Stanford won’t get the opportunity to defend its NCAA Men’s Championship and top-ranked USC (pictured) will not have a chance to win the Women’s Championship because the NCAA canceled the rest of all Spring sports seasons because of concerns over the Coronavirus pandemic.
And it’s bittersweet that the NCAA has granted all seniors an extra year of eligibility because of the situation. While some obviously will return for one more season, there are decisions to be made by those players who were planning to turn pro or simply move on with their lives.
The NCAA Women’s Championship was scheduled for May 22-27, with the Men’s Championship slated for the following week, May 29-June 3, both at Grayhawk Golf Club https://grayhawkgolf.com in Scottsdale, Ariz.
To be sure, the Stanford was a longshot to successfully defend its ninth national title after losing senior stalwarts Isaiah Salinda and Brandon Wu, who led the team that helped Conrad Ray to be selected 2019 NCAA Coach of the Year.
The Cardinal was ranked 29th in the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings when this season was halted, with Ethan Ng its only player in the Top 100 of the Men’s Rankings at No. 74.
Stanford started slowly this season, but had finished in the top 10 in five of its last six tournaments, giving Ray and the Cardinal hope that they could at least make a run at defending the title.
The California team with probably the best chance to capture the Men’s Championship was Pepperdine, which was ranked No. 2 in the nation behind Oklahoma after winning he Alister MacKenzie Invitational, the Southwestern Invitational and the Amer Ari Invitational this season while finish in the top five of all eight of its tournaments.
The Waves were led by top-ranked Sahith Theegala, a senior from Chino Hills who claimed titles in the MacKenzie and Southwest Invitationals, and No. 18 William Mouw, who won the Ameri Ari title.
UCLA was 25th with Devon Bling at No. 47 after he claimed the individual title at the Bandon Dunes Championship, with USC at No. 27, San Diego State at No. 28 and California at No. 35 to round out California teams in the Top 50.
Other players from California colleges in the Top 50 were No. 26 Lin Yuxin of USC, No. 49 Matthew Anderson of San Francisco and No. 50 Puwit Anupansuebsai of San Diego State.
The top-ranked USC women were coming off consecutive victories in the Rebel Beach Intercollegiate and the Bruin Wave Invitational, giving the Trojans top-five finishes in all seven of their 2019-20 matches.
No. 10 Allisen Corpuz led USC with four finishes in the top 10, and the Trojans also had No. 24 Amelia Garvey and No. 26 Amelia Garvey.
Other California teams in the Top 50 were No. 9 Stanford, No. 11 UCLA, No. 47 San Jose State and No. 48 Pepperdine.
Emma Spitz of UCLA was ranked eighth, while other California players in the Top 50 were No. 9 Angelina Ye of Stanford, No. 16 Aline Krauter of Stanford, No. 18 Natasha Andrea Oon of San Jose State, No. 33 Momoka Kobori of Pepperdine and No. 41 Emile Paltrinieri of UCLA.
Hopefully, most of them will be able to start over next Fall.