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The Road to Grayhawk: Women's conference championships preview
11 Apr 2022
by Jim Young of AmateurGolf.com

see also: NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championship, Grayhawk Golf Club - Raptor Course

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The NCAA women's postseason officially gets underway this week with the start of the SEC and ACC Championships. Four more are slated for next week, including the highly-anticipated Pac-12 Conference Championships in Eugene, Ore.

The conference championships are largely for bragging rights and to sharpen the saw for the upcoming NCAA Regionals, which get underway on May 6 at six sights around the country.

Here's a look at six conference championships we'll be tracking as the Road to Grayhawk heats up this week.

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SEC Championships; April 13-17; Greystone Golf and Country Club (Legacy Course); Hoover, Ala.
This marks the ninth consecutive year for the Southeastern Conference Championship to be contested at the Greystone Golf and Country Club in the Birmingham metro area. The 2022 event will mark the fourth consecutive in which the championship will feature both stroke and match play, with match play on Saturday, April 16 and Sunday, April 17. The final round on Sunday was televised live on SEC Network.

With 11 teams ranked in the top-30 by Golfweek/Sagarin, including No. 3 South Carolina and No. 8 Alabama, this is certainly the deepest and strongest field of the Power 5 conference championships. The Gamecocks, which figure to land a top-seed at one of the six regional sites, have won four stroke-play events this season and defeated Notre Dame, Louisville and North Carolina to win the Wolfpack Match Play Championship earlier this month. However, LSU, behind Ingrid Lindblad and Latanna Stone, sounding defeated South Carolina, 4-1 to win the Jackson T. Stephens Cup at The Alotian Club in October.

Top 25 Teams (Golfweek/Sagarin): 3. South Carolina; 8. Alabama; 11. Florida; 12. Arkansas; 13. Texas A&M; 16. LSU; 21. Auburn; 22. Ole Miss

Top 50 Individuals (Golfweek/Sagarin): 3. Ingrid Lindblad, LSU; 7. Polly Mack, Alabama; 8. Benedetta Moresco, Alabama; 13. Hannah Darling. South Carolina; 15. Julia Lopez Ramirez, Mississippi State; 24. Kajal Mistry, Arkansas; 26. Chiara Tamburlini, Ole Miss; 27. Bla Fernandez Garcia, Texas A&M; 35. Anna Foster, Auburn; 41. Maisie Filler, Florida; 49. Worapitcha Anudit, South Carolina

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ACC Championships; April 14-17; The Reserve Golf Club; Pawleys Island, SC
The format of the championship will feature 36 holes of stroke play on April 14 followed by 18 holes of stroke play on April 15 to decide an individual champion. The top four teams in stroke play following 54 holes will advance to match play on April 16 and April 17 to decide a team champion. Duke has had a long history of success at the ACC Championship, claiming 22 titles in program history, including six out of the last nine years (2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2021) while Duke players have won the ACC individual championship in 15 of the past 22 events. However, with the Blue Devils reloading this year, fifth-ranked Wake Forest, led by Rachel Kuehn and Carolina Lopez-Chacarra, is the prohibitive favorite but the match play format can be a great equalizer.

Top 25 Teams (Golfweek/Sagarin): 5. Wake Forest; 10. Virginia; 14. Florida State; 23. Duke

Top 50 Individuals (Golfweek/Sagarin): 5. Rachel Kuehn, Wake Forest; 9. Caroline Lopez-Chacarra, Wake Forest; 23. Amelia Williamson, Florida State; 36. Beatrice Wallin, Florida State; 38. Erica Shepherd, Duke; 47. Emily Mahar, Virginia Tech; 48. Jennifer Cleary, Virginia

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Pac-12 Conference Championships; April 18-20; Eugene (Ore.) Country Club
The Pac-12 Women's Golf Championships figures to be a four-team race between top-ranked Stanford, No. 2 Oregon and No. 7 Arizona State and No. 9 USC. The Cardinal, featuring two of the top three female amateurs in the world in Rachel Heck and Rose Zhang, has won five times this season while Oregon has three wins to its credit. While both squads figure to land top seeds in the NCAA Regionals, the Ducks will be playing on their home course where the weather can be a factor. With eight players ranked in the top-20 by Golfweek/Sagarin, the race for the individual championship should be fierce.

Top 25 Teams (Golfweek/Sagarin): 1. Stanford; 2. Oregon; 7, Arizona State; 9. USC; 17. UCLA; 25. Arizona

Top 50 Individuals (Golfweek/Sagarin): 1. Rose Zhang, Stanford; 2. Amari Avery, USC; 4. Alexandra Forsterling, Arizona State; 11. Brooke Seay, Stanford; 14. Emma Spitz, UCLA; 16. Aline Krauter, Stanford; 17. Hsin-Yu Lu, Oregon; 20. Tze-Han Lin, Oregon; 25. Rachel Heck; Stanford; 31. Sofie Kibsga Nielsen, Oregon; 32. Katherine Muzi, USC; 39. Ashley Menne, Arizona State; 43. Ching-Tzu Chen, Oregon

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Mountain West Conference Championships; April 18-20; Mission Hills CC; Rancho Mirage, Calif.

San Jose State has been one of the great stories in college golf this season, as the sixth-ranked Spartans are the only non-power Power 5 team ranked inside the top-25 by Golfweek/Sagarin. Dana Dormann's squad has been one of the most consistent teams in the nation this year, as the Spartans have not finished lower than fifth in the team standings in their eight full-field events. In each of its first two wins, San Jose State edged top-ranked Stanford for the team title and last week, the Spartans outdueled No. 2 Oregon by two strokes at the Silverado Showdown for its third win of the season. It should be all Spartans on the Dinah Shore Course at Mission Hills.

Top 25 Teams (Golfweek/Sagarin): 6. San Jose State

Top 50 Individuals (Golfweek/Sagarin): 10. Natasha Andrea Oon, San Jose State; 40. Kajsa Arwefjall, San Jose State

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Big 12 Conference Championships; April 22-24; The Clubs at Houston Oaks
Oklahoma State has won 24 conference titles, including ten Big 12 championships - more than any other league foe. However, with Caley McGinty and Isabella Fierro entering the transfer portal at midseason, the Cowgirls are a different team than the one that won the East Lake Cup in October. Texas, Baylor and Texas Tech pose the biggest threats to the Oklahoma State's title defense.

Top 25 Teams (Golfweek/Sagarin): 4. Oklahoma State; 15. Texas; 19. Baylor; 20. Texas Tech

Top 50 Individuals (Golfweek/Sagarin): 18. Maddison Hinson-Tolchard, Oklahoma State; 19. Bo-Hyun Park, Texas; 21. Sara Kouskova, Texas; 22. Rina Tatematsu, Oklahoma State; 29. Gurleen Kaur, Baylor; 30. Caitlyn Macnab, TCU; 44. Sabrina Iqbal, TCU

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Big Ten Conference Championships; April 22-24; Fox Chapel CC, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Michigan seems to be the clear favorite, having won three times this season, including its last outing at the Indiana Invitational. Ashley Lau is one of the hottest players in the country, having won three of her last five events, while junior Hailey Borja held a share of the first-round lead at the ANWA a few weeks ago. Valery Plata of Michigan State, last year's Big 10 Player of the Year, picked up wins at the Women's Amateur Latin America in Argentina and the Patriot All-America Invitational in Arizona.

Top 25 Teams (Golfweek/Sagarin): 18. Michigan; 24. Illinois

Top 50 Individuals (Golfweek/Sagarin): 12. Ashley Lau, Michigan



ABOUT THE NCAA Division I Women's Championship

30 teams and 6 individuals not on a qualifying team make up the field for the championship of NCAA Division I women's golf.

After 72 holes of stroke play, the individual champion is crowned, and the low 8 teams advance to match play to determine the team champion.

View Complete Tournament Information

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