Tahlequah Daily Press


May 23, 2014

NCAA men’s golf championships head to Kansas

HUTCHINSON, Kan. — Patrick Rodgers heads to wind-swept Prairie Dunes this weekend in the rarest of company.

He’s intent on joining a club entirely of his own.

With a victory at the NCAA championships, Rodgers can break a tie with Tiger Woods for the most wins in Stanford history. The junior earned the 11th of his decorated career during regional qualifying, giving the world’s top-ranked amateur five wins in his last six events.

“I’ve talked to him and seen him throughout this spring, and I’m telling you, he’s going to try to put this team on his back to ride them to a national championship,” said Steve Burkowski, who will help cover the championships for the Golf Channel.

It won’t be easy for Rodgers or the Cardinal.

The tournament features one of the deepest fields in years in both the individual and team races. Top-ranked Alabama will try to defend its title against the likes of Oklahoma, Georgia Tech, California and Georgia, while Rodgers will contend with a host of challengers — including teammate Cameron Wilson — for individual medalist honors.

Then there’s the fact that they’ll be competing at venerable Prairie Dunes, the Perry Maxwell-designed masterpiece regarded as one of the world’s best courses.

The tournament begins Friday with teams playing 54 holes of stroke play to qualify for the eight-team championship playoff, which will be conducted in a match-play format. Those eight will be whittle down Tuesday to two teams playing for the title Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the individual title will be decided Monday after 72 holes of stroke play.

“I think it’s going to be a more exciting golf course for match play than it is stroke play, especially given that these kids all hit it so far,” said Lanny Wadkins, who played Prairie Dunes during the 2006 U.S. Senior Open. “I think that if a kid gets down early, he might want to take some chances, and we might see some exciting matches because of that.”

While a handful of schools are considered the front-runners, led by Alabama after its 22-stroke victory at regionals, there are some intriguing stories deeper in the field.

Houston, which has a record 16 team championships, has qualified for the first time in 13 years, while Iowa State is in the field for the first time since 1953.

“It’s pretty emotional and really special,” Iowa State coach Andrew Tank said. “It’s something as a team was our goal at the beginning of the season. We knew we could do it. But you never know how you react once you actually achieve your goal. It’s a great feeling.”

In the individual race, the Stanford duo of Rodgers and Wilson will be pushed by the Alabama trio of Robby Shelton, Cory Whitsett and Trey Mullinax. Shelton is ranked second to Rodgers in the latest Golfweek/Sagarin collegiate rankings.

“This is a special group that really likes to compete,” Crimson Tide coach Jay Seawell said last week. “They’re great players, obviously, but they have a special bond and chemistry and work so well together. That is really what makes them special.”

Other individuals to watch include Georgia Tech’s Ollie Schniederjans, Joey Garber and Lee McCoy of Georgia, and Wyndham Clark from Oklahoma State.

“All the teams have talent and the ones at the top are especially deep,” said Georgia coach Chris Haack, whose team will be seeking its third national title. “The player who claims medalist honors and the team that survives stroke play and match play definitely will have earned it. We’ve got a shot to be successful but we know we have to be at our best.”

Text Only
  • James_Ethan-(12)-vs.#2CC63C.jpg Back on the line

    RiverHawks’ Ethan James returns to the line healthy and ready for 2014

    RiverHawks offensive lineman Ethan James will enter the 2014 season healthy – something the team, and James, were not in 2013.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Sooners shifting several positions

    Experience comes from encountering the same things in the same ways over and over again. Oklahoma’s Geneo Grissom and Julian Wilson have that at defensive end and nickleback in bunches.
    However, both will be seeing new things when practice begins. Grissom is moving to outside linebacker. Wilson will be getting a look at cornerback as his senior season begins

    July 25, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat

    The NCAA once cracked down on colleges that went too far luring top prospects, then it targeted teams that lathered players with special treatment. That was until the NCAA's get-tough approach backfired, rendering it ineffective and creating an opportunity for those who want to play dirty.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • BobBowlsby.jpg Media Week: Change is coming

    Changes are coming to college athletics.
    That was the theme of the state of the conference speech by Big 12 Conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby on the first day of Big 12 Football Media Days.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Peterson.jpg Cowboy quandary: OSU defense trying to replace seven starters

    A year after the best defensive team in the Mike Gundy era, the questions now surround how those few returning starters and second-year defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer can maintain that high level of efficiency.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Really one true champion?

    I decided to spare the colleagues in front of me – and myself from making a scene – by holding back flipping my table at the Big 12 Conference Football Media Days in Dallas.
    I had become exhausted by the constant use and misrepresentation by the Big 12 with their moniker of “One True Champion.” If they are going to live with the slogan, then they need to abide by that slogan.
    Perhaps its a simple case that they are keeping constant with the poor math of the 10-team Big 12 Conference.

    July 23, 2014

  • Hill expected to be used in multiple facets

    The picture became a little clearer recently of how Big 12 Conference Newcomer of the Year Tyreek Hill will be utilized in the Oklahoma State offense.
    And the picture is rather wide.

    July 23, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Expectations too high for a rehabbing Woods

    Tiger Woods finished near bottom last weekend at Royal Liverpool, drawing out his drought of major tournament wins. Despite the disappointing showing, Woods' return to form remains a matter of when, not if.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • shock pic.jpg Time to rest

    Shock beats San Antonio before entering All-Star break

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • McIlroy leads, Tiger Woods in contention after 1st day at British Open

    July 18, 2014


Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
     View Results
Press Sports Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp