USC, UCLA, Duke earn No. 1 seeds in NCAA women's regionals

By Jay CoffinApril 28, 2014, 10:35 pm

NCAA Division I women’s regional bids were handed out Monday, and the three best teams all season each earned a No. 1 seed at their respective site.

USC, UCLA and Duke – ranked Nos. 1-3 respectively by Golfstat – are the top seeded teams in the west, central and east regionals that all will be played May 8-10.

The west will be at Tumble Creek at Suncadia Resort in Ce Elum, Wash., the central is at Karsten Creek in Stillwater, Okla., and the east regional is in Tallahassee, Fla., at SouthWood Golf Club.

The top eight teams from each region and the top two individuals not on a qualifying team will advance to the NCAA Championship May 20-23 at Tulsa (Okla.) Country Club.

The top-ranked Trojans have won three of the past six Pac-12 Conference championships but just tied for second there last week, finishing a shot behind Stanford. Still, the defending NCAA champs are the team to beat this season, having recorded eight victories and three second-place finishes.



“We are looking forward to regionals,” USC coach Andrea Gaston said. “We have some work to do to get ready. We still haven’t seen the best from our players.”

Five-time national champion Duke won its third straight ACC Championship a week ago and received its 22nd consecutive bid into regionals. The Blue Devils won the ACC title by 27 shots to collect its fourth tournament of the year, the most wins in a year for the school since they won five times in 2007-08.

UCLA was fourth at the Pac-12 Championship and is led by freshman Allison Lee, who is the No. 1-ranked individual by Golfstat.

West Regional
Tumble Creek at Suncadia Resort, Ce Elum, Wash. (University of Washington)

Teams: 1. USC; 2. Arizona State; 3. Oklahoma; 4. Washington; 5. Clemson; 6. Wake Forest; 7. Northwestern; 8. Michigan State; 9. Iowa State; 10. GRU Augusta; 11. Oregon; 12. Texas A&M; 13. UC Davis; 14. Denver; 15. San Diego State; 16. Wisconsin; 17. Gonzaga; 18. Notre Dame; 19. Tennessee; 20. Chattanooga; 21. New Mexico; 22. New Mexico State; 23. Portland; 24. Detroit.

Individuals: Alison Knowles, Louisiana-Monroe; Regan De Guzman, San Jose State; Clariss Guce, Cal State Northridge; Fabiola Arriaga, Texas-San Antonio; Madchen Ly, Fresno State; Alexandra White, BYU.

East Regional
SouthWood GC, Tallahassee, Fla. (Florida State)

Teams: 1. Duke; 2. South Carolina; 3. Stanford; 4. Vanderbilt; 5. Pepperdine; 6. UCF; 7. Virginia; 8. Auburn; 9. North Carolina State; 10. Florida State; 11. Kentucky; 12. Tulane; 13. Louisville; 14. Baylor; 15. East Tennessee; 16. Georgia; 17. Campbell; 18. East Carolina; 19. Texas State; 20. College of Charleston; 21. Troy; 22. Murray State; 23. Seton Hall; 24. Alabama State.

Individuals: Lori Beth Adams, UNC-Wilmington; Ellen Ceresko, Penn State; Lacey Fears, Mercer; Kaew Preamchuen, Kennesaw State; Abby Newton, Mississippi; Christinia Vosters, Penn State.

Central Regional
Karsten Creek, Stillwater, Okla. (Oklahoma State)

Teams: 1. UCLA; 2. Arkansas; 3. Alabama; 4. Arizona; 5. LSU; 6. Oklahoma State; 7. Florida; 8. North Carolina; 9. Ohio State; 10. Miami; 11. Mississippi State; 12. California; 13. Kent State; 14. Kansas; 15. Texas; 16. UNLV; 17. Colorado; 18. SMU; 19. Minnesota; 20. Harvard; 21. Lamar; 22. Wichita State; 23. LIU Brooklyn; 24. Siena College.

Individuals: Aurora Kan, Purdue; Sanna Nuutinen, TCU; Jenna Hague, Ball State; Ember Schuldt, Illinois; Kimmie Hill, Texas Tech; Stephanie Miller, Illinois.

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Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

“I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.


Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

“DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

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Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials phoned Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial. 

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Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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Rahm (62) fires career low round

By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm