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Ron Balicki

Stories by Ron

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Balicki: Kuchar provides a trip down memory lane

Balicki on Matt Kuchar

Through the years, 2012 Players champion and former Georgia Tech standout Matt Kuchar has stayed true to his roots, reflects Ron Balicki.

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CSU-Northridge's Russo gets NCAA spot, after all

Russo into Regionals

CSU-Northridge junior Chris Russo got a pleasant surprise Tuesday when he was extended an invitation to NCAA regionals. Ron Balicki explains.

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Irish men fight their way into postseason

Notre Dame to postseason

Ron Balicki: Notre Dame knew that the only way to make it to the NCAA regionals was to post a victory or finish second at the Big East Conference Championship . . . so why not win the title?

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Notebook: Ping/Golfweek Preview will return

Men's college notebook

An old friend returns to the college golf schedule this coming fall and, with match play now part of the NCAA Championship, some changes in the invitation criteria for the Ping/Golfweek Preview have been made.

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Notebook: Breaking new ground in Long Beach

Men's college notebook

Men's college notebook: Long Beach State sees steady improvement pay off with a top-40 ranking after hot start to the spring season.

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Balicki: Memories of a young Bubba Watson

remembers Bubba Watson from his days on the Nationwide Tour and the University of Georgia roster.

A number of years ago, before he made his way to the PGA Tour, Bubba Watson was playing the Nationwide Tour’s Rheem Classic at Hardscrabble Country Club in Fort Smith, Ark.

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Notebook: Cowboys must rustle up strong finish

College notebook

Because of the .500 rule in men's golf, Sean Einhaus and his Oklahoma State teammates are in jeopardy of missing NCAA postseason. College notebook

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Notebook: Kangaroos seek another NCAA kick

UMKC eyes spot in NCAA

Ron Balicki: Last season, Missouri-Kansas City won its first Summit League Championship to gain the school's first NCAA appearance. This season has been up-and-down one for the Kangaroos, and though an appearance at the NCAA Championship is a long shot, anything's possible.

SE Louisiana snaps 2-year drought with victory

Coach Tim Baldwin and Southeastern Louisiana broke a two-year winless streak with a triumph at the UALR/First Tee Collegiate Classic on Tuesday.

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SE Louisiana leads First Tee Collegiate

SE Louisiana takes lead

Southeastern Louisiana fired the best round of the 36-hole day – even-par 288 in the afternoon – to grab a five-stroke lead Monday in the 19th annual University of Arkansas-Little Rock First Tee Collegiate Classic at Chenal Country Club’s Bear Den course.

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Notebook: Arkansas an NCAA contender

Balicki on NCAA favorites

Ron Balicki: Texas and Alabama may be the obvious choices to win the NCAA Championship, but don't discount other top teams such as Arkansas, a team that has six wins on the season.

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Notes: A strange new world for Cowboys

College notebook

Notes: After a stellar 2010-11 season, Oklahoma State lost three first-team All-Americans, which dimmed the Cowboys' prospects for 2011-12.

Notes: Cal's Kilpatrick gets a tough break

Notes: Cal's Keelan Kilpatrick did everything right on the 9th hole, but the course had other ideas for the Golden Bear.

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UNLV clips Cal for huge home win

UNLV wins Southern Highlands

Facing plenty of questions about its level of talent, UNLV shut up any doubters with a big win over an all-star field at the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters.

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California retains lead at Southern Highlands

Southern Highlands

It was more of the same Saturday at the Southern Highlands Masters, where California and Max Homa (pictured) retained their lead in the Las Vegas desert. Ron Balicki

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Cal men take lead at Southern Highlands

Cal leads Southern Highlands

Coach Steve Desimone and his No. 10 Cal men's squad took the first-round lead at the Southern Highlands Masters in Las Vegas, with the likes of Texas and UCLA trying to chase down the Golden Bears.

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Pinehurst anticipates changes for North & South

Pinehurst Resort and its famed No. 2 course are facing a logistical traffic jam in the summer of 2014. With the men’s and women’s U.S. Opens being played in consecutive weeks, Pinehurst’s men’s and women’s North & South Amateurs, which typically fall within weeks of the national Opens, would seem to be under assault.

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Nation's best headed to Southern Highlands

says the Southern Highlands field is so deep, it will be almost like a preview of the national championship.

It has been a number of years since I’ve been to UNLV’s tournament, the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters, so I’m pretty excited about getting back this coming weekend.

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Balicki: Now UNLV will face its toughest test

Balicki on UNLV men

Ron Balicki: UNLV was a perennial power in the 1990s, but it has mostly been a pretender since the turn of the century. The 2011-12 version has a different story to tell, and they are about to be tested in a big way.

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Balicki: Tide’s rise only a matter of time

A victory for Alabama

Alabama wins the Puerto Rico Classic at 30-under 834, 18 shots clear of runner-up Clemson. All five Tide players finished in the top 20, led by freshman Justin Thomas, who claimed his second collegiate title.

Balicki: Texas Tech continues success at Oak Hills

tries to figure out what has made Texas Tech so successful at Oak Hills.

There’s something about the Oak Hills course in San Antonio that seems to bring out the best in the Texas Tech golf team – past and present.

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Balicki: Catlin, Lobos exceed expectations

says John Catlin and the New Mexico Lobos have exceeded expectations this year.

When the 2011-12 season began, not many college men’s golf observers gave much thought to New Mexico or Lobos junior John Catlin.

Victory at home boosts Arizona's confidence

says Arizona's victory at home did wonders for the team's confidence.

Veteran Arizona coach Rick LaRose knows how difficult it is to win at the college level, even when playing your home golf course.

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Catlin cruises to victory at Arizona Intercollegiate

Arizona wins home event

Arizona took the title at its home event, the Arizona Intercollegiate, while New Mexico's John Catlin (pictured) earned medalist honors. Ron Balicki

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Arizona leads by two at 32nd Arizona Collegiate

32nd Arizona Collegiate

Arizona will take a two-stroke lead into the final round of the 32nd Arizona Collegiate, while Wildcats junior Juan Pablo Hernandez is in the hunt for the individual title. Our Ron Balicki reports from Tucson.

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Looking ahead: Arizona, Hawaii previews

looks ahead to the first two events of the spring season.

The spring season gets under way next week with two events – one in Tucson, Ariz., and the other across the Pacific Ocean on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Gregory replaces Luther as NCAA rules director

spoke with Brad Gregory, the new rules director for the NCAA Championship.

Brad Gregory has been named director of rules and course administration for the men’s NCAA Division I Championship, replacing Clyde Luther, who recently stepped down from that position after 10 years.

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My year in golf: Ron Balicki

recaps his year in golf, which included countless college and amateur highlights.

Augusta State made it a memorable year, but that wasn't the only noteworthy story in the college and amateur ranks.

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Coaches discuss new ways to crown NCAA champ

says college coaches are discussing better ways of crowning the individual NCAA champion.

The most-discussed item among NCAA Division I coaches at the Golf Coaches Association of America annual convention, which concluded Wednesday at the Tropicana Resort and Casino, barely was mentioned at any of the formal sessions.

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Top speakers turn out for coaches meeting

says some top speakers turned up at the Golf Coaches Association of America’s annual convention.

It was speaker’s day at the Golf Coaches Association of America’s annual convention Monday at the Tropicana Resort and Casino -- and the GCAA had a pretty stellar lineup.

Scratch Players discontinued due to sked conflict

reports that the Scratch Players Championship will no longer be staged.

When the U.S. Amateur Championship moved its playing dates up one week beginning in 2012, some wondered whether this might have a domino effect on other tournaments normally played around that time.

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Western Am to be held in Arkansas in 2013

2013 Western Am change

The prestigious Western Amateur will be held in central Arkansas in 2013, allowing scheduled site Olympia Fields to focus on preparing to host the 2015 U.S. Amateur.

Norwood, 66, to step down as UALR coach

Saying he felt “it was time for a younger man to come in to take the program to the next level,” Wyn Norwood announced he will be stepping down as director of golf and men’s head coach at the University of Arkansas-Little Rock at the end of the season.

Balicki: Luther steps down as NCAA rules official

The NCAA Championship will be without one of its mainstays, as rules official Clyde Luther has stepped down.

The NCAA Championship will be without one of its mainstays, as rules official Clyde Luther has stepped down.

SGA revives Southern States Four-Ball for 2012

says the Southern Golf Association is reviving a must-play event from long ago.

Most people, myself certainly included, don’t remember the Southern States Four-Ball Championship. Simply put, it was before our time.

Balicki: Newest GCAA HoF inductees very deserving

introduces the 2011 class of GCAA Hall of Fame inductees.

What a grand and memorable night it will be for a half dozen men. I should know. It was only last year when I experienced it up close and personal.

Southwestern Am to move to Desert Mountain in '13

Desert Mountain Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., has announced it will host the Southwestern Amateur beginning in 2013, according to Club and Resort Business.

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Holtgrieve ‘thrilled’ to return as Walker Cup captain

Captain Holtgrieve returns

Jim Holtgrieve has been selected to lead the U.S. Walker Cup team for a second time at the 2013 matches. Despite the loss of this year's Cup, he couldn't be more excited.

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Summer shuffle tilts amateur tournament lineup

Amateur schedule changes

For top amateur golfers, compiling a summer schedule can be challenging. So many tournaments, so few weeks. Next summer, the choices will be even tougher. Ron Balicki

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‘The Rivalry’ aims to pair top collegians, alumni pros

Unique college tourney

In a tournament that Brandon Goethals says will 'revolutionize college golf,' Rickie Fowler and other pro golfers may team up with a current player from their alma mater at 'The Rivalry.'

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Kent State proves it can compete among the best

Kent State men

In some circles, Kent State might be considered one of those so-called “mid-major” schools, but after two victories this fall, Ron Balicki disagrees.

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Two South Florida events to go head-to-head

South Florida amateur events

Top amateurs have another tournament option this year with the South Beach International Amateur. However, it’s being played opposite the long-running Dixie Amateur, and just down the road in South Florida. Something has to give.

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Virginia trending upward after season-opener

Ron Balicki column

It may have been only one tournament, but Ron Balicki says Virginia's season-opening victory was a big step for the Cavaliers.

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Lewis, 54, becomes oldest U.S. Mid-Am winner

Lewis, 54, wins Mid-Am

Randal Lewis, at age 54, showed the younger generation how it’s done Thursday, setting a mark as the oldest U.S. Mid-Amateur champion. Ron Balicki

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Lewis halts Smith’s run at U.S. Mid-Amateur

Smith loses at Mid-Am

Ron Balicki: Nathan Smith’s bid for a historic third consecutive U.S. Mid-Amateur title came to a surprising end Wednesday with a semifinal loss to Randal Lewis.

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Lewis, Smith to face off in Mid-Am semis

2011 U.S. Mid-Am

Nathan Smith is looking for his third consecutive U.S. Mid-Am title. Randall Lewis, 54, is looking to become the tournament's oldest champ. Ron Balicki has the tale of the tape.

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Talented freshmen keep rolling in for Tide

Tide's talented freshmen

Last season, it was Cory Whitsett and Bobby Wyatt. This season, Alabama is relying on two more freshmen - Justin Thomas and Tom Lovelady - to help keep it atop the Golfweek rankings.

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McCaffrey, Smith highlight Mid-Am quarters

U.S. Mid-Amateur

Mike McCaffrey overcame a stomach bug to advance to the U.S. Mid-Am quarterfinals, while three-time champ Nathan Smith continues to roll along in Texas.

Medalist McCaffrey advances at U.S. Mid-Am

For a while, it appeared that the medalist jinx might be in order at this year’s U.S. Mid-Amateur Championship at Shadow Hawk Golf Club.

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U.S. loss in Walker Cup might be good thing

says the Walker Cup had become too lopsided, in favor of the Americans. But, with GB&I's shocking win in Scotland last week, the event might be better off.

The Walker Cup had become too lopsided, in favor of the Americans. But, with GB&I's shocking win in Scotland last week, the event might be better off says our Ron Balicki.