March Madness in November

By Steve BurkowskiNovember 10, 2004, 5:00 pm
College CentralOne of the most exciting times of the year in college sports is March Madness, when 65 teams are seeded and bracketed for a run at a National Title in Division I College Basketball. Well in the month of November, college golf jumps into the fray with some brackets of their own. This coming Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, 16 of the best Division I mens and womens teams will convene just outside of Orlando for the Hooters Collegiate Match Play Championships. A rare event with match play as the format, will lend itself to speculation as some upsets are sure to occur.
 
After some research and review, I have filled out my brackets, and will now share my choices with you. While I am usually one who tends to look for those teams who are not the top seeds to do well, I have come to the conclusion the top 5 teams on both the mens and womens sides have for the most part separated themselves from the rest of the pack.
 
Mens Matches Rd. 1
Georgia Tech defeats Penn State
Purdue defeats Arizona
Kentucky defeats Clemson
Texas defeats Pepperdine
Georgia defeats Texas A&M
Georgia State defeats Washington
UCLA defeats Florida
Oklahoma State defeats California
 
Mens Matches Rd. 2
Georgia Tech defeats Purdue
Kentucky defeats Texas
Georgia defeats Georgia State
Oklahoma State defeats UCLA
 
Mens Matches Semis
Georgia Tech defeats Kentucky
Georgia defeats Oklahoma State
 
Mens Final Match
Georgia defeats Georgia Tech
 
The boys from Athens have now positioned themselves as the best team in the land with back to back victories in the past two weeks. While I dont think it will be easy, the Bulldogs should close the fall season with three consecutive wins.
 
Now on the womens side.
 
Womens Matches Rd. 1
Duke defeats UNLV
Furman defeats Texas
Washington defeats Purdue
UCLA defeats Arizona
Arizona State defeats Texas A&M
Wake Forest defeats Tennessee
New Mexico defeats Florida
Oklahoma State defeats North Carolina
 
Womens Matches Rd. 2
Duke defeats Furman
UCLA defeats Washington
Arizona State defeats Wake Forest
Oklahoma State defeats New Mexico
 
Womens Matches Semis
Duke defeats UCLA
Arizona State defeats Oklahoma State
 
Womens Final Match
Duke defeats Arizona State
 
Look for the Lady Blue Devils to once again prevail at the match play, and end the fall perfect with five victories to their credit. It was not easy to overlook UCLA in the semifinals, but at this point Duke has shown its true colors, and its far from blue.
 
Email me your thoughts and selections, as this coming week should prove to be another great display of golf, from the very best the college game has to offer.
 
Email your thoughts to Steve Burkowski
 
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    Ryu thriving again after simple advice from Inbee Park

    By Randall MellJune 21, 2018, 7:07 pm

    So Yeon Ryu shared Rolex Player of the Year honors last year.

    She reigned as world No. 1 for almost five months.

    So when she couldn’t keep her momentum going at year’s start, she got frustrated. She wasn’t happy with two top 10s in her first 11 starts.

    “I lost a lot of confidence at the beginning of the year,” Ryu said Thursday as she prepared to lead a strong field as the defending champion in Friday’s start of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship. “My expectation level was way too high.”

    So she sought the counsel of her pal, world No. 1 Inbee Park, who gave her some plain-spoken advice.


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    “Get over it,” Park told her. “You know what to do. You’ve done it, so it’s not really a big deal. Don’t worry about it. You were No. 1. You’ve achieved a lot of things as a professional golfer. Just don’t be too hard on yourself.”

    Ryu got over it winning the Meijer LPGA Classic last week, the sixth LPGA title of her career, her third in 15 months. She’s feeling good again leading a stellar field this week at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, Ark., a strong tune up before next week’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, the year’s third major championship.

    World No. 1 Park, No. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn and No. 3 Lexi Thompson are among the top nine players in the world scheduled to compete this week. Twenty-four of the top 30 are in the field.

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    River Highlands a 'breather' for Zach Johnson (63)

    By Will GrayJune 21, 2018, 6:43 pm

    CROMWELL, Conn. – After enduring the pressure-cooker of the U.S. Open, Zach Johnson was more than happy to drift north to the friendly confines of TPC River Highlands.

    Birdies were rare last week at Shinnecock Hills, but they’ll be plentiful all week long at the Travelers Championship. Browned-out and crispy conditions transitioned to lush and verdant, and players can attack flags without fear of turning a possible par into a struggle to avoid triple.

    Johnson did just that in the opening round, carding eight birdies against a single bogey to take the early lead with a 7-under 63.

    “It’s a different kind of breathing. It’s a different kind of exhaling, if you will, but they’re both good,” Johnson said. “You can put some red on the board here. We know that. We’ve seen it. You can go the other way in a hurry if you press it; it can keep going in the other way. So you kind of have to let it happen. This is one of those courses where you have to let it happen.”


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    Like many in this week’s field, Johnson took it easy after a grueling major championship, staying away from the course Monday and easing into his prep over the next two days. Those decisions paid off quickly as he rattled off six straight birdies on Nos. 11-16 to take sole possession of the lead.

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    “I feel like every time I get here it feels like I should shoot nothing, and it bites me,” Johnson said. “The last couple years I’m like, ‘All right, you can’t have any expectations in that regard. You’ve just got to go out and execute, you know, put the ball in the fairway and you will have opportunities.’” 

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    First photos from Norman's 'Body' shoot

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