CWGA

Springing into Action

3 Colorado-based Division I college teams ranked in top 25 nationally entering ‘spring’ schedule
by Gary Baines

At midseason for college golf programs, teams from predictable states are staking out places in the national polls.

For instance, when combining Golfweek’s men’s and women’s NCAA Division I top 25, seven California-based programs are ranked, while there are six from Texas, and four each from North Carolina and Oklahoma.

But it’s one of the states that’s tied for fifth place, with three representatives in the top 25 — men’s and women’s rankings combined — that might raise a few eyebrows.

That would be none other than Colorado.

Yes, that’s right: Going into the spring portion of the schedule, which starts as soon as next week for some teams, three Colorado-based NCAA Division I programs are ranked in Golfweek’s men’s and women’s top 25. Only the aforementioned four states have more combined representatives in those polls.

For the record, the University of Colorado women are ranked 14th by Golfweek, while the University of Denver women are 23rd (20th by Golfstat), and the Colorado State University men are 18th. And, in the NCAA Division II ranks, the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs men are 10th nationally according to Golfstat.

Not bad for a state that has its fair share of snow during the college golf season.

Not coincidentally, the three ranked DI teams are the three Colorado programs that posted outright team victories in the fall, with the DU women notching two wins and the CU women and CSU men one each.

But the crucial part of the season comes with the “spring” schedule, which in some cases begins in late January and continues through May. That includes conference championships and NCAA regionals and finals. First up for local teams is the DU men’s appearance at the Arizona Intercollegiate in Tucson Monday and Tuesday (Jan. 29-30).

Individually, a plethora of local players and golfers from Colorado-based teams are ranked among the top college players in the country going into the spring schedule.

In Golfstat’s top 100 on the women’s side are:

9. Jennifer Kupcho of Westminster, Wake Forest
28. Robyn Choi, CU
39. Kirsty Hodgkins, CU
55. Hannah Wood of Highlands Ranch, Oklahoma
58. Lauren Whyte, DU
69. Sophie Newlove, DU
70. Brittany Fan, CU

Kupcho, who remains third in the Women’s World Amateur Golf Rankings, and Hodgkins, along with CSU’s Katrina Prendergast, scored individual victories in the fall.

In Golfstat’s men’s top 100 is CSU sophomore AJ Ott, who checks in at 92nd. In the Division II ranks, 2016 CGA Amateur champion Colin Prater of UCCS is 16th, while Chase Carlson of Colorado Christian is 30th.

Kyler Dunkle of Larkspur, who plays for Utah, posted an individual win in the fall and is ranked 228th.

Here’s a brief look at each of the Colorado-based NCAA Division I programs entering the spring season:

CU Men
Spring Opener — Feb. 1-3, Amer Ari Intercollegiate, Waikoloa, Hawaii.
Conference Championship — Pac-12 Men, April 23-25, Rolling Hills Estates, Calif.
Highest Current National Ranking — 54th (Golfweek).
Top-Five Team Finishes This Season — Tie for first (lost in playoff), third.
Top-Five Individual Finishes — Spencer Painton (second), Yannik Paul (third), Daniel O’Loughlin (fifth).
Individuals Ranked in Top 200 Nationally — 185. Daniel O’Loughlin (Golfstat).
Top Fall Scoring Average — Daniel O’Loughlin 71.00.

CU Women
Spring Opener — Feb. 11-13, Lady Puerto Rico Classic.
Conference Championship — Pac-12 Women, April 22-24, Seattle.
Highest Current National Ranking — 14th (Golfweek).
Top-Five Team Finishes This Season — Won Gonzaga Coeur D’Alene Resort College Invitational, second, third, fourth.
Top-Five Individual Finishes — Kirsty Hodgkins (win, second), Robyn Choi (second, third, fifth).
Individuals Ranked in Top 200 Nationally — 28. Robyn Choi (Golfstat), 32. Kirsty Hodgkins (Golfweek), 70. Brittany Fan (Golfstat).
Top Fall Scoring Average — Robyn Choi and Kirsty Hodgkins 71.92.

CSU Men
Spring Opener — Feb. 25-26, National Invitational Tournament, Tucson, Ariz.
Conference Championship — Mountain West Men, April 20-22, Bremerton, Wash.
Highest Current National Ranking — 18th (Golfweek).
Top-Five Team Finishes This Season — Won Ram Masters Invitational, second, third, fifth.
Top-Five Individual Finishes — Max Oelfke (second), AJ Ott (fourth), Jake Staiano (fifth).
Individuals Ranked in Top 200 Nationally — 92. AJ Ott (Golfstat); 151. Max Oelfke (Golfstat); 155. Jake Staiano (Golfstat); 175. Parathakorn Suyasri (Golfstat); 180. Colton Yates (Golfstat).
Top Fall Scoring Average — AJ Ott 70.75.

CSU Women
Spring Opener — Feb. 12-13, Gold Rush, Long Beach, Calif.
Conference Championship — Mountain West Women, April 16-18, Rancho Mirage, Calif.
Highest Current National Ranking — 99th (Golfstat).
Top-Five Team Finishes This Season — Third twice.
Top-Five Individual Finishes — Katrina Predergast (win, second), Ellen Secor (fifth).
Individuals Ranked in Top 200 Nationally — 161. Katrina Prendergast (Golfweek).
Top Fall Scoring Average — Katrina Prendergast 72.33.

DU Men
Spring Opener — Jan. 29-30, Arizona Intercollegiate, Tucson, Ariz.
Conference Championship — Summit League Men, April 29-May 1, Newton, Kan.
Highest Current National Ranking — 95th (Golfstat).
Top-Five Team Finishes This Season — None.
Top-Five Individual Finishes — None.
Individuals Ranked in Top 200 Nationally — 121. Chris Korte (Golfstat).
Top Fall Scoring Average — Chris Korte 71.33.

DU Women
Spring Multi-Team Opener — Feb. 18-20, Allstate Sugar Bowl Invitational, New Orleans.
Conference Championship — Summit League Women, April 22-24, Nebraska City.
Highest Current National Ranking — 20th (Golfstat).
Top-Five Team Finishes This Season — Won Golfweek Conference Challenge, won Ron Moore Women’s Intercollegiate, fourth.
Top-Five Individual Finishes — Sophie Newlove (fourth).
Individuals Ranked in Top 200 Nationally — 58. Lauren Whyte (Golfstat), 69. Sophie Newlove (Golfstat), 111. Mary Weinstein (Golfstat).
Top Fall Scoring Average — Sophie Newlove 72.08.

UNC Men
Spring Opener — Feb. 15-17, John Burns Intercollegiate, Lihiu, Hawaii.
Conference Championship — Big Sky Men, April 13-15, Davis, Calif.
Highest Current National Ranking — 129th (Golfstat).
Top-Five Team Finishes This Season — None.
Top-Five Individual Finishes — Joshua Matz (fifth).
Individuals Ranked in Top 200 Nationally — none.
Top Fall Scoring Average — Joshua Matz 71.50.

UNC Women
Spring Opener — Feb. 12-13, Battle at Boulder Creek, Boulder City, Nev.
Conference Championship — Big Sky Women, April 20-22, Boulder City, Nev.
Highest Current National Ranking — 155th (Golfstat).
Top-Five Team Finishes This Season — None.
Top-Five Individual Finishes — None.
Individuals Ranked in Top 200 Nationally — none.
Top Fall Scoring Average — Morgan Sahm 73.08.

Air Force Academy Men
Spring Multi-Team Opener — Feb. 25-26, Loyola Intercollegiate, Goodyear, Ariz.
Conference Championship — Mountain West Men, April 20-22, Bremerton, Wash.
Highest Current National Ranking — 187th (Golfstat).
Top-Five Team Finishes This Season — None.
Top-Five Individual Finishes — Bryant Falconello (fourth), Joseph Crisostomo (fifth).
Individuals Ranked in Top 200 Nationally — none.
Top Fall Scoring Average — Tate Tatom 72.83.

2018-01-25T17:09:05+00:00 January 25th, 2018|