only the third player to win three U.S. Mid-Amateur Championships.

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Former champ Smith advances to Mid-Am quarters

The U.S. Mid-Am featured a pair of battles between longtime friends, with Charlie Blanchard getting the best of the Rhode Island battle and Nathan Smith winning his Pennsylvania matchup.

George Zahringer, 59, pulls off a rare double

George Zahringer advanced to the match-play portion of the U.S. Mid-Am, only to withdraw so he could go participate in the qualifier for the USGA Senior Amateur. He made it there too.

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Blanchard wins battle of lefties at Mid-Amateur

Lefties and good friends Charlie Blanchard and Brad Valois faced off Tuesday in the second round of U.S. Mid-Amateur match play.

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Notes: Former champs advance at Mid-Am

Former Mid-Amateur champions Kevin Marsh, Nathan Smith and Tim Jackson all squeak out Round-of-64 victories at Conway Farms Golf Club.

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Valois, Blanchard to face off at U.S. Mid-Am

Brad Valois and Charlie Blanchard say they've played together in Rhode Island more than 100 times. On Tuesday, the stakes will be raised when they face off at the U.S. Mid-Amateur.

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Valois takes medalist honors at U.S. Mid-Am

Brad Valois shot a tournament best 3-under 68 Sunday at Conway Farms Golf Club and captured stroke play qualifying medalist honors in the U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship.

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White, 44, advances to match play at U.S. Mid-Am

Todd White is no stranger to great amateur golf, and the South Carolina history teacher will move on to match play at the U.S. Mid-Amateur after a pair of solid rounds in Illinois.

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Castleforte, three others tied for U.S. Mid-Am lead

Michael Castleforte had never played Conway Farms Golf Club, but he used a single practice round to learn enough to card a 2-under 69 in the first round of stroke-play qualifying at the U.S. Mid-Amateur.

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Mid-Am keeps dream of Masters alive

Without the U.S. Mid-Amateur, the likes of 54-year-old Randal Lewis never would have had the chance to cross playing the Masters off their bucket list.

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Fox's win 'big deal' for Chattanooga

Chattanooga held Steven Fox Celebration Day on Aug. 23. Yes, the senior's U.S. Amateur victory was that big of a deal for the mid-major program.

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Fox, Weaver to meet in U.S. Am final

Michael Weaver and Steven Fox entered the U.S. Amateur as long shots, but now they're in the final. That's the beauty of this championship.

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Thomas rallies to advance at U.S. Am

Justin Thomas has struggled to get off to a good start at the U.S. Amateur, but he continues to finish in style, advancing with a 2-up victory.