The teams and individuals for the NCAA Men’s Golf Championship have been set through six regional tournaments. Oklahoma State will not be a part of the Championship for the first time in 65 years. The end to the streak is not that surprising considering that the Cowboys have lost a number of star players in the last few years including Peter Uihlein and Rickie Fowler.
When it comes to favorites for the team title, Burkowski said that the University of Texas and the University of Alabama are the two favorites but the fact that the Championship is decided through match play makes predicting a winner a bit more difficult. Alabama could be even better this year if Bud Cauley had decided to stay for his senior year.
Patrick Cantlay won the Ben Hogan Award as the best college player and although he is a fan of his, Burkowski said that he did not vote for Cantlay as he did not feel that he was the best player in college golf this year as he did not win a single tournament this season. Burkowski thinks that Justin Thomas of Alabama was the best collegiate player this season but he was not even among the finalists for the Ben Hogan Award.
The NCAA Women’s Championship begins today in Franklin, Tennessee and while Burkowski thinks that Alabama is the best team for the men, he thinks that UCLA is the best women’s team and the difference between the first and second best teams among the women is bigger than it is among the men. Stephanie Kono, who was forced to turn pro late in 2011 and had to leave UCLA, was the best player on the team but UCLA has continued to perform incredibly well.
When it comes to individuals in the Women’s Championship, Burkowski thinks that Duke’s Lindy Duncan is the best and she has been rewriting the record books at both Duke and the ACC. Duke has fielded some great teams in the past and Duncan seems to be just a bit better than everyone else although there are a number of other great players in the tournament.
He has been speaking to some of the higher profile collegiate players about the changes to Q-School for 2013 on the PGA TOUR. Some will test the waters in 2012 because they can retain their amateur status but the changes could have a significantly negative impact on men’s college golf. During his interview with Jordan Spieth which aired on Golf Central, he asked him if he is still planning to go to the University of Texas and Spieth did not give a definitive answer. Burkowski thinks that Spieth will ultimately turn pro early.