What’s happening in college golf? — Team USA talks International Crown — Must-click women’s golf links
The IX: Golf Thursday with Addie Parker, May 4, 2023
Happy Golf Thursday! Although schools are almost out for the summer — class is in session and we’re going to catch up on all things college. We’re just over two weeks away from the NCAA national championship at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona, which is being held May 19-24.
It’d be easy to assume that Stanford is on its way to winning another natty, but the way things panned out at conference tournaments, I think we’re in for an exciting playoff ride, my friends. With Rachel Heck still out, with no clear timetable in mind for her return, Stanford may have a more difficult time defending as a team. Rose Zhang has been, and will always be, a threat to any leaderboard — but teams are more than one person. Meanwhile, another Rachel, Rachel Kuehn of Wake Forest, is making moves and seems to be the one knocking on Stanford’s door.
I will be primarily focusing on the Power Five conferences and their results/standings — so let’s dive right in.
Conferences were hosted between April 12-19.
|Conference||Team Champion||Teams to watch|
|ACC||Clemson (def. Virginia 3-1-1)||Wake Forest, Florida State, Virginia|
|SEC||Texas A&M (def. Mississippi State, 3-2)||LSU, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Florida, Auburn, Mississippi, Vanderbilt|
|Big Ten||Illinois||Northwestern, Ohio State|
|Big 12||Oklahoma State||Texas, Baylor|
|PAC-12||USC||Stanford, Oregon, Arizona State|
The six regional championships will feature 12 teams and six individuals (72 teams and 36 individuals, total) — regionals will be played May 8-10 at the following sites:
- University of Georgia Golf Course in Athens, Georgia – hosted by Georgia
- PGA National Resort in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida – hosted by FAU
- Palouse Ridge Golf Course in Pullman, Washington – hosted by Washington State
- Lonnie Poole Golf Course in Raleigh, North Carolina – hosted by N.C. State
- TPC San Antonio in San Antonio, Texas – hosted by UTSA
- The Club at Chatham Hills in Westfield, Indiana – hosted by Indiana
The new championship format
In January, it was announced that the Division I Competition Oversight Committee approved a measure to increase the field size from 27 to 30 teams, meaning that the number of women’s teams will now be equaling the number of teams the men send to the finals every year.
The top five teams and top individual (not on an advancing team) will advance from each regional to the national championship at Grayhawk.
Current standings and predictions
I’d love to be able to say that my pick for who will be advancing to Scottsdale is fool-proof, but anything can happen in golf, and at any moment a team can get hot and take it all the way. The addition of six more teams will make the natty that much more competitive.
Nevertheless, I do believe there are safe bets and I easily see Stanford, Wake Forest, LSU, and Oregon advancing.
As the next two weeks play out, look out for updates in links and I’ll give full predictions on May 18!
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Don’t forget — The International Crown starts TODAY; coverage begins on Golf Channel at 6 p.m. ET. See you next week golf fans!
This week in women’s in 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!
Each team this week will be sporting customized golf bags created by two women who founded a company that not only supports women in the game, but whose founders give back in big and small ways to young girls
Congratulations are in order for former Golf Thursday contributor and dear friend of The IX, Carly Reid and tour player Mel Reid for announcing that they’re expecting their first baby!!
Epson Tour News
This week’s event: Garden City Charity Classic at Buffalo Dunes
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Five at The IX: Gearing up for the International Crown
Team USA spoke to the media yesterday about their pairings, thoughts on the golf course and their overall excitement level surrounding this week.
Watch the full press conference here, or scroll for quotes and highlights.
Nelly, you’re the No. 1 ranked player in the world and in the field this week. Tell us how much you had in terms of putting these pairings together, how much input you had here or how the pairings came about in general.
NELLY KORDA: I think we all did it together, honestly. I don’t think any one of us has a bigger say or bigger voice. I think it’s very much so we’re all doing this together, and I think that’s the best part about this event, is that we all have input and it’s all equal.
Just hoping you could all talk a little bit about the golf course and your impressions of it.
DANIELLE KANG: It’s long.
NELLY KORDA: I think the tee shots are pretty tricky, especially if the wind picks up. Overhanging trees. I think definitely it’s going to be a ball-striking week.
I think it’s very equal when it comes to the defense off the tee, how narrow they are and the greens, too. I think overall it’s a very strong golf course.
LEXI THOMPSON: Yeah, it’s a great layout. They have it playing somewhat long and it’s a softer — with the dew on the ground and it being cooler, it’s going to play longer out there.
But it’s a ball striker’s golf course, tighter off the tee with overhanging trees. A few of the holes set up for a right-to-left shot, maybe a little bit of a higher flight.
But it’s demanding. That’s how a golf course for this kind of tournament should be.
LILIA VU: Yeah, the course is narrow. I heard they brought in the fairways for PGA Championship and they never basically opened it back up. Demanding off the tee. Going to be longer. It’s colder out here. I played here for my regionals in college and it kicked my butt. It’s pretty tough.
DANIELLE KANG: All I’ve been practicing is chipping just because I can’t get there, so I will be short gaming around this golf course. I’ll be scrambling all day.
You [all] mentioned the importance of team events. What do you think needs to happen this week for the tournament itself to be a successful event?
DANIELLE KANG: I think I don’t believe it needs to happen. I think having a Hanwha sponsor bringing an event back to the United States and bringing a tournament back on the schedule and having eight countries here —
NELLY KORDA: With the top players in the world competing against each other, representing their country, I think it all says itself.
I mean, I’d say we’re the No. 1 seed and we’re playing — on Thursday we’re playing China that’s an 8 seed. But if you look at the way China has been performing recently, they’re playing amazing.
Not one match is going to be easy this week, and I think that’s what’s great about this event, is there are so many strong players in each one of those teams, it doesn’t matter if you’re 1 or 8. It’s every match is going to be tough. And it’s match play so it’s a completely different ballgame.
I want to ask about the numbers on your back and why you chose each of your numbers.
LILIA VU: No particular reason. I don’t know. I just felt like 13 is my lucky number. I was actually trying to get 222, but only two numbers and Nelly told me she was trying to get 13 but I took it first, so she settled with 28.
NELLY KORDA: I mean, I was between three numbers, but 20 is the day I was born, so pretty easy.
DANIELLE KANG: I was a long history on No. 17. It’s just my favorite number. Yeah, it’s a long history.
LEXI THOMPSON: I picked 22. It’s kind of a family number. It’s my mom’s first husband that had passed, it was his favorite number and it kind of just follows my family everywhere and kind of see it, so it’s definitely special and close to our hearts.
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