Oklahoma State Looks to Continue Success at Scarlet Course
History says otherwise.
The last three times the national finals have been held at Scarlet, Holder's team has won the championship.
In 1980, the Cowboys beat Brigham Young by four strokes. Seven years later, they won by 16 shots over Wake Forest. In 1995, they won a playoff over a star-studded Stanford team, which had Tiger Woods, Notah Begay and Casey Martin on its roster.
'I wouldn't call them a dark horse because they've had so much success on this golf course in the past, for whatever reason,'' Clemson coach Larry Penley said of the Cowboys. 'He's won three national championships here, so I expect them to play very well here.''
Top-ranked Georgia Tech, Clemson, Oklahoma State, defending champion Florida, Georgia and Auburn all figure to be in the hunt for the 91st team title. The tournament starts Wednesday and lasts four days.
'Georgia Tech has won seven or eight times this year. They've shown, in my opinion, that they have by far the best team,'' said Holder, who has guided Oklahoma State to eight titles in all. 'Then you've got several teams that would be considered favorites behind them. I'd say Georgia Tech's the odds-on favorite, then Florida and Clemson have very good teams and have legitimate threats.''
Oklahoma State and Purdue tied for the Central Regional title last week, Clemson and Georgia Tech shared the East Regional crown and New Mexico and Washington tied for first in the West Regional.
The practice rounds on Tuesday were scrambled because heavy rains pelted the course. Most of the players whiled away the morning sitting around the clubhouse and talking before there was a break in the clouds in the afternoon.
The weather could play a big factor in who ends up winning. Rain is predicted for every day of the 72-hole tournament.
'Everybody's in the game with softer greens,'' Penley said. 'If anything, it might neutralize the field a little more. It might bring everybody more into play.''
Outside the pro shop is a brass plaque that declares Scarlet the collegiate home of 'the great player ever,'' former Ohio State golfer Jack Nicklaus, who grew up just a couple of miles from the course. Nicklaus was the tournament's medalist in 1961.
The list of recent NCAA medalists includes current pros Phil Mickelson (1988-89, '90), Justin Leonard (1994), Woods (1996) and Charles Howell (2000).
Among those considered the front-runners to follow in their soft spikes are Alabama-Birmingham's Graeme McDowell, Florida's Camilo Villegas, D.J. Trahan of Clemson, Troy Matteson from Georgia Tech, Hunter Mahan of Oklahoma State, Arizona's Ricky Barnes and Purdue's Lee Williamson.
Even though Holder said Georgia Tech is the team to beat, he added a warning based on his years of experience.
'The good news about this tournament is that it's not about who has the best team -- it's about who posts the best four-round total this week. And many, many years the best team hasn't won,'' Holder said.
'Georgia Tech's definitely got the edge, but there's a lot of responsibility and maybe some added pressure that goes along with that. Their ability to handle that and cope with the situation will determine how successful they are.''
Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.
The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.
There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.
Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump
Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.
Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.
None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.
Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.
An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.
In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.
Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.
Playing with the pros
Tiger, DJ and Faxon
President at the Presidents Cup
Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham
Cart on the green
Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open
Trump golf properties
Reportedly fake TIME covers
Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story
Pros comment on the president
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com is counting down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below, including future release dates. And click here for the full collection of articles.
No. 1: Dec. 18
Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo
Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.
With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.
Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.
The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.
In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.