NCAA Conference Tournaments — Jin Young Ko Press Conference — Must-click women’s golf links
The IX: Golf Thursday with Addie Parker, April 21, 2022
Happy Golf Thursday! Spring has sprung, which means that NCAA golf playoff season is upon us. Let’s get the rundown on conference play, who will advance to regionals, and where the national championship will be held next month. I’ll be focusing on teams and individuals from the major conferences: The ACC, The SEC, Pac-12, The Big Ten, and The Big 12.
Let’s kick things off with the ACC conference championship, which was held at The Reserve Golf Club in Pawley’s Island, South Carolina. The format of this year’s conference championship featured 36 holes of stroke play on day one (rounds one and two), followed by a third round which determined the individual champion. The top four teams (from stroke play) advanced to last Saturday’s match play semifinals, and finally the last two teams standing dueled it out on Sunday.
The individual champion was Duke sophomore Phoebe Brinker, who carded a three-day 10-under par total of 206! Brinker ties the record for second-lowest total in ACC Championship history with another Blue Devil, Gina Kim, who also won the individual medalist title in last year’s conference championship.
Wake Forest fought to the very end to prove that they are the best the ACC has to offer during Sunday’s final round, where they were down in three of the five matches at the turn.
Head coach Kim Lewellen of Wake Forest had this to say after it was all said and done: “It was a real exciting event. The emotions that you go through on 18 holes. We were down, we were even and then we’re up, so just thrilled to be where we’re at right now.”
Let’s head further down south to the SEC, where LSU tasted sweet victory for the first time in 30 years, and after a bitter end to last year’s spring season.
Similar to the ACC format, the tournament consists of three days of stroke play, with the top eight teams advancing to match play. Auburn, LSU, South Carolina, Ole Miss, Florida, Alabama, Vanderbilt and Tennessee finished in the top eight of stroke play Friday to advance to the match play portion of the SEC Women’s Golf Championship at Greystone’s Legacy Course in Birmingham, Alabama.
It was LSU vs. Florida for the final match play match up.
It was another dramatic finish that came down to the wire, when Latanna Stone, a junior at LSU, made a short putt on 18 to halve the hole and win her match 1UP, sealing the deal for the Tigers. In the 2021 championship, LSU shot a national record low in their qualifying round, and lost in the semifinals. So it’s nice to see the Tigers get their happy ending and advance to the regional tournament!
Ingrid Lindblad of LSU claimed the individual medalist title finishing at 10-under, one stroke over Megan Schofill of Auburn.
LSU Coach Garrett Runion spoke to SEC media after their win. “Obviously it was an unbelievable week. When I think about this week, I really think about all the players before. The SEC has a slogan, ‘It Just Means More.’ It really does, so it makes me think about all the players before that helped us get to this point. We had a lot of former players calling and texting and coming out here. It was a great week that they will never forget. I certainly won’t.”
Now to the other coast, where the Pac-12 championships wrapped up yesterday with another glorious finish!
Call it home team advantage (the tournament was held at Eugene Country Club) or just plain old good golf, the University of Oregon’s women’s golf team won their first conference tournament title in program history on Wednesday, finishing seven strokes up on the rest of the field.
Weather conditions were less than ideal, cold, windy and rainy but the Mighty Ducks powered through with sophomore Hsin-Yu Lu leading the charge. She was the individual medalist for tournament.
“I can’t lie, I was pretty nervous this morning,” said Lu, who was 5 under on par-4 holes in the tournament, the only player in the field under par. “Like, I know I’m leading and our team is leading. But honestly I’m worried about our team score more than mine. So that kind of distracted me from my game. I was pretty nervous the first few holes but I kept telling myself, I need to reset my mind — today’s a brand new day, the third round, the last round. And it’s time to make some history.”
Both the Big Ten and Big 12 conference championships have yet to start, but will be playing over the weekend. The Big Ten tournament will be held at TPC River’s Bend in Maineville, Ohio, and the Big 12 at The Club at Houston Oaks in Hockley, Texas.
To see a complete list of all conference winners, click here.
NCAA: What’s next?
With conference play nearly finished, the next step on the ladder to a national championship title is regionals. Teams that have won their conference have an automatic spot in regionals, however a new rule that has been implemented for any individual who won the individual conference crown if her team didn’t also qualify. The NCAA regionals are scheduled for May 9-11 with bids announced Wednesday, April 27 at 5 p.m. on Golf Channel.
As for the the NCAA Championship, it will be held at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona May 20-25, 2022.
I won’t be making an predictions just yet, but I’ll be checking Golfstat more and more over the next couple of weeks.
“Limitations live only in our minds. But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless.”― Jamie Paolinetti
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This week in women’s golf
If you have links you wish to share for Golf Thursday, sources for golf news, or want to talk about anything at all, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org ! Discussion of any kind is always welcome…I mean it…MESSAGE ME!
Some big time news to come out this week…the USGA and Pebble Beach announce their partnership as an “effort to return to venues with deep and meaningful USGA championship history every five to six years, Pebble Beach Resorts joins Pinehurst Resort & Country Club and Oakmont Country Club as a U.S. Open anchor site.”
Anna Davis, the 2022 Augusta National Women’s Amateur champion, received and accepted a sponsor exemption to compete in the Palos Verdes Championship presented by Bank of America, Southern California’s new LPGA Tour event taking place April 28-May 1 at Palos Verdes Golf Club.
The Australian Women’s Classic Bonville, which is co-sanctioned by the LET and the WPGA Tour of Australasia, begins today. Follow the first round here.
Bonville is back! After a break due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Ladies European Tour (LET) returns to Australia for the first time since 2020 with two tournaments. The first in the Australian double header will be the Australian Women’s Classic – Bonville from April 21-24, 2022, followed by the Women’s NSW Open from April 28 – May 1, 2022.
Epson Tour News
Golf has this amazing way of taking you places. Whether if these places are the deep frustrations of your own mind or the beautiful peaks and valleys of the world, you go on a journey as a fan of this game. Epson Tour player and contributor for LPGA.com, Brynn Walker reminds us of “Oh, the places you go”.
The 120-player field for the second annual Copper Rock Championship from April 21-23 was finalized by the Epson Tour late Wednesday, as the “Road to the LPGA” returns to Copper Rock Golf Club next week. Of the 120-player field watch out for Bailey Tardy, Natalie Srinivasan, and Emma Broze.
Ohio State was slapped with some infractions this week for women’s golf, women’s basketball, and fencing. This report from the NCAA claims that “the women’s golf program violated countable athletically related activity rules over several years.” Read the full statement here.
I don’t even know what I’ll be having dinner tonight but at least I know where the regional hosting sites for 2023-26 Div. I Women’s Golf Championships will be. Each regional site will feature 12 teams and six individuals, with the top four teams and top two individuals (not already on an advancing team) qualifying for the championships. A total of 72 teams will still qualify for regional play, with the number of individuals not on an advancing team increasing from 24 to 36.
Like every other Gen Z’er I spend waaaay too much time on Tik Tok. However, I saw this the other day and knew I had to share it with you all. This kid is the newest Happy Gilmore.
Five at The IX: Jin Young Ko Press Conference
World no. 1 Jin Young Ko talked to the media on Tuesday in Los Angeles, California, USA at Wilshire Country Club ahead of the DIO Implant LA OPEN.
Q. All right, Jin Young, welcome back. How is it being back in L.A.?
JIN YOUNG KO: Always want to be back in L.A.
I had great off weeks last two weeks and I play many times this course, so I love this course.
Q. What did you do in your off weeks to kind of reset for the L.A. swing?
JIN YOUNG KO: Well, I practice hard and just rest, sleep well, and eat well, don’t think about golf tournament.
Just think about me. I’m trying to think about me, just not the other people.
So, yeah, my mindset is clarified right now.
Q. How important was it to take some rest and to think about the next couple of weeks that you’ve got coming up?
JIN YOUNG KO: Well, I have a lot of tournament after now to end of the season, so I need to small break on Monday or Tuesday during the tournament.
And, well, yeah, nothing change. Just feel happy.
Q. What did you focus on? I know you didn’t want to focus on golf, but what did you work on heading into L.A. this week?
JIN YOUNG KO: Well, I didn’t play well in the Chevron so I need to fix something to do my swing, so I practice hard. It was getting better and better, but I need to more practice for my swing and to perfect.
Q. What part of your swing?
JIN YOUNG KO: Well, I guess my driver wasn’t — driver distance wasn’t far in the Chevron, so I need to — I practice more downswing to the ground, like push the ground and then get the powers from the ground.
So I practiced that and it’s better now.
Q. That’s what you needed.
JIN YOUNG KO: Yeah.
Q. What you do like most about Wilshire? You’ve done really well here the past two times. What do you like most about coming back to this course?
JIN YOUNG KO: This course is narrow, the fairway. Was firm last two or three years ago, but now we can see the grass on the fairway so it doesn’t much run out.
And the greens are all small and poana is always bumpy in the afternoons, so we need to check how much bounce in the afternoon to play. Greens are bumpy, so don’t think about stroke or whatever. Just accept everything from the other side.
JIN YOUNG KO: So, yeah. Greens are fast and everything condition looks good. Little windy afternoon, but it’s fine.
Q. And I think I heard you have a lucky charm here. Is your lucky charm here this week?
JIN YOUNG KO: Lucky charm is my parents?
JIN YOUNG KO: Yes, my parents are here.
Q. I remember you talking about them at JTBC. It is nice that you got to spend time with them over the off weeks?
JIN YOUNG KO: Yeah. I’m trying to lucky charm is my parents. Sometimes tough, but sometimes they help me a lot, so better think they’re lucky charm.
Q. Yeah. Had they enjoyed this stretch of events? Have they enjoyed watching you in person?
JIN YOUNG KO: I think so. If play well, yeah, of course. But if didn’t play well, yeah, they got little stress from me, but I stress, too.
So, yeah, doesn’t matter.
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