Players learn lessons at Augusta
Notes: Methodist defines domination in DIII women's play
Six amateurs teed it up at the 2011 Masters in Augusta, Ga., last weekend. Only one, Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama, made the 36-hole cut to play on the weekend.
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Golfweek’s top-ranked individual, junior Peter Uihlein of Oklahoma State, opened the tournament with an even-par 72 but shot 77 on Friday to finish at 5-over and outside the cut.
“Obviously, I didn’t play that well, but everybody was very supportive,’’ Uihlein said. “To be part of this was pretty great. I learned I’ve got a lot to work on.’’
Uihlein qualified by winning the 2010 U.S. amateur title.
Stanford junior David Chung (72-76) missed the cut by four strokes.
“It was surreal out there,” said Chung, a semifinalist for the Hogan Award as a sophomore. “I mean, I’ve never played in front of a crowd this big, and the first hole I had a chip shot, and the crowd was standing about four feet from me, like close enough where the chip shot actually could have hit them. It’s very different from playing a college tournament where the only one following you is a college coach.”
Michigan’s Lion Kim, the 2010 U.S. Amateur Public Links champion, shot rounds of 76 and 72 and also missed playing the weekend by three shots.
Need To Know
• Not many programs have dominated a division like Methodist University has dominated Division III women’s golf. Under former head coach Vici Pate, the Monarchs won seven consecutive DIII titles from 2004-09. Tom Inczauskis, in his second season, led Methodist, located in Fayetteville, N.C., to its 11th consecutive championship last season. Susan Martin was the NGCA Player of the Year in 2010.
Since 1986 Methodist has won 23 championships – Division III has competed separately from DII since 2000. The program has had at least one First Team All-American since ’86.
Things haven’t changed this season. The Monarchs have won six tournaments in 2010-11. Senior Paige Caldwell, a native of Hudson, Ohio, has earned medalist four times and her 78.2 scoring average leads the squad. Nationally, Caldwell ranks third in D-III in Par-3 scoring and fourth in both Par-4 and Par-5 scoring. She finished in the medalist race at the 2010 D-III Championships.
Caldwell and Methodist return to the course April 16-17 at the Jack Leaman Invite in Amherst, Ma. The women’s DIII championships are May 10-13 at Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla.
The men’s squad isn’t too shabby, either. Under head coach Steve Conley, in his 24th year, the Monarch men have won 10 DIII titles. After claiming nine from 1990-99, Methodist added No. 10 last season. The latest DIII Golfworld/Nike Golf Coaches Poll shows Guilford (N.C.) atop the list with Methodist at No. 2.
• While “repeat” is almost part of the Methodist fight song, in Division I repeating is not so easy. The last program to win two men’s DI championships in a row is Houston, who did so in 1984 and 1985 under legendary head coach Dave Williams. Nova Southeastern has won two consecutive D-II women’s championships.
• Penn freshman Max Marsico leads the country in par-5 scoring, averaging 4.52. Marsico, a Las Vegas native, has five top-10 finishes for the Quakers in 2010-11 and fired a stellar 64 in the third round of the Princeton Invitational, April 9-10.
• North Carolina State freshman Albin Choi, a product of Ontario, Canada, averages 2.99 on every par-3 he’s played this season. That ranks third in Division I. Choi owns two victories this season and shot 13-under-par to finish second at the River Landing Intercollegiate on April 8-9.
• UCLA holds the top spot in the Golfweek women’s DI rankings with five players ranked among the top 26. Stephanie Kono is No. 9 to lead the Lady Bruins, who last won a NCAA title in 2004. However, second-ranked Southern California, champions in 2008 and runners-up by one stroke to Purdue in 2010, boast three players in the top 5 – Lizette Salas, Lisa McCloskey and Sophia Popov. Alabama has three in the Top 15 led by No. 6 Brooke Pancake, who was 12th at the 2010 NCAA Championships.
• March 31 thru April 7 saw three players card 63s during competitions – Josh Creel of Division II Central Oklahoma and D-I’s Zahkai Brown (Colorado State) and Wyoming’s Gene Maier, who both shot 7-under at the Wyoming Cowboy Classic.
• Golfstat uses a head-to-head comparison of all players in each division to create rankings. In Division II, Nova Southeastern’s Sandra Changkija has a comparative record of 400-0 and a 72.44 adjusted scoring average, two full strokes better than second-ranked Melanie Audette of Florida Southern. Changkija earned medalist honors at the 2010 DII championships after finishing second in 2009. Led by Changkija’s four individual titles this season, the top-ranked Sharks have won six tournaments.