You Oughta Know: NCAA women's regionals

By Ryan LavnerMay 11, 2014, 3:13 pm

The field is now set for the NCAA Women’s Championship, as the 24 teams and six individuals that will tee it up May 20-23 at Tulsa Country Club were determined Saturday. Here is what You Oughta Know about the NCAA women’s regionals:

• USC, Duke and UCLA have been the top three teams all season – the trio has combined for 17 wins and 28 top 10s – and none received a scare at regionals. UCLA (Central, by 17) and USC (West, by 1) won their regional tournament, while Duke tied for third.

• This was defending NCAA champion USC’s ninth victory of the season, extending its own school record, and its fifth regional title in a row. For UCLA, it was the program’s ninth regional victory in the past 15 years. Meanwhile, with a tie for third, Duke posted its worst result in the past seven events.

• Vanderbilt’s closing 14-under 274 at the East Regional not only broke a single-round school record (by one). It also helped the Commodores post their best-ever 54-hole total of 24-under 840, good enough for a 14-shot victory. After failing to win in each of the past six years, Vanderbilt has now won four times this spring, including both the SEC Championship and regionals.

• The Nos. 5 and 6 seed from each regional failed to advance to the NCAA Championship. That meant the end of the season for Clemson, Wake Forest, Pepperdine, UCF, LSU and Oklahoma State. Clemson was the highest ranked among that group, at No. 13 in the country, but the Tigers failed to break 300 during all three rounds of the West Regional, finishing 15 shots out of the eighth and final spot. Oklahoma State, playing in the Central Regional on its home course (Karsten Creek), lost to Florida in a team playoff for the eighth berth.

• Arkansas, No. 4 in the country, was the highest-ranked team that did not qualify for NCAAs. A two-time winner this season, the Razorbacks opened the Central Regional with a team score of 308, in which every player shot 75 or worse. They ultimately finished two shots out of the No. 8 playoff. 

• Arkansas was one of three top-20 teams that fell victim to Karsten Creek, one of the most difficult college courses in the country. Host Oklahoma State (No. 16) and LSU (15) were the other top teams that couldn’t crack the top 8.   

• Campbell, at No. 49, was the lowest-ranked team to advance to NCAAs. The Camels hung on to the eighth and final spot in the East Regional, clinching their first NCAA berth since 1997. 

• It has been an even longer drought for Kansas, which tied for fifth at the Central Regional to move on to the NCAA Championship for the first time since 1990. Iowa State, which tied for fifth in the West, advanced to its first-ever NCAA Championship.

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Fowler (oblique) withdraws from playoff opener

By Will GrayAugust 15, 2018, 8:44 pm

The injury that slowed Rickie Fowler at last week's PGA Championship will keep him out of the first event of the PGA Tour's postseason.

Fowler was reportedly hampered by an oblique injury at Bellerive Country Club, where he started the third round two shots off the lead but faded to a tie for 12th. He confirmed the injury Tuesday in an Instagram post, adding that an MRI revealed a partial tear to his right oblique muscle.

According to Fowler, the injury also affected him at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, where he tied for 17th. After receiving the test results, he opted to withdraw from The Northern Trust next week at Ridgewood Country Club in New Jersey.

"My team and I feel like it's best not to play next week in the Northern Trust," Fowler wrote. "I will be back healthy and competitive ASAP for the FedEx Cup and more than ready for the Ryder Cup!!!"

Fowler is one of eight players who earned automatic spots on the U.S. Ryder Cup team when the qualifying window closed last week. His next opportunity to tee it up would be at the 100-man Dell Technologies Championship, where Fowler won in 2015.

Fowler has 12 top-25 finishes in 18 starts, highlighted by runner-up finishes at both the OHL Classic at Mayakoba in the fall and at the Masters. He is currently 17th in the season-long points race, meaning that he's assured of starts in each of the first three playoff events regardless of performance and in good position to qualify for the 30-man Tour Championship for the fourth time in the last five years.

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Playoff streaks in jeopardy for Garcia, Haas

By Will GrayAugust 15, 2018, 8:12 pm

Since the advent of the FedExCup in 2007, only 13 players have managed to make the playoffs each and every year. But two of the PGA Tour's stalwarts head into the regular-season finale with work to do in order to remain a part of that select fraternity.

Sergio Garcia has rarely had to sweat the top-125 bubble, but the Spaniard enters this week's Wyndham Championship 131st in the current standings. Left with even more work to do is former FedExCup winner Bill Haas, who starts the week in Greensboro 150th.

Garcia got off to a strong start in the spring, sandwiching a pair of top-10 finishes in WGC events around a fourth-place showing at the Valspar Championship. But quality results largely dried up after Garcia missed the cut at the Masters; he has made only two cuts in 10 Tour starts since April, including early exits in all four majors.

Wyndham Championship: Articles, photos and videos

Garcia has some history at Sedgefield Country Club, having won this event in 2012 to break a lengthy U.S. victory drought. He also finished fourth in 2009 but hasn't played the Donald Ross layout since a T-29 finish as the defending champ in 2013.

It's been a difficult year for Haas both on and off the course, as the veteran was involved as a passenger in a car accident on the eve of the Genesis Open that killed the driver. He returned to action three weeks later in Tampa, and he tied for seventh at the RBC Heritage in April. But that remains his lone top-10 finish of the season. Haas has missed 11 cuts including three in a row.

While the bubble will be a fluid target this week at Sedgefield, Garcia likely needs at least a top-20 finish to move into the top 125 while Haas will likely need to finish inside the top 5.

One of the 13 playoff streaks is assured of ending next week, as Luke Donald has missed most of the year with a back injury. Other players to qualify for every Tour postseason include Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar, Zach Johnson, Adam Scott, Bubba Watson, Justin Rose, Brandt Snedeker, Charles Howell III, Charley Hoffman and Ryan Moore.

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Airlines lose two sets of Olesen's clubs in 10 days

By Grill Room TeamAugust 15, 2018, 7:50 pm

Commercial airlines losing the golf clubs of a professional golfer is not exactly a groundbreaking story. It happens.

But European Tour pro Thorbjorn Olesen is on quite the roll, losing two sets of clubs and five suitcases in the span of 10 days.

Olesen, the reigning Italian Open champ, claimed his primary set of golf clubs were lost last week. Having little faith they'd be found before this week's Nordea Masters, he decided to bring his backup set for the event in Sweden.

A veteran move by the 28-year-old, unless, of course, those clubs were lost too. And wouldn't you know it:

After pestering the airlines with some A+ GIFs, Olesen was reunited with at least one of his sets and was back in action on Wednesday.

He also still plans on giving his golf bag away to some lucky follower, provided it's not lost again in transit. Something he's no longer taking for granted.

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Podcast: Brandel compares Tiger and Hogan's comebacks

By Golf Channel DigitalAugust 15, 2018, 6:48 pm

Tiger Woods on Sunday at Bellerive recorded his seventh runner-up finish in a major and his first in nine years.

A favorite guest of the Golf Channel Podcast, Brandel Chamblee joins host Will Gray to compare and contrast Tiger's return to competitive golf with that of Ben Hogan and Babe Didrikson Zaharias in the 1950s.

Chamblee also discusses Brooks Koepka's major dominance, Bellerive as a major venue, Tiger and Phil as Ryder Cup locks, and who else might be in line to receive Jim Furyk and Thomas Bjorn's remaining captain's picks.

Finally, Brandel shares what it was it was like to qualify for the Senior Open Championship and compete for a major title on the Old Course at St. Andrews. Listen here: