Levi on Top for Fifth Straight Round

By Sports NetworkOctober 9, 2004, 4:00 pm
2004 Administaff Small Business ClassicSPRING, Texas -- Wayne Levi, who won last week's Constellation Energy Classic, posted a 5-under 67 on Saturday to take the second-round lead of the inaugural Adminstaff Small Business Classic. He stands at 13-under-par 131 and is two ahead of D.A. Weibring at Augusta Pines Golf Club.
 
Levi went wire-to-wire for the victory last week and shared the lead on Friday with Walter Hall. This is the fifth consecutive round that Levi has had at least a piece of the lead, and Levi could become the first player in Champions Tour history to win two consecutive events in wire-to-wire fashion.
 
'Mentally, this game is such a drain,' said Levi. 'It's tough to play good one week and come back and do it again the next week. I think I've got plenty left in the tank.'
 
Weibring fired a 7-under 65, while Hale Irwin, the all-time leader in Champions Tour victories, shot a 4-under 68 and is alone in third place at minus-9.
 
Levi took control of the tournament early in Saturday's second round. He knocked a sand-wedge to a foot to set up birdie at one and made it two in a row with a 15-footer at the par-5 second.
 
Levi collected his third birdie in a row at the par-3 third hole when he hit a 7-iron to 5 feet. He had a good look at birdie from 10 feet at the fourth, but missed. Levi hit another spectacular sand-wedge approach at the fifth, also stopping a foot from the hole, for his fourth birdie in five holes. He missed a 3-foot birdie putt at the sixth that could have put him further in the lead.
 
'I got off to another good start,' said Levi. 'I had a good chance at birdie for the first six holes. I really hit it good on the front nine.'
 
Levi parred his remaining holes on the front nine, then sank a 9-footer for birdie at the 10th. He laid up short of the green with his second at the par-5 13th, then hit a lob-wedge over the flag that spun back to 2 feet. Levi made that birdie putt to reach 14 under par for the championship.
 
At the par-3 17th, Levi's 4-wood approach landed in a greenside bunker. His ball plugged in the trap and his blast from the sand barely landed on the putting surface. Levi could not save par and recorded his first bogey in 53 holes, or his first since the 17th hole of Saturday's second round one week ago.
 
'I can't complain with 67,' said Levi, who will be in search of his third victory on the Champions Tour. 'If I can make four or five birdies, they'll have a tough time beating me. When I get the lead, I think I produce greater focus. I'm paying attention to everything that's going on.'
 
Weibring, who won this year's Allianz Championship, hit a 4-wood to 10 feet to set up eagle at the par-5 second. He rolled in a 15-foot birdie putt at three, then added a 35-foot birdie putt at four to go 4 under in his first four holes.
 
Weibring cooled off as his next birdie came at the 10th. He holed a 15-foot birdie putt from off the green at the 13th, then got within two of Levi's lead with a 12-footer for birdie at the last.
 
'I feel good about the way I'm playing,' said Weibring, who will also be looking for his third title on the elder circuit Sunday. 'I have always wanted to win in Texas and tomorrow, I'll have a chance.'
 
Reigning U.S. Senior Open champion Peter Jacobsen (67), Jim Thorpe (69), John Harris (69), Hall (72) and Jim Dent (70) share fourth place at 8-under-par 136.
 
Andy Bean (67), Mark Johnson (67), Morris Hatalsky (69), Bob Gilder (69) and Tom Kite are tied for ninth at minus-7.
 
If Craig Stadler is going to tie Chi Chi Rodriguez' Champions Tour record of four consecutive wins, he's got a lot of work ahead of him on Sunday. Stadler managed a 1-under 71 on Saturday and is part of a group tied for 30th at minus-4.
 
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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.

    Scoring:

    TV Times (all times ET):

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