Spring preview 2018: Western Athletic Conference

Spring preview 2018: Western Athletic Conference

College

Spring preview 2018: Western Athletic Conference

As the college golf season gets ready to resume, Golfweek will preview each automatic-qualifier conference in Division I, offering picks to win, midseason All-Conference teams and more.

All of our conference previews will reside here.

Next up: Western Athletic Conference

Men

Conference championship: April 23-25, Prairie Dunes, Hutchinson, Kan.

Defending champion: Seattle

Team rankings: Grand Canyon (92), Missouri-Kansas City (94), New Mexico State (134), Utah Valley (173), Texas-Rio Grande Valley (193), Seattle (197), Chicago State (295)

Midseason All-Conference team: Vinnie Murphy, Grand Canyon (82); Francois Lagraulet, Missouri-Kansas City (270); Blair Bursey, Utah Valley (361); Tadhg Campbell, New Mexico State (384); Filip Lundell, Grand Canyon (434)

What to expect: As it stands, this will be a tight one between Grand Canyon and Missouri-Kansas City. Other teams could factor in (namely defending champion Seattle), but this is a two-horse race for now. The Kangaroos have finished top two in the last three conference tilts (including a win in 2016), so they get the nod with the help of that experience.

Pick to win: Missouri-Kansas City

Women

Conference championship: April 16-18, Legacy GC, Phoenix, Ariz.

Defending champion: New Mexico State

Team rankings: New Mexico State (82), Grand Canyon (122), Utah Valley (146), Seattle (160), Missouri-Kansas City (166), Texas-Rio Grande Valley (210), Cal State Bakersfield (223), Chicago State (265)

Midseason All-Conference team: Dominique Galloway, New Mexico State (167); Suthavee Chanachai, New Mexico State (217); Deanna Salvatori, Grand Canyon (226); Siripatsorn Patchana, Grand Canyon (428); Chandler Gallagher, Missouri-Kansas City (436)

What to expect: New Mexico State is the four-time defending champion and is the highest-ranked team in the conference by 40 spots. The Aggies are now without Jackie Booth, who retired in the spring after 35 years of college golf coaching. But her assistant Danny Bowen, a former New Mexico State player, took over, and it seems like the transition has been pretty seamless. The Aggies should five-peat.

Pick to win: New Mexico State

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