Women's Midweek Report: USC, Kim start fast
Welcome to Golfweek’s Women’s Midweek Report. We wanted to use this hump day to update you on all the latest women’s college news and give you a quick glance at what to look ahead to this weekend:
THE BIG 5
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1. USC: How will the Trojans handle the inevitable pressure that comes with a national-title defense? Their performance at the Dale McNamara Fall Preview seems to be a good indicator. USC won the event by four shots after putting up its best team score of the 54-hole event (4-under 276) in the final round on Sept. 11. The win is also USC’s seventh in its last eight starts dating back to last year.
2. Oklahoma State: A third-place finish at the Fall Preview was a solid start to the season for the Cowgirls, No. 7 in Golfweek’s preseason rankings. Oklahoma State was the only team among the 15 in the field to shoot under par on Day 1. It clung close to the top of the leaderboard for the remainder of the tournament, and counted big finishes from underclassmen Julie Yang (T-2) and Casie Cathrea (T-12).
3. Michigan State: The Spartans won their home event, the Mary Fossum Invitational, on Sept. 15 for the eighth time in the past 11 years. Three Spartans placed inside the top 15, including individual medalist Liz Nagel.
4. Louisville: The Cardinals placed four players inside the top 10 at the Cardinal Cup, Louisville’s home event, on Sept. 17 to record their second win of the season. Louisville also won the seven-team IU Fall Kickoff on Sept. 9. Sophomore Laura Restrepo was the medalist at both events.
5. Barry: The Bucs tied the host school at the Florida Gulf Coast Eagle Invitational, then won a playoff based on the fifth player’s score. Barry, a Division II school, won the event without Nancy Vergara, the returning Division II individual champion, in the lineup. Vergara sat out due to illness.
1. Kyung Kim, USC: The sophomore won the Fall Preview for her second career collegiate victory. Kim sealed the deal with a final-round 4-under 66 at Tulsa Country Club. She had opened with back-to-back rounds of 1-under 69.
2. Daniela Lendl, Alabama: Lendl deserves a nod for her 1-under 209 total at the Fall Preview. That landed her in a tie for sixth individually, and she continues her upward climb as a player. Lendl, a junior, cracked the lineup last season and was fifth on the team in scoring. Her final-round 69 is her best collegiate score.
3. Haley Mills, Kentucky: After winning the individual title Sept. 11 at the “Mo”Morial, Mills is 1-for-1 in college. The freshman from Tyler, Texas, finished 54 holes at 3-under 213 and was the only player who recorded a subpar total score.
4. Liz Nagel, Michigan State: Nagel, a senior, earned an emotional victory at the Mary Fossum Invitational. Nagel played the event days after her grandfather died, and earned her first collegiate victory in his memory. A score of 1-over 217 left her with a three-shot victory.
5. Allea Hawkins, USC Upstate: In her first season as a collegian, Hawkins recorded a hole-in-one in back-to-back tournaments. Hawkins aced the par-3 sixth hole in the second round of the Eat-A-Peach Classic on Sept. 7, then again aced the par-3 sixth in the first round of the Terrier Intercollegiate on Sept. 9. She’s only the second Upstate golfer to record a hole-in-one, and the first (male or female) to record two in her career.
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BEST OF THE BEST
How the top 5 teams in the Golfweek preseason rankings fared:
1. USC: Won, Fall Preview
2. Alabama: T-4, Fall Preview
3. UCLA: DNP
4. Duke: T-4, Fall Preview
5. Oklahoma: Second, Fall Preview
How the top 5 individuals in the Golfweek preseason rankings fared:
1. Annie Park, USC: T-24, Fall Preview
2. Stephanie Meadow, Alabama: T-2, Fall Preview
3. Emma Talley, Alabama: T-28, Fall Preview
4. Sophia Popov, USC: T-17, Fall Preview
5. Erynne Lee, UCLA: DNP