Women's Golf Stays No. 1; Men Drop!
Coach Mic Potter's Alabama women's golf team was a unanimous choice among the 23 voters in the Golf World poll. The Crimson Tide is coming off a convincing win last week at the Lady Puerto Rico Classic, Bama's third tournament title of 2010-11.
But one has to wonder what the Golf World voters were thinking on the men's side.
Alabama went into a tournament on the same course in Puerto Rico where the women had played the week before. The Crimson Tide of Coach Jay Seawell was ranked fourth in the nation going into the tournament. Oklahoma State was ranked first in the nation.
Alabama won the Puerto Rico Classic, beating among other teams—Oklahoma State.
So what did the Golf World poll do? It dropped Alabama from fourth to fifth. And what team moved up from fifth to fourth? Georgia Tech. Georgia Tech was another team defeated by Alabama in Puerto Rico.
Golf World boasted, "The poll combines the resources of Golf World magazine, Nike Golf and the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA)." Apparently those resources did not include actual performance.
Alabama shot its lowest round in relation to par since firing a 15-under 273 at the 2007 Topy Cup and the lowest 54-hole total since shooting 30-under 810 at the 2007 Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate.
In five events overall (including fall play), Alabama has won three times and finished no worse than fourth, with two of its five starters—junior Bud Cauley and freshman Bobby Wyatt—recently being named to the prestigious Ben Hogan Award watch list.
Wyatt leads the team with a 70.73 stroke average and has a runner-up finish at the Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate this season. Cauley is close behind with a scoring average of 71.11 and a runner-up showing in Puerto Rico. True freshman Cory Whitsett is next with a 71.93 scoring average with fellow freshman Trey Mullinax at 72.17 and junior Hunter Hamrick at 72.39.
Alabama returns to action on March 7-8 at the Cleveland Golf Palmetto Intercollegiate in Aiken, South Carolina, at the Palmetto Golf Club.
The men's poll had No. 1 Oklahoma State followed by UCLA and Florida.
There was no controversy for the Bama women's team.
USC passed UCLA to claim the No. 2 spot after a win to begin the spring season. UCLA is in third, while LSU and Duke concluded the top five. Defending national champion Purdue finished sixth.
The SEC has seven of its 12 teams ranked in the top 25. Along with No. 1 Alabama and No. 4 LSU, Georgia checks in at No. 10 followed by Vanderbilt (11th), Arkansas (13th), Tennessee (15th) and Auburn (18th).
Alabama has four players ranked in the top 26 of the latest Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings. Brooke Pancake is the Tide's top-ranked golfer at No. 5 nationally with Camilla Lennarth ranked eight, Jennifer Kirby 19th and Stephanie Meadow 26th.
UA has two golfers averaging under par this season with Pancake leading the way at 71.13 while Lennarth is close behind at 71.27. Jennifer Kirby is just five strokes over par for the season with a 72.13 scoring average.
True freshman Stephanie Meadow captured her first collegiate victory this past weekend at the Lady Puerto Rico Classic. She is averaging 72.33 strokes per round and is the third straight rookie to threaten the UA freshman scoring record. Pancake first broke the mark in 2009 with a 74.06 average and Kirby then eclipsed that last season with a 73.06.
Alabama will continue spring season on Sunday at the Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate Championship at English Turn in New Orleans.
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