College golf notebook: Teams heating up as conference tournaments approach

Arizona State

College golf notebook: Teams heating up as conference tournaments approach

College

College golf notebook: Teams heating up as conference tournaments approach

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A lot of time in sports, the best teams and players don’t always win. Getting hot at the right time can make or break a season. It’s just the nature of the games, especially in golf.

With just about a month until college golf’s conference championship season tees off, a handful of men’s and women’s teams and players are starting to find their form midway through the spring season.

Golfweek takes a loop around the country to update you on all the latest news in the college game.

Men

For the last year, Matthew Wolff and his Oklahoma State Cowboys have dominated the college game. The nation’s No. 1 player won his fifth event of the season this week at the Valpsar Collegiate, setting a program record for wins in a season while also picking up a sponsor exemption for the PGA Tour’s 2020 Valspar Championship.

Oklahoma State was looking to defend their title at the Valspar amid a loaded field featuring six of Golfweek’s top-10 teams, but the Wake Forest Demon Deacons had other ideas.

“We made a statement this week,” said Demon Deacon sophomore Parker Gillam on his team’s six-shot victory. “We showed the big dogs we’re just as big as they are.”

Rankings: Bushnell Coaches Poll | Individual player
Haskins Award Watch List: Who’s up for men’s player of the year?

If we’re going to talk big dogs, then we’ve also got to mention the Sun Devil shellacking that took place in rival territory. Arizona State continued their hot spring with a 20-plus shot victory over two top-five teams at the National Invitational Tournament in Tucson this week (we’ll have more on this later).

Elsewhere, TCU shattered school records with their individual and team wins at the Lake Charles Toyota Invitational in Louisiana. Senior David Ravetto broke the record for lowest 54-hole score by eight strokes with his 19-under finish. His rounds of 64-66-67 propelled the Horned Frogs to their first team title of the season. At 47-under, TCU more than doubled the program’s previous 54-hole record of 18-under en route to a 15-shot victory over No. 14 Texas Tech.

A handful of awards and accolades were handed out this week, as well. Auburn head coach Nick Clinard was selected to coach Team USA at the Toyota Junior Golf World Cup in Japan this summer. A true representation of hard work and the power of sports, Concordia’s Nolan Zikas was named the 2019 recipient of the David Toms Overcoming Adversity Award.

ICYMI: Rickie Fowler shows up to support alma mater at Valspar Collegiate

Women

Let’s rewind a week and get back to that Sun Devil shellacking. The ASU women set up the school’s sweep of their rival Wildcat hosts at the women’s Arizona Wildcat Invitational. ASU won its first event of the year and notched their fourth top-three finish on the year. Alessandra Fanali, Madison Kerley and Sofia Anokhina all finished inside the top 10.

Rankings: WGCA Coaches Poll | Individual player
Annika Award Watch List: Who’s up for women’s player of the year?

As noted by my esteemed colleague and college golf guru Lance Ringler, the biggest story of the week took place out West at the Juli Inkster Meadow Club Collegiate.

Those teams in the top 50: Pepperdine (32), San Jose State (33), California (46). The Scarlet Knight’s Harriet Allsebrook (-9) took the individual title and set a program-record as Rutgers captured its first tournament title in nearly nine years.

Back on the east coast, Allyson Geer-Park (-13) won her second individual title of the season and lead her Michigan State Spartans (-8) to their first team title of the year at the Briar’s Creek Invitational in South Carolina.

Greer-Park’s 5-under 67 in the final round pushed her 21st ranked Spartans eight-shots clear of second place Indiana.

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