Women's regionals: Which teams are in, out for NCAAs

By Ryan LavnerMay 7, 2016, 8:30 pm

The NCAA Division I women’s regionals wrapped up Saturday at four sites around the country. The low six teams in each regional after the third and final round advanced to the May 20-25 NCAA Championship at Eugene (Ore.) Country Club.

In all, seven of the top 25 teams in the country won't move on to the national finals. Here are the final results from the Shoal Creek (Ala.), Baton Rouge (La.), Bryan (Texas) and Stanford (Calif.) regionals:

Shoal Creek Regional, at Shoal Creek Country Club in Birmingham, Ala.: 

Winner: Northwestern (+23)

Runner-up: Florida State (+41) 

Rest of the top 6: Oklahoma State (+43), Alabama (+44), Tennessee (+48), Michigan (+52)

Better luck next year: California (+60), Clemson (+65), Purdue (+72), Iowa State (+80)

Medalists: Matilda Castren, Florida State; Marianne Li, California; Janet Mao, Northwestern (all finished at +4)

Individuals advancing: Li, California; Lauren Stephenson, Clemson; August Kim, Purdue

Skinny: Eighth-ranked Northwestern rolled to an 18-shot victory in difficult conditions at Shoal Creek, with Mao sharing medalist honors. Two other Wildcats players finished inside the top 10 individually as they won a regional for the first time in program history. Top-ranked Alabama had an off-week on its home golf course, finishing 21 shots back, but it still was able to advance without much concern. Michigan grabbed the sixth and final spot, just the second time in program history that the Wolverines booked a trip to the NCAA finals (2002). A 13 seed, Michigan was the lowest-ranked team to advance. Missing out were California and Iowa State, the Nos. 4 and 5 seeds, respectively. 

Baton Rouge Regional, at The University Club in Baton Rouge, La.:

Winners: South Carolina and Florida (-6)

Rest of the top 6: Washington (-1), Duke (+6), Oregon (+18), BYU (+20)

Better luck next year: Houston (+21), Arizona State (+27), East Carolina (+40), LSU (+41), N.C. State (+43)

Medalist: Katelyn Dambaugh, South Carolina (-9) 

Individuals advancing: Elise Bradley, LSU; Linnea Strom, Arizona State; Leonie Harm, Houston

Skinny: South Carolina’s 277 in the second round carried the Gamecocks to a share of the team title, and Dambaugh, ranked fourth in the country, led the way individually. Florida shot the same 11-under round on the final day to surge into a tie for first behind Karolina Vlckova's school-record 65. Five of the top six seeds advanced, the lone exception being 10th-ranked Arizona State, which finished seven shots above the cut line. It’s a disappointing end to the season for the Sun Devils, who finished third in the Pac-12 Championship and had three other runner-up finishes this spring. Player-of-the-year contender Monica Vaughn shot 13 over par for the week. Oregon, which in two weeks will host the NCAA Championship at Eugene Country Club, finished fifth to play an NCAA home game. Moving inside the top six was BYU, the No. 10 seed. Tied with Houston for the final spot, Lea Garner ended a run of three consecutive bogeys with a 54-hole birdie to send the Cougars to the finals. LSU finished 11th on its home golf course, 21 shots off the cut line.

More on BYU: As a Mormon-run school, BYU does not play any sport on Sunday. To accommodate the school’s policy, the Cougars will have the option to participate in the practice round on Thursday (May 19) with the other 132 participants (24 teams and 12 individuals) and then begin their first round of stroke play (with Sunday hole locations) on Thursday afternoon following the practice round. All 24 teams and 12 individuals will play Friday and Saturday, while on Sunday the other 23 teams and 12 individuals will finish their third rounds. If BYU is among the low 15 teams after 54 holes, the Cougars will play the fourth and final round on Monday (May 23), as originally scheduled.

Bryan Regional, at Traditions Club in Bryan, Texas:

Winner: Georgia (-6)

Runner-up: Arizona (E) 

Rest of the top 6: UCLA (+1), Furman (+9), Miami (+13), Texas (+15)

Better luck next year: Tulane (+16), Kent State (+17), TCU (+20), Campbell (+20), Texas A&M (+24) 

Medalist: Bronte Law, UCLA; Bailey Tardy, Georgia (both finished at -7)

Individuals advancing: Laura Lonardi, Baylor; Olivia Cason, Louisville; Bianca Pagdanganan, Gonzaga

Skinny: Georgia reestablished itself as an NCAA favorite with a six-shot victory in this regional. Freshman Bailey Tardy shared medalist honors for the Bulldogs, and Jillian Hollis was fourth. No. 3-ranked UCLA easily advanced, and Law became the frontrunner for national player of the year honors after picking up her third victory of the season. It was Miami's first NCAA finals berth since 1992, while Furman advanced for the first time since 2008. Julia Beck's par on the final hole secured the sixth and final spot for Texas, which finished one shot ahead of Tulane. The biggest surprise was Texas A&M, which finished 12th despite playing on its home golf course. Kent State, the No. 4 seed, missed the final spot by two shots. 

Stanford Regional, at Stanford Golf Course in Stanford, Calif.: 

Winner: Southern Cal and Stanford (+4) 

Rest of the top 6: Ohio State (+23), North Carolina (+26), Arkansas (+27), Virginia (+31)

Better luck next year: Colorado (+32), Wake Forest (+35), Pepperdine (+37), San Diego State (+43), UNLV (+56) 

Medalist: Elizabeth Szokol, Virginia; Andrea Wong, UC Davis (both finished at -4)

Individuals advancing: Wong, UC Davis; Jennifer Kupcho, Wake Forest; Sarah Burnham, Michigan State

Skinny: Second-ranked USC and host Stanford shared the team title after the Cardinal’s Mariah Stackhouse missed a 5-footer for par on the final hole. Nonetheless, it was a stress-free week for one of the NCAA favorites and the defending champion. Two teams outside the top six seeds who came west – Ohio State and North Carolina – advanced after steady final rounds kept them inside the bubble. Szokol shared medalist honors and helped Virginia weather a disastrous final-round 299, the worst score of any of the contenders. Szokol shot 67, including three birdies on the back nine, to keep the ACC champions one shot clear of Colorado. 

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How to watch The Open on TV and online

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 5:40 am

You want to watch the 147th Open? Here’s how you can do it.

Golf Channel and NBC Sports will be televising 182 hours of overall programming from the men's third major of the year at Carnoustie

In addition to the traditional coverage, the two networks will showcase three live alternate feeds: marquee groups, featured holes (our new 3-hole channel) and spotlight action. You can also watch replays of full-day coverage, Thursday-Sunday, in the Golf Channel app, NBC Sports apps, and on GolfChannel.com.  

Here’s the weekly TV schedule, with live stream links in parentheses. You can view all the action on the Golf Channel mobile, as well. Alternate coverage is noted in italics:

(All times Eastern; GC=Golf Channel; NBC=NBC Sports; GC.com=GolfChannel.com or check the GLE app)

Monday, July 16

GC: 7-9AM: Morning Drive (stream.golfchannel.com)

GC: 9-11AM: Live From The Open (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)

GC: 7-9PM: Live From The Open (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)

Tuesday, July 17

GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)

Wednesday, July 18

GC: 6AM-2PM: Live From The Open (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)

Thursday, July 19

GC: Midnight-1:30AM: Midnight Drive (stream.golfchannel.com)

GC: Day 1: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

GC.com: Day 1: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/spotlight)

GC.com: Day 1: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/marqueegroup)

GC.com: Day 1: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/3holechannel)

GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)

Friday, July 20

GC: Day 2: The Open, live coverage: 1:30AM-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

GC.com: Day 2: The Open, Spotlight: 1:30AM-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/spotlight)

GC.com: Day 2: The Open, Marquee Groups: 4AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/marqueegroup)

GC.com: Day 2: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 4AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/3holechannel)

GC: Live From The Open: 4-5PM (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)

Saturday, July 21

GC: Day 3: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

NBC: Rd. 3: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

GC.com: Day 3: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/spotlight)

GC.com: Day 3: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/marqueegroup)

GC.com: Day 3: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-3PM (www.golfchannel.com/3holechannel)

GC: Live From The Open: 3-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)

Sunday, July 22

GC: Day 4: The Open, live coverage: 4:30-7AM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

NBC: Rd. 4: The Open, live coverage: 7AM-2:30PM (www.golfchannel.com/theopen)

GC.com: Day 4: The Open, Spotlight: 4:30AM-2:30PM (www.golfchannel.com/spotlight)

GC.com: Day 4: The Open, Marquee Groups: 5AM-2PM (www.golfchannel.com/marqueegroup)

GC.com: Day 4: The Open, 3-Hole Channel: 5AM-2PM (www.golfchannel.com/3holechannel)

GC: Live From The Open: 2:30-4PM (www.golfchannel.com/livefromstream)

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The Open 101: A guide to the year's third major

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 5:30 am

Take a look at some answers to frequently asked questions about The Open:

What's all this "The Open" stuff? I thought it was the British Open.

What you call it has historically depended on where you were. If you were in the U.S., you called it the British Open, just as Europeans refer to the PGA Championship as the U.S. PGA. Outside the U.S. it generally has been referred to as The Open Championship. The preferred name of the organizers is The Open.

How old is it?

It's the oldest golf championship, dating back to 1860.

Where is it played?

There is a rotation – or "rota" – of courses used. Currently there are 10: Royal Birkdale, Royal St. George's, Royal Liverpool and Royal Lytham and St. Annes, all in England; Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland and St. Andrews, Carnoustie, Royal Troon, Turnberry and Muirfield, all in Scotland. Muirfield was removed from the rota in 2016 when members voted against allowing female members, but when the vote was reversed in 2017 it was allowed back in.

Where will it be played this year?

At Carnoustie, which is located on the south-eastern shore of Scotland.

Who has won The Open on that course?

Going back to the first time Carnoustie hosted, in 1931, winners there have been Tommy Armour, Henry Cotton (1937), Ben Hogan (1953), Gary Player (1968), Tom Watson (1975), Paul Lawrie (1999), Padraig Harrington (2007).

Wasn't that the year Hogan nearly won the Slam?

Yep. He had won the Masters and U.S. Open that season, then traveled to Carnoustie and won that as well. It was the only time he ever played The Open. He was unable to play the PGA Championship that season because the dates conflicted with those of The Open.

Jean Van de Velde's name should be on that list, right?

This is true. He had a three-shot lead on the final hole in 1999 and made triple bogey. He lost in a playoff to Lawrie, which also included Justin Leonard.

Who has won this event the most?

Harry Vardon, who was from the Channel Island of Jersey, won a record six times between 1896 and 1914. Australian Peter Thomson, American Watson, Scot James Braid and Englishman J.H. Taylor each won five times.

What about the Morrises?

Tom Sr. won four times between 1861 and 1867. His son, Tom Jr., also won four times, between 1868 and 1872.

Have players from any particular country dominated?

In the early days, Scots won the first 29 Opens – not a shocker since they were all played at one of three Scottish courses, Prestwick, St. Andrews and Musselburgh. In the current era, going back to 1999 (we'll explain why that year in a minute), the scoreboard is United States, nine wins; South Africa, three wins; Ireland, two wins; Northern Ireland, two wins; and Sweden, one win. The only Scot to win in that period was Lawrie, who took advantage of one of the biggest collapses in golf history.

Who is this year's defending champion?

That would be American Jordan Spieth, who survived an adventerous final round to defeat Matt Kuchar by three strokes and earn the third leg of the career Grand Slam.

What is the trophy called?

The claret jug. It's official name is the Golf Champion Trophy, but you rarely hear that used. The claret jug replaced the original Challenge Belt in 1872. The winner of the claret jug gets to keep it for a year, then must return it (each winner gets a replica to keep).

Which Opens have been the most memorable?

Well, there was Palmer in 1961and '62; Van de Velde's collapse in 1999; Hogan's win in 1953; Tiger Woods' eight-shot domination of the 2000 Open at St. Andrews; Watson almost winning at age 59 in 2009; Doug Sanders missing what would have been a winning 3-foot putt at St. Andrews in 1970; Tony Jacklin becoming the first Briton to win the championship in 18 years; and, of course, the Duel in the Sun at Turnberry in 1977, in which Watson and Jack Nicklaus dueled head-to-head over the final 36 holes, Watson winning by shooting 65-65 to Nicklaus' 65-66.

When I watch this tournament on TV, I hear lots of unfamiliar terms, like "gorse" and "whin" and "burn." What do these terms mean?

Gorse is a prickly shrub, which sometimes is referred to as whin. Heather is also a shrub. What the scots call a burn, would also be considered a creek or stream.

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Four players vying for DJ's No. 1 ranking at Open

By Ryan LavnerJuly 18, 2018, 8:41 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Four players have an opportunity to overtake Dustin Johnson for world No. 1 this week.

According to Golf Channel world-rankings guru Alan Robinson, Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm each can grab the top spot in the world ranking.

Thomas’ path is the easiest. He would return to No. 1 with either a win and Johnson finishing worse than solo third, or even a solo runner-up finish as long as Johnson finishes worse than 49th.

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

Twenty years after his auspicious performance in The Open, Rose can get to No. 1 for the first time with a victory and Johnson finishing worse than a two-way tie for third.

Kopeka can rise to No. 1 if he wins consecutive majors, assuming that his good friend posts worse than a three-way tie for third.

And Rahm can claim the top spot with a win this week, a Johnson missed cut and a Thomas finish of worse than solo second.   

Johnson’s 15-month reign as world No. 1 ended after The Players. He wasn’t behind Thomas for long, however: After a tie for eighth at the Memorial, Johnson blew away the field in Memphis and then finished third at the U.S. Open to solidify his position at the top.