Living the dream: Michigan State’s James Piot on throwing out the first pitch, billboards, parades and an upcoming trip to Augusta National

Winning the U.S. Amateur can be life-changing for its champion.

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TRINITY, Texas – During a timeout between the first and second quarters of the Michigan-Michigan State football game at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, Michigan, James Piot stepped on to the field, waved to the crowd and received a standing ovation. In the aftermath of the Spartans’ victory in a come-from-behind thriller over its in-state rival on October 28, the fifth-year Michigan State senior was stopped on the street on more than one occasion by fans asking if he was the guy they’d seen on the Jumbotron.

“Yeah, yeah, I was on it,” Piot said nonchalantly.

“For what?” one of attendees at the game wondered.

“I won some golf tournament,” he said as if it was no big deal.

But Piot didn’t win just any golf tournament. It was the 121st U.S. Amateur, the most prestigious championship in amateur golf and one that earned him exemptions into the Masters, U.S. Open and British Open in 2022.

Hoisting the Havemeyer Trophy in front of a stadium of more than 75,000 rabid fans was only part of a memorable day. First, Piot appeared on Fox’s Big Noon Kickoff pregame, chipping whiffle balls into trash cans against former Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush.

“I felt like a celebrity for a day,” Piot said last weekend at the Spirit International Amateur Championship, where he won gold and silver medals representing Team USA. “I walk around campus and people know who I am now. It’s pretty funny.”

It’s been a whirlwind 12 weeks for Piot, 22, ever since he rallied from 3 down with nine to play to beat University of North Carolina’s Austin Greaser, 2 and 1, in the 36-hole scheduled finale of the U.S. Amateur at Oakmont Country Club in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

“It’s really quite overwhelming,” said Piot’s mom Judy. “It’s like what decision do we have to make today.”

Fox Hills Golf & Banquet Center hung a banner to congratulate James Piot, who honed his game there, for winning the 2021 U.S. Amateur. (Courtesy Piot family)

Winning the U.S. Amateur can be life-changing for its champion. All of a sudden, Piot was throwing out the first pitch at Comerica Park before a Detroit Tigers game, heady stuff for a kid from Canton, Michigan, in the southeast corner of the state. The congratulatory messages began rolling in from the likes of former U.S. Am champ Bryson DeChambeau via social media, and Michigan State legends Magic Johnson, Coach Tom Izzo, who proclaimed, “we’re a golf school now,” and World Series hero Kirk Gibson, who invited Piot to his charity golf tournament.

“He was more pumped to meet me than I was to meet him,” Piot said, “and I was pretty pumped.”

Just days after his victory in August, Fox Hills Golf and Banquet Center, the public course in Plymouth, Michigan, where Piot honed his game and learned to play skins before he could do long division, hung a banner above its entrance that said, ‘Home of U.S. Amateur champ James Piot,’ and threw a party in his honor. Not to be outdone, Michigan State displayed several billboards congratulating him too. Piot’s Aunt Janice was the first to recognize his face staring back at her while driving along the M-14 Highway, near Interstate-275.

“My sister and I actually got in the car and drove by there and waited till the (electronic) billboard flashed James on it,” Judy Piot said. “It was crazy seeing him there.”

Piot’s mom and Aunt pulled over to snap a photo of a congratulatory billboard along the M-14 Highway. (Courtesy Piot family)

But wait, there’s more: an upcoming appearance in the 95th America’s Thanksgiving Parade in Downtown Detroit. Before that, Piot is scheduled to take his first prep trip for the Masters on November 17 thanks to a Michigan State alum, who is an Augusta National member and extended an invite. It will be Piot’s first time on the grounds of the famed layout.

Piot plans to have Michigan State’s associate head coach Dan Ellis, who was on the bag at the U.S. Amateur, reprise his caddie role at the Masters, but no word yet on who might caddie for him at Wednesday’s Par 3 Contest, nor does he have any practice rounds lined up yet.

“Reaching out to a big-name pro seems like a shot in the dark, but I might have to,” he said.

The Spirit, which is akin to golf’s Olympics for amateurs, wasn’t even on his radar before he won the Amateur. When he got the invite, he said, “So I get to miss a week of class and represent my country in golf? Sign me up!”

Admission into the world of amateur golf royalty has an array of benefits. He’s already committed to play in the PGA Tour’s Arnold Palmer Invitational in March, and has possible exemptions to the Memorial in Dublin, Ohio, and Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Texas, on his radar should he choose to turn pro after completing his college eligibility sometime in May (pending how far he or his team advances at the NCAA men’s golf championship.)

“Everything that’s happened to me since the U.S. Amateur has been like, ‘Oh, my goodness, I actually get invited here? I get to do this?” Piot said.

Joining the play-for-pay ranks immediately does present one drawback: he’d have to surrender his exemption into the British Open at St. Andrews in July, which is specifically designated for the U.S. Amateur champion so long as he remains in the amateur ranks. (The USGA relented on the remaining amateur distinction beginning in 2020.)

“That will suck,” Piot said. “Right now, I’m leaning towards turning pro after college to chase points and try to earn a PGA Tour card.”

In the meantime, he’s enjoying the perks of being U.S. Amateur champ and a bonus year of college life. The Havemeyer Trophy, which he has custody of for one year, welcomed visitors to his apartment at school for a month until his roommates, who include Michigan State’s punter, suggested he find a new home for it “before it breaks.”

Mission accomplished: it’s proudly displayed inside the men’s golf team locker room, where Michigan State’s head coach Casey Lubahn keeps a watchful over it.

“My coach almost loves the trophy more than me,” Piot said.

The Havemeyer Trophy on display in Michigan State’s men’s golf locker room. (Courtesy Piot family)

Oklahoma State men’s golf coach Alan Bratton dishes on all the Cowboys in Mayakoba field

It would be hard to name a program that produces more Tour-level talent than Oklahoma State.

It’s tough to find a college program that churns out more Tour-bound talent than Oklahoma State. Matthew Wolff, Rickie Fowler and Viktor Hovland are just a few of the recent stars.

Wolff made noise in the opening round of the World Wide Technology Championship at Mayakoba with a 10-under 61. Cowboys men’s golf coach Alan Bratton later joined the Golf Channel broadcast to discuss some former and current members of his program.

Wolff has been battling his game for several months but has started to show signs of regaining his past form. Thursday was a perfect example as Wolff went bogey free for a round which not only set the course record at El Camaleon but earned him the 18-hole lead.

“Really proud of Matt. Traded messages with him earlier today and he was really proud he got the course record,” Bratton told Golf Channel. “He told me at Vegas, he texted me, and told me he was starting to get his game where he likes it to be. I think he said, ‘I’m back.'”

Wolff is looking to win for the first time since the 2019 3M Open, his only win on Tour.

Hovland, who’s the defending champion this week, made a nice five-footer on his last hole of the day Thursday to close out an opening 4-under 67. During his time at Oklahoma State, Hovland was the recipient of the 2019 Ben Hogan Award, given annually to the best men’s collegiate golfer based on year-long performance in college and amateur events.

“I’m not surprised at all Viktor’s settled in as one of the best players in the world…he’s got a confidence that I think is really rare,” Bratton said. “That’s one of the big separators for him is the confidence he has in his ability to execute. He’s not afraid to be vulnerable, and he has a clear picture of where he wants to go with his game and what he needs to do to continue to rise.”

Hovland will need to play more solid golf if he hopes to catch his old Cowboy teammate before the weekend gets underway in Mexico.

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Eugenio Chacarra is currently a senior at Oklahoma State but is in the field this week in Mexico. His first round didn’t go according to plan as he paired seven bogies with five birdies for a first-round 73. He’ll have to make a run on Friday to make the cut as the expected number to hit will hover around 4 under.

Despite his struggles Thursday, his coach had glowing remarks about his game.

“He’s as talented as anyone who’s ever played at Oklahoma State. He doesn’t have the resume just yet,” Bratton told Golf Channel. “His talent is off the chart. He’s a fantastic ball-striker, and just an incredible talent, and a big, big personality.

“I think the sky is the limit and I’m not afraid to make a statement like that. The kid is really, really talented.”

Another member of the current Cowboy squad, Bo Jin, currently is in contention at the Asia-Pacific Amateur being played at Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club. He went bogey-free in the second round, and if he holds on to claim the win, he’ll earn an invitation to the 2022 Masters, among other exemptions.

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Oklahoma State Cowgirls, Oklahoma Sooner men take home respective East Lake Cup titles

They came in and played well over the summer and this fall, and us coaches pretty much just got out of their way.”

Many know East Lake Golf Club as the host venue for the Tour Championship, the final stage of the FedEx Cup playoffs on the PGA Tour. However, the East Lake Cup, since its inception in 2015, puts the best teams in college golf on full display over the three-day event.

Tuesday, both teams from Oklahoma State made their respected championship matches. On the ladies’ side, Duke defeated Ole Miss to advance to the finals against OSU. As for the men, Oklahoma, ranked No. 1 in Golfweek’s Collegiate rankings, took down Pepperdine to move on.

“We handled the wind very well,” Duke head coach Dan Brooks said after the Blue Devils’ win. “You know, I think I learned that they’re as good as I thought they were.”

Oklahoma State men’s head coach Alan Bratton was proud of how his team fought back after a tough start to their day.

“I think our guys showed a lot of toughness. We had guys fall behind in their matches. I think our first three matches our guys were behind early and they just kept plugging along,” Bratton said. “Eugenio Chacarra did a wonderful job of leading us out there. He lost the first hole and then after that, his opponent didn’t have another putt to win a hole the rest of the match.”

After much-needed rest, teams returned to East Lake Wednesday for the finals.

Battle of Bedlam

If you’re a college football fan, you’re aware of the incredible rivalry between Oklahoma State and Oklahoma. Lucky for golf fans, we got our own version this week down in Atlanta.

The Sooners defended their No. 1 ranking by defeating the Cowboys 3-2. Chris Gotterup dunked this eagle chip to take control of his match late Wednesday afternoon.

“Golf is 18 holes, right? And our guys did a great job. Jaxon Dowell coming down the stretch, pulling it out, huge point.” Oklahoma head coach Ryan Hybl said after their victory. “Chris Gotterup did a fantastic job here on the back nine. Logan McAllister was nails all day long.”

Cowgirls get the W

Despite the Oklahoma State men’s loss, the ladies came in and took care of business against Duke, just like they’ve been doing all fall long. The Cowgirls beat the Blue Devils 3-2.

Hailey Jones buried a par putt on the 17th green to not only win her match but seal the deal for the Oklahoma State ladies’ first East Lake Cup win.

“These girls are competitive,” Cowgirl head coach Greg Robertson said just after their win. “They came in and played well over the summer and this fall, and us coaches pretty much just got out of their way.”

This strategy has paid off for the coaching staff, as their girls have yet to lose this fall season.

Rina Tatematsu (Oklahoma State) won the ladies’ individual title, while Preston Summerhays (Arizona State) and Chris Gotterup (Oklahoma) were co-medalists on the men’s side.

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Emory men and women make it a sweep at Golfweek DIII Fall Invitational at Sandestin

While the women mounted a comeback on Centre College, the men won wire to wire.

Emory head coach Katie Futcher keeps an important statistic for her team throughout the season. The bounce-back column is all about what a player does after she makes a bogey.

At the Golfweek Division III Fall Invitational, Emory pulled off the ultimate bounce-back, coming from two shots behind Centre entering the final round to win the tournament, its second in four starts this fall.

“Fighting, always finishing to the end, we always try to preach that with all of our ladies in our program,” Futcher said of the importance of that stat. “To finish today with a win after coming in trailing is good.”

Emory’s round of 8-over 296 was its best round of the week at Baytowne Golf Club in Destin, Florida. At 35 over, Emory was two better than Centre College for 54 holes. Emory freshman Sharun Mun won the individual title at 3 over.

It’s the midway point of the semester for many teams, Emory included. Futcher’s players were coming off midterms and the exhaustion that often comes with that. But Futcher never looks at scoring during a tournament and stays in the moment. She didn’t know her team had a chance for the comeback win until the final putt.

Futcher is an accomplished player herself, having been the leading scorer at Penn State for all four years of her college career before going on to play on the LPGA for nine years. After qualifying for the LPGA in just her second attempt, Futcher competed in more than 25 major championships and 120 events while earning Class A status with the LPGA. In 2012, she made 18 cuts in 23 events and posted a pair of top-10 finishes including ties for eighth at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open and the RICOH Women’s British Open.

She took the helm at Emory in 2018 and has watched the program grow.

“They’ve been working really hard, last tournament of the season, really tried to just keep them focused, keep them calm,” Futcher said of this week’s win. “Really had them rely on all the work they’ve put in this semester. I don’t think anyone has outworked us and that’s part of winning. Winning feels good – the work part doesn’t always feel good – but you have to do the work to win.”

Emory’s men made it a sweep for the Eagles by finishing 13 shots ahead of runner-up Methodist. At 12 under par, Emory was the only team in the red at the end of three rounds at the Raven Golf Club.

The Eagles tied for first at the Wabash Invitational to start the month and last week, won outright at the Tartan Invitational.

“We’ve been good this fall, I thought we’d be competitive,” said head coach John Sjoberg. “Our start today was just unbelievable, five birdies on the first hole and that kind of separated us a little bit form Methodist and we were able to continue to play well and hold them off.”

Emory men's golf
Emory’s men after winning the Golfweek DIII Fall Invitational.

Last month, Emory finished second to Methodist at the Division III Fall Preview at Mission Inn.

Sjoberg says this team is deeper – Nos. 1 to 9 – than it ever has been.

“Qualifying has been really competitive so that’s really set us up to come to events like this and feel like we’ve got a good chance to be a good team,” he said.

In the individual competition, Averett’s Caleb Kimbrough went 8 under to edge Carnegie Mellon’s William Knauth and Emory’s Jackson Klutznick.

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Report: Oregon men’s golf coach Casey Martin has leg amputated

Oregon head coach Casey Martin underwent the procedure on his right leg earlier this week.

Casey Martin has long feared the misstep that might complicate a condition that has affected his right leg since birth. Martin, the 49-year-old head men’s golf coach at the University of Oregon, was born with a birth defect known as Klippel-Trenaunay-Webber Syndrome, a congenital circulatory disorder that made it difficult to put weight on the leg.

In October 2019, Martin fractured his right tibia in after misjudging a step onto his street, which was under construction, while retrieving the garbage can from the curb. As a result, Golf Digest has reported that Martin underwent surgery on Oct. 15 to have the leg amputated.

“I knew this day was coming,” Martin told the Oregon Register Guard in March 2020, after the misstep that ultimately led to the procedure, “and it’s here.”

Martin spent much of the past two years wearing a cast, using crutches to walk and undergoing injections, according to Golf Digest reporting, but the tibia never healed.

“The doctors prepared us for the worst-case scenario,” Martin’s older brother Cameron, who with their father is at the clinic, told Golf Digest. “But the report is [he doctors] feel it went well, as they were able to save as much of the bone above the knee as they had hoped. This should give him a good shot at a prosthesis that will be effective.”

Jeff Quinney, a former PGA Tour pro, U.S. Amateur champion and Eugene native, is in his first season as Martin’s assistant and will assume many of Martin’s coaching duties as Martin recovers.

The Ducks have played three times this fall with their best finish a sixth-place showing at the Husky Invitational last month.

Martin was a two-time All-American at Stanford and member of its 1994 NCAA Championship squad. He played one year on the PGA Tour in 2000 and has coached Oregon for 15 seasons. Under Martin, Oregon won the NCAA title in 2016 and had a runner-up finish in 2017.

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At Campbell, men’s assistant Ashley Sloup and veteran head coach John Crooks team up as one of college golf’s most interesting duos

Campbell’s is a coaching setup not often seen in college golf, and Ashley Sloup credits head coach John Crooks for that.

For Campbell’s men’s golf team, Ashley Sloup lands somewhere between assistant coach and big sister.

“I’ve been able to build a relationship with each of the players and get to know them and what’s going on,” said Sloup, 25, who is in her second season coaching the Camels men’s team alongside veteran John Crooks, now in his 32nd season.

Campbell’s is a coaching setup not often seen in college golf, and Sloup credits Crooks for that. When previous men’s assistant Matt Moot took a job as the assistant coach at North Carolina State in February 2021, Crooks brought in Sloup as Moot’s replacement.

Crooks notes that Sloup is normally the only female in the room when coaches get together at men’s college golf tournaments.

“That took a lot of faith and a lot of trust,” Sloup said.

Sloup had known Crooks during her days playing college golf for Winthrop, which competes against Campbell in the Big South Conference. One day, Sloup reminded Crooks that they’d actually met a few years earlier. Both were waiting to pick up their U.S. Open tickets at will-call at the 2014 tournament at Pinehurst and Sloup had introduced herself to the coach – she was an incoming freshman and wanted Crooks to know they’d be seeing each other on the college circuit. Crooks was impressed by the interaction.

“I thought, most people would not have addressed that,” he said.

Ashley Sloup, Campbell
Ashley Sloup, Campbell’s men’s assistant (Photo by Bennett Scarborough)

Before taking the men’s assistant gig at Campbell, Sloup spent a season as the women’s assistant at Furman. Her first foray into coaching came at Northwood University, an NCAA Division II school in Midland, Michigan, where she worked with both the men’s and women’s teams.

Sloup is in a different realm with Campbell’s men, but there are similarities that she’s able to draw between coaching experiences. At Furman, Sloup was able to coach Natalie Srinivasan, the 2020 WGCA Player of the Year and ANNIKA Award winner. At Campbell, Pontus Nyholm, who has since turned professional, was ranked as high as No. 46 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking.

Sloup saw how differently men and women attack a golf course and learned the nuances of each side of the game.

“The guys thankfully have been so respectful, so welcoming, so inviting,” Sloup said. “I really kind of felt like I was this missing puzzle piece that they didn’t know they were missing.”

Crooks, who heads both golf programs at Campbell, ranks second among all active Division I women’s coaches in tournament victories with 90, which leaves him behind only Duke head coach Dan Brooks. Crooks is a self-described laid-back leader, and much of that likely comes from sheer time spent in this game. Sloup brings plenty of energy to the table.

“I’ve known about her and her personality and she’s a lot of the things that I’m not,” Crooks said. “I’m talking about her outlook. She brings and energy to the room.”

He remembers one of the first trips Sloup went on as his assistant. As soon as the van stopped, she was out the door trying to unload players’ golf bags.

The cup is always full in Sloup’s world, Crooks says.

“Every one of (the players), when you ask them would you like to have somebody walk with you, nobody has ever turned Ashley down,” Crooks said of his men’s team. “They’ve turned me down.”

Establishing an effective coaching dynamic with Crooks was easy, Sloup said. She appreciates the wisdom and experience as well as the deep southern delivery that make Crooks one of the memorable figures in college golf.

Asked for some of the most notable “Crooksisms” players are likely to hear in the team van, Sloup prefaced her response with a note about that accent.

“He’s so southern, so you have to picture in a very southern accent,” she said before quoting her boss: “’We have a saying on the golf team – un-lucky.’ And then he’ll say, if someone does something really good, he’ll say, “Oh my.”

Any player who tries to ignore the sage advice that Crooks has to give is likely to hear something along the lines of, “Well what do I know? I’ve only been doing this 33 years.”

Sloup has taken to calling Crooks by the nickname Yoda.

“She calls me yoda not for my knowledge, and that’s important,” Crooks notes. “Yoda is the oldest living creature she’s aware of.”

In turn, Crooks’ Star Wars-inspired nickname for Sloup is Padawan, a term used in the movies for an intern in training. Both terms are fitting in their own way.

“The best thing about him,” Sloup said of the learning curve under Crooks, “is not only is he preparing me to be a head coach someday, a top assistant at another big top program, but he’s preparing me and teaching me how to grow as a young woman and as a person.”

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Ringler: Making the case for Ryder Cup-style events between college golf rivals

It’s time for another spike for college golf, and the Ryder Cup provides the perfect formula.

In the summer of 2007, a meeting took place at the U.S. Junior Championship at Boone Valley Golf Club in Augusta, Missouri. Coaches gathered that week to discuss how could they grow the sport

The NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship was about to switch its format to match play to decide the national champion. One reason for this was to help the sport gain more attention and become more popular.

A coach even mentioned the growth in popularity in college softball and baseball and talked about how he would often see those scores run across the bottom of his TV screen on the ESPN ticker. Coaches wanted to see college golf get that same sort of attention.

Match play could easily allow someone to understand Team A vs. Team B and a winner and a loser. The NCAA finals would soon change and for a few days at the end of the season, college golfers would have the chance to be noticed on a bigger scale.

The format change was made for the 2009 men’s championship and a better script could not have been written when the event was held at the Inverness Club in Toledo. The drama was there, the intensity was there, the atmosphere trumped the stroke-play format and it all came to a head when Texas A&M’s Bronson Burgoon stuffed a wedge to tap-in range on the final hole of the championship match to give the Aggies the title.

NCAA match play
Texas A&M’s Bronson Burgoon reacts to knocking his 120-yard second shot from the fairway at No. 18 to within inches of the hole to give the Aggies the 2009 NCAA title.

That week certainly proved match play could make the sport more popular. It also proved that match play drew the teams closer together competitively, but that’s another story.

These days, we often see fans and school administration fly in for the final matches of the NCAA finals. The head-to-head format easily caught the eyes of anyone looking in that direction and even some who may not have been.

Mission accomplished. Soon television would join the party and now the sport is able to be seen from coast-to-coast, certainly raising the popularity of college golf. However, that can only take it so far. Many teams, in fact most teams, never make it far enough to have a chance at national television coverage. These college golf programs need a boost, but they need it locally. College softball and baseball teams get that with many games per year at home against conference opponents and rivals.

Now it’s time for another spike for college golf, and the Ryder Cup provides the perfect formula. The biennial event featuring the best players from the United States against those from Europe captures the attention of the entire golf community as well as those who don’t watch week-to-week.

Imagine what that could do with the fan bases and communities of college golf programs, even the ones that do garner eyeballs in late May each year.

Oklahoma vs. Oklahoma State at Oak Tree Country Club in Edmond, Oklahoma, in a two-day Ryder Cup format? You could sell tickets to that match. How about North Carolina and Duke, Indiana vs. Purdue, Kentucky vs. Louisville, Boise State vs. Idaho, Iowa State vs. Iowa and Lafayette vs. Lehigh? The list could go on and on, but you get the point.

Sure, some schools have already been doing something similar (the Copper Cup, for example, which pits Arizona against Arizona State, or the Star Match between Army and Navy). There are others, but they’re often just one-day events because they have to count toward a team’s allotted competitive playing dates.

This type of an event would bring the school’s direct fan base together and shine a light directly on the golf program for one weekend – more so than probably any other event on a team’s schedule does. The chance to connect with fans, make new fans and even sell tickets to a golf event is real with an event like this. Sure, most schools host a home event, but it’s the 15-plus teams in a stroke-play format that can sometimes be hard for followers to connect to.

So much has already been done to grow college golf on a big scale and now it’s time for something new – something that would grow the sport on the local level within the school’s already die-hard fanbase. All that is needed is two days of competition to be exempt from the 24 days golf teams are allowed each year.

We have seen much change in the world of college golf. It’s time once again to get outside the box and bring more change. This type of event would be something that would be talked about and looked forward to each year or every other year.

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J.R. Smith set to make his collegiate golf debut at the Phoenix Invitational hosted by Elon

It’s time to get the competitive juices flowing again.

J.R. Smith played in the NBA for 16 seasons before hanging ’em up. Over the Summer, Smith enrolled at North Carolina A&T to not only further his education, but to get his competitive juices flowing once again and play for the men’s golf team.

Monday, October 11, is the opening day of the Phoenix Invitational hosted by Elon. There are two ways to qualify for a tournament; qualifying in practice, and finishing first or second in the previous event. Smith was awarded a tee time after qualifying in practice by one stroke.

Alamance Country Club is the venue for the week, a par 71 layout measuring 6,867 yards.

Back in August, Smith shared some thoughts about balancing school, life, and golf.

“Being able to compete and challenge myself academically is where my heart is right now,” Smith said. “Being able to play golf at the same time is even better. It gives me incentive to keep my grades up.”

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Oklahoma leapfrogs Oklahoma State for No. 1 spot in Bushnell/Golfweek Coaches Poll

Oklahoma became the third team this season to take the top spot in the Bushnell/Golfweek Coaches Poll.

Oklahoma became the third team this season to take the top spot in the Bushnell/Golfweek Coaches Poll after receiving 15 first-place votes from college coaches around the country.

Last year’s NCAA runners-up have finished second, first, second in three starts so far this fall. That moved them ahead of Oklahoma State, which topped the previous coaches poll. Pepperdine, the defending national champion, debuted in the No. 1 spot in the preseason poll.

Arizona State, North Carolina and Texas round out the top 5 in the latest poll.

Take a look at the full poll below, along with teams receiving additional votes at the bottom.

Rank University (First-place votes) Points Previous
1 Oklahoma (15) 519 2
2 Oklahoma State (2) 479 1
3 Arizona State (1) 463 5
4 North Carolina (3) 456 6
5 Texas 410 4
6 Stanford 387 19
7 Arkansas 383 14
8 Georgia Tech 346 8
9 Texas A&M 307 11
10 Texas Tech 291 9
11 Pepperdine 274 3
12 Clemson 250 7
T-13 Kansas 228 T-24
T-13 NC State 228 23
15 Vanderbilt 219 10
16 Georgia 189 13
17 Illinois 157 12
18 BYU 139 NR
19 Tennessee 137 15
20 Wake Forest 132 17
21 Auburn 111 18
22 USF 100 NR
23 Liberty 92 21
24 Washington 91 NR
25 Purdue 83 NR

Dropped From Ranking: Florida (No. 20); Florida State (No. 16); LSU (No. T-24); Notre Dame (No. 22)

Others Receiving Votes: Notre Dame, 77; Florida, 44; Florida State, 43; East Tennessee State, 34; LSU, 29; Northwestern, 23; UAB, 23; Virginia, 22; Ole Miss, 11; Oregon State, 11; SMU, 8; Alabama, 7; Boise State, 6; Arizona, 4; Cincinnati, 3; Michigan State, 3; Nevada, 3; Duke, 1; Charlotte, 1.

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Arkansas Tech maintains top spot in Bushnell/Golfweek Division II Coaches Poll; Barry rises to No. 2

For the second consecutive ranking, Arkansas Tech held a slim lead atop the Bushnell/Golfweek Division II Coaches Poll.

For the second consecutive ranking, Arkansas Tech held a slim lead atop the Bushnell/Golfweek Division II Coaches Poll. The Wonder Boys claimed 12 first-place votes to top Barry, which received six first-place votes to land in second. That was an improvement for Barry, however, which hopped from fourth in last month’s poll to its spot directly behind Arkansas Tech.

Lynn stayed at No. 3 while West Florida dropped to fourth. Lincoln Memorial and Lee each moved up one spot to fifth and sixth, respectively.

Take a look at the full poll below, along with teams receiving additional votes at the bottom.

Rank University (First Place Votes) Points Previous
1 Arkansas Tech (12) 447 1
2 Barry (6) 444 4
3 Lynn 382 3
4 West Florida 358 2
5 Lincoln Memorial 335 6
6 Lee 332 7
7 Georgia Southwestern 323 5
8 South Carolina Aiken 307 8
9 Central Missouri 252 9
10 Indianapolis 246 11
11 Oklahoma Christian 234 T-14
12 Saint Leo 197 10
13 Henderson State 185 13
14 Columbus State 177 12
15 Florida Southern 158 18
16 Erskine 143 17
17 West Georgia (1) 142 T-22
18 Texas A&M-Commerce 138 T-14
19 Midwestern State 94 NR
20 Georgia College 87 16
21 Nova Southeastern 85 19
22 Newberry 73 NR
23 Grand Valley State 72 25
24 Findlay 71 NR
25 Delta State 54 NR

Dropped From Ranking: Limestone (No. T-22); North Georgia (No. 24); Washburn (No. 20); Young Harris (No. 21)

Others Receiving Votes: Limestone, 51; North Georgia, 51; Cal State San Marcos, 48; Washburn, 48; Belmont Abbey, 47; Flagler, 45; Chico State, 37; Western Washington, 37; Colorado Christian, 34; CSU Pueblo, 30; Young Harris, 29; Rogers State, 28; Southern Arkansas, 27; Carson-Newman, 25; Barton, 24; Lander, 24; Missouri-St. Louis, 24; Shorter, 24; Sonoma State, 21; Wayne State (MI), 19; Valdosta State, 18; Simon Fraser, 17; Florida Tech, 12; Rollins, 12; Saginaw Valley State, 12; Davis & Elkins, 11; St. Mary’s (TX), 11; West Liberty, 11; CSU Monterey Bay, 8; Coker, 8; Lincoln (MO), 8; Clayton State, 7; Colorado Mesa, 7; Northeastern State, 6; Southern New Hampshire, 5; Cameron, 3; Tampa, 3; Coker, 2; Lenoir-Rhyne, 1; Virginia Union, 1; Wilmington, 1.

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