College golf notebook: Incredible conference title finishes and one major issue

Ole Miss Athletics

College golf notebook: Incredible conference title finishes and one major issue

College

College golf notebook: Incredible conference title finishes and one major issue

By

The fight for conference superiority across the country over the last week and a half has produced some amazing moments.

From Ole Miss’ incredible performance to claim its first SEC women’s title in dramatic fashion to Georgia Southern senior Steven Fisk’s ninth career win (sixth on the season) as the Sun Belt individual champion, college golfers have been putting on a show during conference championship season.

But let’s shift the focus to the women’s Big Ten Conference and Patriot League tournaments.

Both conferences were the only ones to use 6-count-4 scoring, meaning six players play, and the four best scores are used. In women’s golf, the NCAA championship committee only recognizes 5-count-4 scoring.

Ohio State women earned their 18th Big Ten title and an automatic qualification to NCAA regionals. The Buckeyes are the No. 14 seed in the Cle Elum regional. Had the conference used the 5-count-4 format, Ohio State would’ve finished fourth, two shots back from Indiana and three back from co-leaders Illinois and Purdue. All four teams wound up advancing to regional play, but that’s not the case in the Patriot League.

Boston University claimed its second conference title with a wire-to-wire four-shot victory over Navy and 12 shots clear of three-time defending champion Richmond. Had the Patriot League used the 5-count-4 scoring, Navy would have been the conference champion by five shots, with Boston finishing runner-up and Richmond in third. Neither Navy nor Richmond advanced to regionals.

WGCA: See the latest women’s golf coaches poll

This isn’t a shot at Ohio State or Boston University. Both teams played great golf and deserve to compete in the postseason for winning their conferences under the set rules. But, with an automatic qualification to NCAA regional play on the line, doesn’t it make sense for each conference to operate under the same rules?

One would think. Of the 27 conferences whose winner receives an automatic qualification, 24 use the 5-count-4 scoring. The Big Ten and Patriot League use 6-count-4, and the SEC uses match play. The Missouri Valley Conference used to use 6-count-4 scoring, but abandoned the format years ago.

It’s incredibly unfortunate that Navy won’t compete again this season, but that’s the nature of an imperfect system. No matter the rules, teams will always be on the outside looking in.

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

Men

Congratulations are in order for Northwestern’s Ryan Lumsden for winning the Byron Nelson Award, given annually to a graduating male senior golfer based off performance, academics, character, integrity and citizenship.

One of five finalists for the prestigious award, Lumsden has the third-best career stroke average in Northwestern history, along with two All-Big Ten honors, two career victories and eight top-five finishes.

Results: Which teams won conference titles?
Rankings: Bushnell Coaches Poll | Individual player

Speaking of awards, the Haskins Award honors the player of the year in college men’s golf, as selected by college golfers, coaches and members of the media. Earlier this week the latest watch list was released, with 15 vying for the honor.

And last but not least, make sure to tune in to Golf Channel on Wednesday, May 1 at 9 p.m. ET for the 2019 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championships selection show, where 81 teams and 45 individuals will be selected to compete at one of six regional championship sites across the country.

Women

Not enough can be said about the Ole Miss women’s SEC title run. But here’s one of the many clutch putts made by Macy Somoskey.

Regionals: Check out the full field of teams, individuals
Results: Which teams won conference titles?

Much like the Haskins Award for men, the ANNIKA Award, given to the top player in college women’s golf, as selected by college golfers, coaches and members of the golf media, narrowed down its watch list to 15 players as well earlier this week.

Latest

More Golfweek
Home