NCAA golf conference tournament updates
The GIST: The NCAA Championship may not hit the links for another month, but several conference tournaments are already swinging. The Big Ten and Big 12 tourneys begin later this week, but the Pac-12 tees off today while the ACC and SEC crowned their champs yesterday. Here’s who’s been making the cut.
The ACC: The underdogs stole the ACC semifinals as No. 4 seed Virginia downed No. 1 Wake Forest and No. 3 Clemson ousted No. 2 Duke on Saturday. But Clemson finished the job yesterday: Freshman Isabella Rawl sent Virginia packing with a tie on the 18th hole that clinched the Tigers’ first-ever ACC championship.
- While Wake Forest owned the No. 2 rank for most of the season, this loss could affect which of the six regional sites they’ll play at on May 8th, and which foes they’ll have to defeat to contend for the natty. Watch this space to see where they end up.
The SEC: Not many picked No. 3 seed Texas A&M to win the ’ship, but that’s exactly what the Aggies did, outshooting No. 5 Mississippi State in yesterday’s final. Even better? Aggie junior Zoe Slaughter, the program’s first-ever Black golfer, sank the title-winning putt. Magic, indeed.
- The one thing SEC golf wasn’t ready for? A Tiger-less championship. The No. 1 seed jinx struck LSU when they fell to Mississippi State in Saturday’s semis. Expect to see them at regionals with vengeance on the mind.
What’s next: As mentioned, thePac-12 Championship begins today, and all eyes will be on No. 6 Oregon junior Hsin-Yu (Cynthia) Lu as she aims to defend her individual title and lead the Ducks to back-to-back Pac-12 ’ships. But she’ll have to contend with No. 2 Stanford sophomore Rose Zhang, last year's conference runner-up and the reigning NCAA champ.