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Men's regionals: Who's in, out for NCAAs?

By Ryan LavnerMay 16, 2018, 11:17 pm

The NCAA Division I men’s regionals wrapped up Wednesday at six sites around the country. The top five teams and low individual on a non-advancing team will advance to the May 25-30 NCAA Championship at Karsten Creek in Stillwater, Okla.

Here are the final results from the Raleigh (N.C.), Kissimmee (Fla.), Columbus (Ohio), Bryan (Texas), Norman (Okla.) and Stockton (Calif.) regionals:

Raleigh regional, at Lonnie Poole Golf Course:

Winner (click here for full team scores): Texas (-39)

Runner-up: Duke (-22)

Also moving on: N.C. State (-21), Augusta (-20), Arizona State (-18)

Better luck next year: Georgia Tech (-17), Middle Tennessee State (-16), California (-7)

Medalist (click here for full individual scores): Doug Ghim, Texas (-17)

Advancing individual: Pontus Nyholm, Campbell

Skinny: The top two seeds in this regional failed to make it through. Georgia Tech became just the third top seed that failed to advance to the NCAA Championship. The Yellow Jackets were the fourth-ranked team in the country, and they entered the postseason as one of the squads that could challenge Oklahoma State, 1 thru 5, but now they won’t be able to get the opportunity. Cal also had a disappointing end to its season, traveling across the country and finishing 10th. Junior Collin Morikawa, the top-ranked player in Golfstat’s individual rankings, also won’t be at nationals, after he failed to earn the lone spot awarded to the low individual on a non-advancing team. … Augusta became the second 12 seed to advance to the NCAA Championship. It’s some cool symmetry for the Jaguars: This is their first NCAA berth since 2011, the year that Patrick Reed led them to the national title – at Karsten Creek. They shot 14 under, the second-lowest round of the day, to make it through. … Texas won for the first time all season, powered by a 28-under effort from medalist Doug Ghim and Scottie Scheffler, who finished fourth. Ghim, who shared medalist honors at Big 12s, is now a serious contender for not just the Hogan Award but also the Haskins Award.

Kissimmee regional, at Reunion Resort:

Winner (click here for full team scores): Florida (-42)

Runner-up: UCF (-30)

Also moving on: Vanderbilt (-22), North Carolina (-21), Kent State (-20)

Better luck next year: Arizona (-18), Colorado State (-16), South Florida (-12)

Medalist (click here for full individual scores): Andy Zhang, Florida (-13)

Advancing individual: George Cunningham, Arizona

Skinny: The Gators set a school-record with a 42-under performance, avenging last year’s disappointing performance, when they failed to advance out of regionals as the top seed. … Top-seeded Vanderbilt entered the final round in a three-way tie for fifth, a coach’s worst nightmare, but the Commodores closed with an 11-under round just to keep pace in this low-scoring regional. … Host UCF was playing an hour from its campus, but the Knights took advantage of more than 15 practice rounds at Reunion to advance as the 10 seed. … South Florida plummeted four spots on the leaderboard, into eighth, after shooting 1 over on the final day – the only over-par round in the top 11. … Florida’s Zhang won his second consecutive start, after also capturing the SEC Championship.

Columbus regional, at Ohio State University’s Scarlet Course:

Winner (click here for full team scores): Oklahoma State (-8)

Runner-up: Illinois (E)

Also moving on: UNLV (+15), Northwestern (+16), Texas Tech (+18)

Better luck next year: Penn State (+25), Michigan State (+32), Wake Forest (+35)

Medalist (click here for full individual scores): Kyle Mueller, Michigan (-5)

Advancing individual: Mueller

Skinny: Oklahoma State showed why it’s the best team in the country, with all five Cowboys finishing inside the top 19 individually. Standout freshman Matthew Wolff finished runner-up for the fourth time this season. … Illinois seems to be trending in the right direction. After winning the Big Ten title, the Illini had four counters finish inside the top 10 individually and hung tough with Oklahoma State on the most difficult regional course. … Texas Tech grabbed the fifth and final spot despite first-team All-American Fredrik Nilehn, who had missed the last three events with a back injury, shooting 13 over par. … On the final day, there was no movement among the top 8 on the leaderboard.

Bryan regional, at Traditions Club:

Winner (click here for full team scores): Texas A&M (-27)

Runner-up: Clemson (-18)

Also moving on: Baylor (-7), UCLA (+2), Kentucky (+10)

Better luck next year: Ole Miss (+13), South Carolina (+18)

Medalist (click here for full individual scores): Chandler Phillips, Texas A&M (-11)

Advancing individual: Braden Thornberry, Ole Miss

Skinny: The Aggies took care of business on their home course, while Clemson is headed back to Karsten Creek, where they won the NCAA title in the early 2000s. … Baylor coach Mike McGraw will also be returning to Stillwater, Okla., where he coached the team for several years but was fired a few years ago. … The most drama came for the fifth and final spot. Ole Miss was in position, but the Rebels shot 10 over in the final round. That included their top two starters playing the last two holes in 6 over par, allowing Kentucky to slide inside the cut line – but not without some drama. Senior leader Chip McDaniel went out in 40 on Wednesday, but he made four birdies coming home and then, needing just a par on the last to secure the Wildcats’ spot, dunked his 118-yard approach for a closing eagle to move on. … At least one Ole Miss player will be at nationals – Braden Thornberry earned the individual spot and now will have a chance to defend his NCAA title.  

Norman regional, at Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club:

Winner (click here for full team scores): Oklahoma (-14)

Runners-up: BYU and North Florida (-13)

Also moving on: Auburn and Arkansas (-3)

Better luck next year: Florida State (-2), Virginia (-1), Pepperdine (E)

Medalist (click here for full individual scores): Travis Trace, North Florida (-11)

Advancing individual: Joshua McCarthy, Pepperdine

Skinny: The Sooners appear on a collision course with rival Oklahoma State, after winning their fourth title in their past five starts. Blaine Hale and Quade Cummins did the heavy lifting with a rare off-week from star Brad Dalke. … BYU will create some logistical issues for the NCAA Championship after a tie for second in this regional. The Cougars don’t play on Sundays, so now they will contest their third round on Thursday – the practice-round day for the other 29 teams in the field – which creates some concerns about competitiveness fairness. … Arkansas played its last five holes in 7 under to steal the fifth and final spot. … Pepperdine ended its wild week by finishing outside the cut line. The Waves went from ninth to second to eighth.

Stockton regional, at The Reserve at Spanos Park

Winner (click here for full team scores): Kansas (-20)

Runner-up: Stanford (-19)

Also moving on: Iowa State (-17), Alabama (-15), Oregon (-12)

Better luck next year: LSU (-7), Colorado (-2), TCU (+1), Southern Cal (+3)

Medalist (click here for full individual scores): Norman Xiong, Oregon (-15)

Advancing individual: Charles Corner, Texas El Paso

Skinny: LSU joins Georgia Tech as a top seed that failed to advance. That had happened only once in the six-regional setup prior to last year. Now, it’s happened three times in the past two years. … Kansas was an 8 seed that earned its first NCAA berth since 2000; Iowa State was a sneaky 10 seed that entered regionals with two wins in its past four starts. … Alabama advanced despite having only two players finish inside the top 35 individually. Wilson Furr and Jonathan Hardee were 17 under. … The Player of the Year race just got blown open, after USC’s Justin Suh (and the team) failed to advance to the NCAA Championship. Suh’s loss might be Oregon’s Xiong’s gain, however, after the Ducks sophomore won for the sixth time. Entering nationals, he’s the favorite to win the Haskins Award.

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Alabama faces 'buzzsaw' Arizona for NCAA title

By Ryan LavnerMay 23, 2018, 2:00 am

STILLWATER, Okla. – There was no way Laura Ianello could sleep Monday night, not after that dramatic ending at the NCAA Women’s Championship. So at 12:15 a.m., the Arizona coach held court in the laundry room at the Holiday Inn, washing uniforms and munching on mozzarella sticks and fried chicken strips from Sonic, her heart still racing.

Ianello got only three hours of sleep, and who could blame her?

The Wildcats had plummeted down the team standings during the final round of stroke-play qualifying, and were 19 over par for the day, when junior transfer Bianca Pagdanganan arrived on the 17th hole.

“Play the best two holes of your life,” Ianello told her, and so Pagdanganan did, making a solid par on 17 and then ripping a 6-iron from 185 yards out of a divot to 30 feet. There was a massive leaderboard positioned to the right of the par-5 18th green, but Pagdanganan never peeked. The only way for Arizona to force a play-five, count-four playoff with Baylor and reach match play was to sink the putt, and when it dropped, the Wildcats lost their minds, shrieking and jumping over the ropes and hugging anyone in sight.

Watching the action atop the hill, Alabama coach Mic Potter shook his head.

“I was really glad we didn’t win the tiebreaker for the No. 1 seed,” he said, “because they’re a buzzsaw with a lot of momentum.”

Given new life, Arizona dispatched Baylor by three strokes in the playoff, then turned its attention to top-seeded UCLA in the quarterfinals on Tuesday morning.

NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Scoring and TV times

NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Full coverage

Facing two first-team All-Americans, the Wildcats beat them, too, continuing the curse of the medalist. In the afternoon, worried that the adrenaline would wear off, Ianello watched her squad make quick work of Stanford, 4-1.

“They’ve got a lot of great momentum, a lot of great team energy,” Stanford coach Anne Walker said. “They thought they were going home, and now they’ve got a chip on their shoulder. They’re playing with an edge.”

After a marathon doubleheader Tuesday at Karsten Creek, Arizona now has a date with Alabama in the final match of this NCAA Championship.

And the Wildcats better rest up.

Alabama looks unstoppable.

“They’re rolling off a lot of momentum right now,” Ianello said. “We know Alabama is a good team. But they’re super excited and pumped. It’s not the high of making it [Monday]; now they’ve got a chance to win. They know they have to bring it.”

Even fully rested, Arizona will be a significant underdog against top-ranked Alabama.

After failing to reach match play each of the past two years, despite being the top overall seed, the Tide wouldn’t be stopped from steamrolling their competition this time.

They roughed up Kent State, 4-1, in the quarterfinals, then frontloaded their lineup with three first-team All-Americans – Lauren Stephenson, Kristen Gillman and Cheyenne Knight – in their semifinal tilt against Southern Cal.

Potter said that he was just trying to play the matchups, but the move sent a clear signal.

“It gets pretty tedious when you never miss fairways and hole a lot of putts and your opponent knows that you’re not going to spray it,” Potter said. “That’s tough to match up against.”

They breezed to the first three points, draining any drama out of the semifinals. Of the 99 holes that Bama’s Big 3 played Tuesday, they trailed after only two.

“We’re always consistent,” Stephenson said, “and that’s exactly what you need in match play. Someone has to go really low to beat us.”

That Arizona even has that chance to dethrone the Tide seemed inconceivable a few months ago.

The Wildcats had a miserable fall and were ranked 39th at the halfway point of the season. On Christmas Day, one of the team’s best players, Krystal Quihuis, sent a text to Ianello that she was turning pro. Once she relayed the news, the team felt abandoned, but it also had a newfound motivation.

“They wanted to prove that they’re a great team, even without her,” Ianello said.

It also was a case of addition by subtraction: Out went the individual-minded Quihuis and in came Yu-Sang Ho, an incoming freshman whom Ianello described as a “bright, shining light.”

Because incorporating a top-tier junior at the midway point can be intimidating, Ianello organized a lively team retreat at the Hilton El Conquistador in Tucson, where they made vision boards and played games blindfolded.

They laughed that weekend and all throughout the spring – or at least until Pagnanganan made that last-ditch eagle putt Monday. Then tears streamed down Ianello’s face.

Folding uniforms after midnight, she regaled Alabama assistant coach Susan Rosenstiel with stories from their emotional day on the cut line, not even considering that they might face each other two days later for a national title. She was too delirious to ponder that.

“I feel like a new mother with a newborn baby,” Ianello said. “But we’re going off of adrenaline. This team has all the momentum they need to get it done.”

Yes, somehow, the last team into the match-play field might soon be the last team standing.

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Pairings, tee times set for championship match

By Jay CoffinMay 23, 2018, 1:02 am

STILLWATER, Okla. – Alabama coach Mic Potter has three first-team All-Americans on this team. It’s little surprise that all three are going out first in the Crimson Tide’s championship match against Arizona Wednesday at Karsten Creek.

Potter tinkered with his lineup in both the quarterfinal victory over Kent State and the semifinal win over USC. But with the NCAA title on the line, this one was a no brainer.

“We don’t want to sacrifice anything,” Potter said. “We just want to give ourselves a chance to win every match.”

Arizona kept its lineup the same all day Tuesday in defeating Pac-12 foes UCLA and Stanford in the quarterfinals and semifinals, respectively. That meant junior Bianca Pagdanganan, the Wildcats grittiest player this week, was in the last match of the day. She won twice.

Now, with all the marbles riding on the championship match, Arizona coach Laura Ianello moved Pagdanganan up to the third spot to assure that her match is key to the final outcome.

Junior Haley Moore, Arizona’s best player all year, is in the fifth spot and will face Alabama senior Lakareber Abe.

“Win or lose tomorrow, this has been a helluva ride,” Ianello said.

Alabama (2) vs. Arizona (8)

3:25PM ET: Lauren Stephenson (AL) vs. Yu-Sang Hou (AZ)

3:35PM ET: Kristen Gillman (AL) vs. Gigi Stoll (AZ)

3:45PM ET: Cheyenne Knight (AL) vs. Bianca Pagdanganan (AZ)

3:55PM ET: Angelica Moresco (AL) vs. Sandra Nordaas (AZ)

4:05PM ET: Lakareber Abe (AL) vs. Haley Moore (AZ)

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Women's NCAA finals: Arizona vs. Alabama

By Jay CoffinMay 22, 2018, 11:49 pm

STILLWATER, Okla. – It’s the SEC vs. the Pac 12 for the women’s NCAA Championship; Alabama vs. Arizona, to be more specific.

Both the Crimson Tide and Wildcats cruised in their respective semifinal matches Tuesday at Karsten Creek. Alabama easily beat USC, 3-1-1; Arizona defeated match-play juggernaut Stanford, 4-1.

Alabama’s top three players, Lauren Stephenson, Kristen Gillman and Cheyenne Knight were unstoppable forces in both matches on the marathon day. Stacked in the top three positions in the semifinals all three won their matches on the 17th hole, making the last two matches inconsequential.

NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Scoring and TV times

NCAA Women’s DI Championship: Full coverage

Arizona, the eighth seed, won as decisively as second-seeded Alabama, but needed a miracle to be in this position in the first place.

Junior Bianca Pagdanganan drained a 30-footer for eagle on the last hole of stroke play on Monday to get the Wildcats into a playoff against Baylor, which they won on the second hole. Then on Tuesday, presumably running on fumes, they downed top-seeded UCLA in the morning, then crushed Pac-12 foe Stanford in the afternoon.

Pagdanganan, Gigi Stoll and Hayley Moore each won both matches for Arizona on the hot, draining day.

“I don’t want to let them down so I do my best to rise to the occasion,” Pagdanganan said.

Said Arizona coach Laura Ianello: “How many players, when you tell them under pressure that you need them, can really handle it,” Ianello said about Pagdanganan. “This kid can.”

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NCAA DI Women's Champ.: Scoring, TV times

By Golf Channel DigitalMay 22, 2018, 11:30 pm

The NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championship is underway at Kartsen Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla.

After three days of stroke play, eight teams advanced to the match-play portion of the championship. Quarterfinals and semifinals were contested Tuesday, with the finals being held on Wednesday. Golf Channel is airing the action live.

Wake Forest junior Jennifer Kupcho won the individual title. Click here for live finals action, beginning at 4 p.m. ET.


TV Times (all times ET):

4-8PM: Match-play finals (Click here to watch live)