Blake Biddle used home field advantage to emerge as the surprise winner from a stellar field assembled for the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters. The University of Las Vegas at Nevada (UNLV) player used his knowledge of Southern Highlands Golf Club in Las Vegas to notch the win and help take the team title.
With the world’s top three players – Patrick Cantlay, Patrick Rodgers and Jordan Spieth (pictured) – all in action, Biddle perhaps flew in under the radar. However, the second year UNLV student returned a closing three-under-par 69 over the 7,510-yard, par-72 course to win his first college tournament. His four-under-par total of 212 was good enough for a two shot victory over Tyler Dunlap of Texas A&M University and UCLA’s Pontus Widegren.
Biddle was the only player to break 70 in the final round, a round in which Cantlay crashed to 81, and Rodgers to 77. Rodgers was the best of the top trio, finishing joint 23rd. Spieth was equal 27th, while Cantlay was one of a number of players to finish 33rd.
Biddle moves 83 places on this week’s ranking to 98th. Dunlap moves 247 to world number 304. Widegren improves his ranking 37 places to 57th.
Ben Kohles also moves inside this week’s top 100 following victory in the Cleveland Palmetto Intercollegiate for his sixth career college victory. The victory helps Kohles improve his ranking 44 places to world number 80.
Andrew Presley triumphed in the 27th Annual Louisiana Classic. The student of Louisiana State University returned rounds of 68, 68 and 70 for a 10-under-par total of 206. Presley moves 148 places on this week’s WAGR table to world number 172.
Popson began the final round in fourth place, but the University of Tennessee player was the only competitor to break 70 in the closing round. Her three-under-par 69 to go with earlier rounds of with 70 and 75 helped her into a tie for first place with O’Donnell. The North Carolina player returned rounds of 72, 71 and 71 for a two-under-par total of 214.
Sweden’s Madelene Sagstrom began the final round in first place but the Louisiana State University (LSU) player slumped to a 74 to finish third on even par for the 54 holes. Teammate Austin Ernst, who will play on this year’s US Curtis Cup team, finished fourth.
Popson improves her ranking one spot this week, replacing England’s Charley Hull, who drops to seventh. O’Donnell moves 77 places into the world top 100 to 61st. Sagstrom improves five places to 26th, while Ernst moves up one spot to world number eight.
Canada’s Christine Wong moves 43 places on this week’s ranking to world number 172 following victory in the Bruin Wave Invitational at El Caballero Country Club in Tarzana, California. Wong won by four shots despite a six-over-par 78 in the final round. However, earlier rounds of 68 and 73 saw her home with a three-over-par total of 219. Alina Ching of Pepperdine University finished second and moves 425 places on this week’s ranking to 1,021st place.
Brooke Pancake of the United States and Australia’s Breanna Elliott move into this week’s top 20. Both move 10 places, Pancake to 18th, and Elliott to 20th.