With the 2014 NCAA Men's Golf Championship
teeing off today, let's look at five teams and
players to follow. The 54-hole stroke-play
portion of the event runs Friday through
Sunday with match play for the top eight team
finishers to follow. The individual medalist for
the event will be crowned after Sunday's final-
round of stroke play.
TOP TEAMS TO WATCH
The defending champions
are undoubtedly the top team in the country
and enter the national championship fresh off a
22-shot victory in their regional tournament.
Led by Walker Cup stars Cory Whitsett and
Bobby Wyatt, the Tide are the nation's top-
ranked team and should be considered the
favorites at Prairie Dunes.
Top to bottom, there
might not be a team with better depth than
the Ramblin Wreck. In last week's regional,
which Georgia Teach dominated, four of the
team's five players finished inside the Top 10
while their fifth, placed 15th and held the first-
round lead. Look for Georgia Tech to be a
major contender for its first ever national title.
According to the Golf
Channel's Steve Burkowski, there's no better
1-2 punch in college golf than Stanford's
Patrick Rodgers and Cameron Wilson. Rodgers
is the world's top-ranked amateur while Wilson
was a Hogan Award finalist. While the Cardinal
are a bit short on team depth, they more than
make up for it in star power at the top of the
: Experience in golf is
everything. And the Cowboys have plenty of
experience -- at winning and in dealing with
the windy conditions sure to hit the players at
Prairie Dunes. U.S. Public Links champ,
Western Amateur winner and Walker Cup team
member Jordan Niebrugge joined Talor Gooch in
willing the Cowboys to victory at last
weekend's regional. The Sooners will surely
look towards their top two performers and
experience in the conditions as big factors
heading into the NCAA Championship.
A week ago, I may not have
been including the Bulldogs but after their
outstanding regional play, it just makes sense.
Lee McCoy led the Bulldogs to a 13-shot
victory in San Antonio last weekend and he's
playing well enough to keep the train rolling.
Georgia also offers a deep lineup includig
Hunter Stewart and Joey Garber.
TOP PLAYERS TO WATCH:
This is a no-brainer.
Rodgers is the No. 1 player in the WAGR and
has already won six times this season. His last
win, at the regional, tied him with Tiger Woods
for the most all time while at Stanford.
The best player
on a deep Georgia Tech lineup, Schniederjans
has come into his own this year in NCAA play.
He helped the Jackets win the East Regional
and should be considered a favorite in Kansas.
There's something to
be said about being medalist. There's even
more to say about a medalist player who willed
his team to victory, too. Brian Campbell did
just that last week at the Rich Harvest Farms
sectional, shooting 69-70-72 to win top honors
and power Illinois to a comeback team victory.
If he was on any
other college team in America, we'd be talking
about him much more. Wilson is a Palmer Cup
selection and has two wins this season. His
pedigree, talent and the fact that he may slip
under the radar for some fans makes Wilson a
legitimate contender at Prairie Dunes.
There isn't much of a
buzz surrounding Cal this year -- especially
considering their impressive 2012-2013
campaign. But don't forget about Brandon
Hagy. He's playing better now than teammate
Michael Weaver and has the length to
generate opportunities at Prairie Dunes.
Consider the recently-named Byron Nelson
Award winner a contender in Kansas.
ABOUT THE NCAA Championship
National championship of NCAA Division I
golf teams. 54 holes of stroke play determine
individual champion, with the low 8 teams
advancing to match play to determine the
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