And just like that, the college fall golf season is over.
Plenty of storylines have led their way towards the spring. Like Baylor’s current three tournament streak of both team and individual champions, Maridoe looking to become ground zero for amateur golf, and ‘COVID seniors’ making impacts and taking advantage of their extra year of eligibility.
One more major tournament stands between us and the spring; The East Lake Cup.
Traditionally inviting the semifinalists that made match play in the previous season’s NCAA championship, the East Lake Cup invited the top four teams from the final week of the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings for the 2019-20 season.
On the men’s side, No. 1 Oklahoma leads Big 12 comrades Texas (No. 3) and Texas Tech (No. 4) alongside Pepperdine (No. 2).
While Texas has looked subpar despite having the Coody brothers, Cole Hammer, and Travis Vick, the Sooners have gotten the best of their foes from south of the Red River on all three occasions this fall. Oklahoma, much like the Sooners’ football team in recent years, has dominated the Longhorns on the course, most recently besting them in a come from behind effort at Maridoe last week to take home a third-place finish behind Pepperdine and champion Oklahoma State.
It was Texas Tech’s Kyle Hogan who won the individual title at the Maridoe Invitational and a subsequent exemption in the Houston Open. However, the celebration was shortlived. Hogan was unable to make the trip to Atlanta due to COVID-19 contact tracing.
With Hogan out and Red Raider leader Sandy Scott out due to a wrist injury suffered last week, Greg Sands’ squad is limping into the national spotlight.
Even though Texas Tech took some of the hardware last week, it was Pepperdine who carries the most momentum into East Lake.
The Waves crashed the party at the Big 12 heavy event last week as they were just three shots off of Oklahoma State’s pace. Sophomore Dylan Menante finished tied for second at even par in harsh conditions while senior RJ Manke wrapped the event up with a t-4 finish of his own at two over. Sophomore William Mouw (T-9/+4) rounded out Pepperdine’s trio of top-10 finishers while junior Joe Highsmith missed the top-10 by a shot and settled for a solo 12th place finish at five over par.
For the women, the representatives are Florida, Ole Miss, South Carolina, and Texas.
The Gamecocks seem to be the favorites heading into the week as they are coming off a more than solid week at Old Waverly just five days ago. Winning the individual title, sophomore Pauline Roussin-Bouchard lapped the field with a 14-under, 202 performance. The win included her setting a personal best with a 65 in the final round.
Thanks to the French transplants' efforts, South Carolina also took home the team title. Lois Kaye Go finished tied for ninth and Mathilde Claisse tied for 12th while Kent State transfer Pimnimpa Panthong struggled all week for a T-49 and Paula Kirner stayed steady for the majority of the week, good for a T-33.
Despite Panthong’s struggles last week, she as well as her teammates are well versed in match play. Look for the Gamecocks to be in control once match play begins.
For Ole Miss, frankly, they are just happy to be at East Lake. Outside of the original qualifier, the Rebels join the field this week thanks to many programs not playing this fall. Despite that, Kennedy Swan looks to lead her team and show they belong on the big stage.
The Florida Gators are riding high thanks to Annabell Fuller. Coming off a win at the 2020 English Women’s Amateur Championship, Fuller picked up a T-9 last week in Mississippi.
The Lady Longhorns, much like their male counterparts, have had an underwhelming fall. With Agathe Laisne and Sára Kousková opting out due to COVID-19, Texas has not yet made their usual big splash. Making improvements from week to week, we’ll see if the burnt orange can shimmer under the bright lights.
The East Lake Cup will be on Golf Channel with live coverage from 3-6 p.m. ET Monday through Wednesday. Monday will see a man and woman crowned stroke play medalists. The team stroke play values will determine bracket seeding with match play beginning Tuesday.
View results for East Lake Cup
ABOUT THE East Lake Cup
Started in 2015 and hosted by the historic
Lake Golf Club Atlanta, this collegiate, three-day
play competition features the top-performing
from the previous year's NCAA Men’s
Golf Championships. There is an individual award for
the low 18-hole scorer
in the seeding round.
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