What's happening on the links at the NCAA's fall golf season?
The GIST: Although technically a spring sport, the first half of golf’s split season is already two weeks in, so check out our Summer School explainer to catch up on your course work, then let’s hit the links.
The status report: To no one’s surprise, the No. 1 Stanford women are killing it so far this season. The Cardinal dominated the super competitive Carmel Cup earlier this month, led by sophomore Megha Ganne, who picked up right where superstar-turned-pro Rose Zhang left off. Officially on Ganne Watch this season.
- Also impressive? NC State junior Lauren Olivares Leon, who set a new NCAA record at last weekend’s Cougar Classic. Her Wolfpack struggled in the team competition, but her phenomenal performance keeps them on the radar.
- As for the men, the prestigious Papago Individual tourney, which sets the season standard, wrapped yesterday. No. 2 Arizona State grad student Gabe Salvanera destroyed the field, while no golfers from No. 1 UNC even cracked the top 25.
What’s next: The barrage of autumn tourneys will be over around Halloween, and consistency is key: Today’s hottest squads and golfers could be old news by November (let alone May’s postseason) if they don’t maintain.
- On the women’s side, every round over the next six weeks leads to the East Lake Cup, where Stanford, reigning natty champ No. 2 Wake Forest, and No. 3 Texas A&M will mix it up from October 30th to November 1st.
- As for the guys, the Ben Hogan Collegiate Invitational is the pinnacle of fall play. Tons of top squads, including UNC, Arizona State, No. 3 Vanderbilt, and No. 4 Georgia Tech, will tee off during the first week of October.