Will Florida Follow Dukes Path

By Steve BurkowskiMay 26, 2004, 4:00 pm
As we saw last week at the Womens NCAA Championships, the team which dominates the regular season doesnt necessarily win the National Title. It didnt pan out for Duke, but now the question is: Will Florida suffer the same fate?
The Gators have been the consensus No. 1 team in the land after capturing seven team titles this season. But the post-season has not been as kind to Buddy Alexanders squad. Georgia bettered Florida at the SECs, and Clemson, along with three others, finished ahead of UF at the East Regional.
This is not the time of year for a team to be out of sorts. After having a strong hold on the mens game from Day 1, the Gators are certainly not at their best at what is the most important time of the year. The college game is all about peaking in late spring, and that is exactly what Clemson is doing, and Florida is not.
One has to wonder what is the mindset of Alexanders team. Do they now question their chances at The Homestead next week? Will all their hard work and success during the regular season be for naught if they dont win the National Championship? Have they already played their best golf of the season? These are just a few of queries the Gators might be facing after going 0-for-2 thus far in the post-season.
Right now, senior Camilo Villegas seems to be the only Gator on form, as he was runner-up at Yale (site of the East Regionals). Sophomore Matt Every failed to finish in the top 10 at Regionals for only the third time this year. James Vargas returned to the lineup after sitting out the spring due to academic issues. A tie for 41st is all James could muster in his 2004 debut. Brett Stegmaier and Jessie Mudd posted T68 and T81, respectively; far from what they are capable of doing.
The Gators are still more than capable of taking home the trophy next week in Hot Springs, Va. But if this is to happen, they will need to forget what happened the past two times out, and perhaps even forget about the success throughout the year.
Dan Brooks, the head coach for the Duke women, told me last week that he was hoping his team would not forget about what they did in the regular season. Brooks said his team had such success all year long, why shouldnt they draw on those experiences. It didnt work for the Blue Devils, and I think as much as being outplayed by UCLA, they didnt know how to react when finding themselves in an unfamiliar position. Well, Florida is in that position now, knowing full well they can be beaten. The one thing the Gators do have going for them: they have one week and one event remaining to figure out how to right the ship.
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  • Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

    By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

    Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

    Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

    What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.

    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

    Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

    Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

    Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

    Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

    Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

    Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

    In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

    "It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’

    Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

    Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

    “Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

    “That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

    Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

    The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

    By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

    Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

    Lexi Thompson:

    Baking time!!

    A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

    David Feherty:

    Jack Nicklaus:

    GC Tiger Tracker:

    Steve Stricker:

    Golf Channel:

    Frank Nobilo:

    Ian Poulter:

    Tyrone Van Aswegen:

    Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

    By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

    Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.