While collegiate athletics are certainly one of the most competitive levels in the country, when it comes to the NCAA’s Division I athletics, it’s a whole new ball game – quite literally.
For women’s golf, many Division I players view college golf as a platform to boost their career into the professional realm. How they play in their collegiate career determines whether or not they can cut it on the LPGA tour. At least, this is the case for the top 50-100 ranked colleges in the U.S. Beyond that however, the competition is pretty close and while most players aren’t considering turning professional, it doesn’t make the fight to rise to the top any less challenging.
Here in New York, some of the top ranked institutes such as St. John’s University (Queens) and Wagner College (Staten Island), though better known for their excellent basketball and football programs respectively, are ranked pretty far down the ladder as far as their golf programs go.
St. John’s has one of the better programs for women’s golf in the northeast and is ranked at 230 in the country amongst top Division I Universities including Ivy leagues like Yale and Stanford. Meanwhile, Wagner College, who are known for their phenomenal Liberal Arts program, is ranked further down at 246. It is interesting to note however that though a whopping 16 spots separate the two as far as ranking goes, St. John’s has a stroke average of 81.25 while Wagner is merely a little more than a stroke behind at 82.79. This just goes to show how stiff the competition really is.
Although tournament scores show that St. John’s performs better as a team, it may not be considered fair to equate them with Wagner who competes in fewer events and so are at both an advantage and a disadvantage with only a limited number of scores to consider for the season. While St. John’s finished in the top 10 spots 67% of events competed in, Wagner finished the in the top 10 spots 71% of events competed in. This would indicate that that Wagner is the better team, but total three day and two day scores tell a different story.
Statistics are a good method of collecting data and analyzing performance, but the fact of the matter is that it can be manipulated to tell whichever side of the story is desired.
Some details for the 2014 season so far can be found below.