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NCAA women’s golf preseason rankings: Top 30 teams, players for 2023-24

As we prepare to get another season of college golf rolling, Golf Channel’s Brentley Romine reveals his top 30 women’s preseason rankings, both team and individual, and tells you everything you need to know about the best programs in the country, from projected starting lineups to preseason All-Americans (scroll to the bottom) to what’s motivating each team heading into the fall.

But first, take note of these important dates:

May 6-8, 2024: NCAA regionals
(Host sites: Auburn University Club, Auburn, Alabama; Tumblecreek Club, Cle Elum, Washington; Traditions Club, College Station, Texas; Forest Akers GC, East Lansing, Michigan; Spanish Trail CC, Las Vegas; Bermuda Run CC, Winston-Salem, North Carolina)

May 17-22, 2024: NCAA Championship
Omni La Costa Resort and Spa (Champions), Carlsbad, California

And for the men’s top 30 teams and players, click here.

Now, without further ado, let’s get into the big rankings reveal:

2023 NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championship

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - MAY 19: Rachel Heck of the Stanford Cardinal hits out of the bunker during the Division I Women’s Individual Stroke Play Golf Championship at Grayhawk Golf Club on May 19, 2023 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Justin Tafoya/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

NCAA Photos via Getty Images

1. Stanford

Final 2022-23 rank: 1
2023 NCAA Championship finish: Semifinalist (first in stroke play)
Top returners: Rachel Heck (Sr.), Sadie Englemann (Sr.), Megha Ganne (Soph.), Brooke Seay (Gr.), Kelly Xu (Soph.), Carolina Sturdza (Jr.)
Key departures: Rose Zhang
Arriving: Paula Martin Sampedro (Fr.)
Projected starting lineup: Heck, Englemann, Sampedro, Ganne, Seay

Scouting report: It’s a testament to Cardinal head coach Anne Walker and her players that they could lose arguably the greatest college golfer of all-time and still be ranked preseason No. 1. Zhang and her 12 wins in two college seasons, including two NCAA individual titles, has moved on to the LPGA, and Zhang’s departure certainly closes the talent gap between Stanford and the rest of the teams, but the Cardinal are still loaded. Heck battled thoracic outlet syndrome last season, missing all but one round of the spring after having a rib removed, but she bounced back this summer to make the semifinals of the U.S. Women’s Amateur – just days after completing her 17-day field training for Air Force ROTC, too. If Heck is the version of herself that won the Annika Award as a freshman, Stanford is the unquestioned NCAA title favorite once again. Englemann came into her own last season and she had a nice summer, highlighted by a runner-up finish at the Women’s Western Amateur, and Sampedro is the No. 38 amateur in the world. They should both join Heck in the lineup all season, as should Ganne, who is still trying to find more consistency but clearly has the potential to be an All-American as well. There are options to round out the lineup, whether it’s Seay, who is not in the six-player rotation for the fall-opening Carmel Cup, Xu or Sturdza, who has dealt with a back injury the past couple years though will make her season debut at Pebble after a solid summer. Don’t expect anything close to a perfect season, though don’t be surprised if Stanford is not only back in match play at nationals for the ninth straight year but makes a run at NCAA title No. 3.

• • •

The 78th U.S. Women's Open - Round Two

PEBBLE BEACH, CALIFORNIA - JULY 7: Amari Avery of the United States of America on hole 13 during the second round of the 78th U.S. Women’s Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links on July 7, 2023 in Pebble Beach, California. (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)

Getty Images

2. USC

Final 2022-23 rank: 9
2023 NCAA Championship finish: Runner-up (fifth in stroke play)
Top returners: Amari Avery (Jr.), Catherine Park (Soph.), Brianna Navarrosa (Sr.), Cindy Kou (Jr.), Christine Wang (Sr.), Michaela Morard (Gr.), Joyce Jin (Jr.)
Key departures: Malia Nam
Arriving: Bailey Shoemaker (Fr.), Francis Kim (Fr.)
Projected starting lineup: Avery, Park, Shoemaker, Navarrosa, Kou

Scouting report: There were some bumps along the way for the Trojans last season, but in the end they advanced to the NCAA final before falling to Wake Forest – and that was with Avery struggling following a 14-club-and-ball equipment change (five finishes outside the top 20 in the spring). Avery’s ball-striking slump – she lost the ability to cut it like she normally does – appears to be over, though, after she was T-48 at the U.S. Women’s Open and made match play at the U.S. Women’s Amateur. She’ll go through Q-School, but as of now, she’s planning on a full season at USC. If Avery is indeed staying, the Trojans could have a super dangerous top three that also includes Park, a flusher’s favorite flusher who had three top-3s in her last four spring starts and was medalist at the Women’s Western Amateur, and Shoemaker, who eschewed a heavy amateur schedule this summer and posted three top-30s on the Epson Tour before reaching the Round of 16 at the U.S. Women’s Am. Navarrosa had some ball-striking issues last season as well, but she stepped up at nationals, beating Rose Zhang in the semifinals, and head coach Justin Silverstein says of Navarrosa, “Her best is as good as anyone.” The same could be said of Kou, who was a world-beater as a junior and early on in college before a swing change caused her game to regress. She’s returned to instructor George Pinnell, who also works with Zhang, and she’s showing some signs of getting back to her elite form. Wang is as good as any sixth man in the country, and she’s rededicated herself to the game the past six months or so, and Kim, though overshadowed by Shoemaker, has a high ceiling. Stanford might be No. 1 right now, but USC is very capable of unseating its rival.

• • •

AIG Women's Open - Day One

TADWORTH, ENGLAND - AUGUST 10: Amateur, Ingrid Lindblad of Sweden plays her second shot on the 8th hole on Day One of the AIG Women’s Open at Walton Heath Golf Club on August 10, 2023 in Tadworth, England. (Photo by Oisin Keniry/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)

R&A via Getty Images

3. LSU

Final 2022-23 rank: 4
2023 NCAA Championship finish: T-14
Top returners: Ingrid Lindblad (Gr.), Latanna Stone (Gr.), Carla Tejedo (Sr.), Aine Donegan (Jr.), Edit Hertzman (Soph.), Taylor Riley (Soph.)
Key departures: Alden Wallace, Jessica Bailey
Arriving: Jordan Fischer (Fr.)
Projected starting lineup: Lindblad, Stone, Tejedo, Donegan, Fischer

Scouting report: Tigers head coach Garrett Runion received amazing news – twice – as Lindblad and Stone have decided to stay for the entirety of their COVID years. Lindblad is the program’s greatest player of all-time with 11 wins among 33 top-10s, and should she stay at No. 1 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking by season’s end, she’ll get a ticket to Q-Series in 2024. “She wants to win a national championship, as a team and individually,” Runion said of Lindblad, a semifinalist at the Women’s British Amateur and solo third at the European Ladies this summer. Stone also had had an excellent break, highlighted by a runner-up finish at the U.S. Women’s Amateur, and she’s poised to build off a two-win senior campaign. Tejedo was a bit inconsistent last season, though some personal stuff affected her play; she was top 10 at the European Ladies, however, and could easily break through as an All-American this season. Donegan had a breakout summer, winning 2.5 points at the Vagliano Trophy, including a win over Lindblad in singles, and leading the U.S. Women’s Open after 18 holes before ending up T-45. If her putter gets better, Donegan could also be an All-American. The fifth spot will be up for grabs with Fischer, the first amateur to win the Florida Women’s Open, a candidate along with Hertzman, who showed flashes last year, and Riley, who made the Round of 16 at the U.S. Women’s Amateur this summer. LSU has consistently been one of the top teams the past few seasons, and though they’ve yet to make match play at the NCAA Championship, they were one of just five teams to make the top-15 cut all three years at Grayhawk while also being the only team to win at least one match at SECs the past three years (they have one conference title to show for it). “I don’t want a good team; I want a good program,” Runion said. “And to have a good program, you need to be consistent and be around it. … Coming up short a little bit, but the consistency I’m very proud of.”

• • •

R&A Women's Amateur Championship - Day Two

SANDWICH, ENGLAND - JUNE 16: Cayetana Fernandez Garcia-Poggio of Spain looks on during Round Four on Day Two of the R&A Women’s Amateur Championship at Prince’s Golf Club on June 16, 2023 in Sandwich, England. (Photo by Tom Dulat/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)

R&A via Getty Images

4. Texas A&M

Final 2022-23 rank: 5
2023 NCAA Championship finish: Semifinalist (seventh in stroke play)
Top returners: Jennie Park (Gr.), Adela Cernousek (Jr.), Zoe Slaughter (Jr.), Blanca Fernandez Garcia-Poggio (Gr.), Mia Nixon (Soph.)
Key departures: Hailee Cooper
Arriving: Cayetana Fernandez Garcia-Poggio (Fr.), Sky Sudberry (Fr.)
Projected starting lineup: C. Fernandez Garcia-Poggio, Park, Cernousek, Slaughter, B. Fernandez Garcia-Poggio

Scouting report: There’s no more speculation on whether the Aggies are for real or not. Two straight NCAA semifinal appearances under now-third-year coach Gerrod Chadwell have left no doubt, and Texas A&M could be even better this season after adding the No. 2 amateur in the world, Cata Fernandez Garcia-Poggio, the younger sister of Blanca, who Chadwell expects to be pushed by finally having her sister as a teammate. Cata was fourth at the Augusta National Women’s Amateur last April and made the Round of 16 at the Women’s British Amateur, and it’s likely she immediately contends for individual titles and awards. Gone is Cooper, Chadwell’s only team captain of his coaching career, and her leadership as the glue of the team will be sorely missed. Chadwell has a ton of talent – Park is on the All-American radar and advanced to Stage II of LPGA Q-School, but she’s deferring no matter what status she earns; Cernousek has had a nice last few months with top-15s at regionals and nationals, plus a top-10 at the European Ladies; and Slaughter possesses lots of firepower, though she’s still learning how to harness it better. But with that supreme talent comes new distractions – non-college tournament starts, NIL, etc. Chadwell knows some of the challenges will be uncharted territory, but it’s not like this team has feared those unfamiliar, big moments the past couple years, and by May they could be humming. “We’re going to have people going everywhere,” Chadwell said. “… We’re going to have to manage and coach more individuals, at least until we get to the spring and we have some harmony and everyone together more.”

• • •

NCAA Women’s Golf Division One Championships

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA - MAY 22: Rachel Kuehn of the Wake Forest Deacons plays a tee shot on the first hole during the NCAA women’s Golf Championships at Grayhawk Golf Club on May 22, 2023 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Getty Images

5. Wake Forest

Final 2022-23 rank: 2
2023 NCAA Championship finish: Champion (third in stroke play)
Top returners: Rachel Kuehn (Gr.), Carolina Chacarra (Jr.), Mimi Rhodes (Sr.), Anne-Sterre den Dunnen (Soph.)
Key departures: Emilia Migliaccio, Lauren Walsh
Arriving: Macy Pate (Fr.), Brooke Rivers (Fr.)
Projected starting lineup: Kuehn, Chacarra, Rhodes, den Dunnen, Pate

Scouting report: Two days after winning the NCAA Championship, Wake coaches Kim Lewellen and Ryan Potter were already looking ahead. “It’s such a good feeling that you want to do it more, and it’s so hard to do,” Potter said. “We’re always thinking about the next steps, and certainly we understand that it’s going to be different this year because we have one, and it’s in the back of our minds, and we have expectations to deal with.” Even with Migliaccio and Walsh gone, there’s still more than enough left in the cabinet to make another NCAA title run. It all starts with Kuehn, an Annika Award contender who many consider to be the best putter in college golf. She got a little loose with her swing last season, yet she still won twice among eight top-10s. Chacarra is another special player, and if she continues to believe it more, she could be player of the year. Rhodes was a pleasant surprise at Grayhawk last spring, as the relatively quiet No. 5 player overcame dehydration to go 3-0 in match play. There are three players for the final two lineup spots, as Lewellen has the smallest roster she’s had at Wake (six players). Den Dunnen is a tall and athletic player from the Netherlands, and she’s won some smaller amateur stuff in Europe, but she’s still fairly raw. Pate is a local kid who reminds Potter a lot of Kuehn as a high-schooler, and she won the North and South Junior this summer. Rivers was runner-up at the Canadian Women’s Amateur last month. To steal a page for Stanford’s book, Potter adds, “We’re not trying to defend; we’re just trying to get better.”

• • •


6. Oregon

Final 2022-23 rank: 8
2023 NCAA Championship finish: DNQ
Top returners: Briana Chacon (Gr.), Ashleigh Park (Sr.), Ching-Tzu Chen (Gr.), Minori Nagano (Sr.), Anika Varma (Soph.)
Key departures: Cynthia Lu, Brittany Shin (transferred to UCF)
Arriving: Kiara Romero (Fr.), Ting-Hsuan Huang (Fr.), Karen Tsuru (Fr.), Sonja Tang (Jr., transferred from St. Michaels)
Projected starting lineup: Romero, Huang, Chacon, Park, Chen

Scouting report: Ducks head coach Derek Radley gets sick just thinking about what happened last May as Oregon, a year after being the national runner-up, failed to qualify for the NCAA Championship with a 10th-place regional finish. It was a disaster, and now the Ducks must replace All-American Cynthia Lu, but as Radley has told his current players, “We talked about it a lot, like, hey, throughout the season is important, but those three days, you gotta go get through it and you gotta fight.” Expect a lot of fight out of Oregon, which adds two stud freshmen: U.S. Girls’ Junior champ Kiara Romero, who is a physical unicorn at 5-foot-10 and wears a size 10 shoes and men’s medium glove; and Ting-Hsuan Huang, a past winner of the Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific who signed with Oregon after de-committing late from UCLA. Chacon is this team’s veteran leader, ranked just outside the top 100 in WAGR, and she didn’t have a great senior year, but she did post top-20s at conference and nationals. Park is another strong piece. She posted five top-12s in her first six starts last season after transferring from Texas, but after a T-4 at the Darius Rucker, she dropped a 30-pound dumbbell on her left ring finger and fractured it. She missed Pac-12s and wasn’t the same for regionals (T-56), but she’s fully healthy again. Chen is a mystery, as she slumped hard aside from a runner-up at Palos Verdes last spring, but she made match play at Bel-Air and could round out a very formidable top five. If not, Radley has some options with 10 total players on the roster, including Nagano, who qualified for the U.S. Women’s Open this summer but still needs to find some consistency after going from D-II to D-I last season. Radley was an assistant at Arizona when the Wildcats won the 2018 NCAA Championship, a year after failing to get out of regionals. “I think there’s something to that,” Radley said, “and when I told the girls that they got pretty excited.”

• • •

2022 NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championship

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - MAY 20: Bentley Cotton of the Texas Longhorns hits an approach shot during the Division I Womens Golf Championship held at the Grayhawk Golf Club on May 20, 2022 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by C. Morgan Engel/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

NCAA Photos via Getty Images

7. Texas

Final 2022-23 rank: 7
2023 NCAA Championship finish: Quarterfinalist (second in stroke play)
Top returners: Bentley Cotton (Sr.), Bohyun Park (Jr.), Angela Heo (Soph.), Cindy Hsu (Soph.), Tiffany Cao (Jr.), Emily Odwin (Soph.)
Key departures: Sophie Guo
Arriving: Lauren Kim (Fr.), Farah O’Keefe (Fr.), Selina Liao (Fr.)
Projected starting lineup: Cotton, Park, Heo, Kim, Hsu

Scouting report: Unlike some of the other top-10 teams, Texas doesn’t have a clear-cut All-American. But that’s no issue at all as the Longhorns didn’t a year ago and still made the quarterfinals of the NCAA Championship. Cotton played every event as a junior and notched six top-25s, and after a summer where she made match play at the North and South, Western and U.S. Women’s Amateur, she’s a prime candidate to break out and lead this squad, especially if her putting and wedge play keep getting better. Park has plummeted in WAGR, from No. 20 to No. 94, but there’s no denying her talent when she’s on. Heo arrived on campus last fall shooting mid-80s in qualifying, but eventually she caught fire and had a couple top-6s, including at regionals. Hsu and Odwin has some experience, but neither have had strong summers, so there’s some expectation for the freshmen to make immediate impacts. Liao used to be the top-ranked player in this Longhorns’ class, but Kim and O’Keefe have both played much better of late, especially Kim, who is up to No. 61 in WAGR and won the Canadian Women’s Amateur this summer while reaching the quarters of the U.S. Girls’ Junior and qualifying for the U.S. Women’s Open. With so much balance, Texas’ top five will be hard to predict a times. “But if we improve putting across the board,” head coach Ryan Murphy said, “then we’re going to be really competitive every time we play.”


2022 NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championship

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - MAY 22: Ashley Menne of the Arizona State Sun Devils tees off during the Division I Women’s Golf Championship held at the Grayhawk Golf Club on May 22, 2022 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by C. Morgan Engel/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

NCAA Photos via Getty Images

8. Arizona State

Final 2022-23 rank: 11
2023 NCAA Championship finish: DNQ
Top returners: Ashley Menne (Sr.), Grace Summerhays (Jr.), Beth Coulter (Soph.), Paula Schulz-Hanssen (Soph.), Patience Rhodes (Fr.), Calynne Rosholt (Jr.)
Key departures: Amanda Linner (transferred to Florida Atlantic)
Arriving: None
Projected starting lineup: Menne, Summerhays, Coulter, Schulz-Hanssen, Rhodes

Scouting report: Sun Devils head coach Missy Farr-Kaye started a text chat last season for only her and her three true freshmen, Coulter, Schulz-Hanssen and Rhodes. She called the chat, “Freshies.” That name could’ve summed up her whole squad, which posted a handful of top-3 finishes last season but ultimately fell victim to its youth down the stretch at the NCAA Raleigh Regional, going from second after 36 holes to seventh thanks to a poor final 10 holes to miss out on the NCAA Championship. Basically, the same team of six is back, led by Menne, a three-time All-American who continues to gain confidence though still has some room to grow in that category. Summerhays arrived early two Januarys ago, and her background and work ethic explains why she keeps shooting up the rankings; she had four top-10s last season and then qualified for the U.S. Women’s Open this summer before a runner-up finish at the Utah Women’s Amateur. Of the now-sophomores, who by the way insisted that they still be called “Freshies,” Coulter is on the fastest track to stardom, with a couple seconds at the Irish Girls and Irish Women’s championships, a quarters appearance at the Women’s British Amateur and a top-10 at the European Ladies. Schulz-Hanssen is an elite athlete who at one point was No. 16 in WAGR (she’s now No. 101), and she’s slowly getting back her swagger from her junior days. Rhodes battled some injuries and redshirted last season, but the one they call “Barbie” is going to play a lot this season after a resurgent summer that was highlighted by a win at the St. Rule Trophy. Rosholt will get a chance as well to regain the form she had as a freshman with ASU often traveling six players to events. With the pressure of hosting nationals gone, this still-young-at-heart Sun Devils squad is eager to stand out. “This group is a lot of fun,” Farr-Kaye said, “and I think now they’re wiser and have a little more belief in themselves, and they’ve seen what it takes to be an All-American, how good you have to be to play the tour. They all have big goals and dreams, and I think they’ll really be settled into what they’re trying to accomplish.”

• • •


9. Auburn

Final 2022-23 rank: 19
2023 NCAA Championship finish: DNQ
Top returners: Megan Schofill (Gr.), Anna Foster (Sr.), Casey Weidenfeld (Soph.), Katie Cranston (Soph.), Carys Worby (Soph.)
Key departures: Elina Sinz (transferred to Alabama)
Arriving: Ami Gianchandani (Gr., transferred from Yale)
Projected starting lineup: Schofill, Foster, Weidenfeld, Cranston, Gianchandani

Scouting report: Auburn had its moments last season, routing Texas A&M, 5-0, to win the East Lake Cup, winning again at the shortened Liz Murphey and then finishing second in SEC stroke play. But the Tigers couldn’t orchestrate another magical postseason rally at regionals, finishing sixth and falling a spot short of getting to Grayhawk a year after being a national semifinalist. The good news is that only Sinz is gone, and Schofill enters her final season on the heels of winning the U.S. Women’s Amateur. Foster had a quiet summer, though she did qualify for the AIG Women’s Open, and she should be a mainstay for head coach Melissa Luellen. Weidenfeld is a gamer who love match play and really came into her own this summer by winning at least one match at the North and South, Western and U.S. Women’s Amateur. Cranston, solid after arriving last January, also won a match at Bel-Air, and Ivy Leaguer Gianchandani recently won the New Jersey Women’s Amateur and should be a regular starter until January when Auburn is expected to add top junior Anna Davis, the former ANWA champ who is ranked fourth in WAGR and recently made the quarters at the U.S. Women’s Amateur. With Davis in the fold, Auburn goes from a top-10 team to maybe one of the best few, especially in match play.


Women's and Men's Home Internationals - Final Day

LLANELLI, WALES - AUGUST 11: Lottie Woad of England walks off the 1st green during the foursomes matches on the final day of the Women’s and Men’s Home Internationals at Machynys Peninsula Golf & Country Club on August 11, 2023 in Llanelli, Wales. (Photo by Alex Burstow/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)

R&A via Getty Images

10. Florida State

Final 2022-23 rank: 10
2023 NCAA Championship finish: Quarterfinalist (sixth in stroke play)
Top returners: Charlotte Heath (Sr.), Lottie Woad (Soph.), Alice Hodge (Sr.), Kaylah Williams (Jr.), Katherine Cook (Soph.), Madison Hewlett (Soph.)
Key departures: Amelia Williamson
Arriving: Mirabel Ting (Soph., transferred from Augusta), Bella Bugg (Fr.)
Projected starting lineup: Heath, Woad, Hodge, Williams, Cook

Scouting report: If there’s one team that will be sad to leave Grayhawk, it’s Florida State, which got better every year in the desert and on the backs of precision play made match play each of the past two seasons at the NCAA Championship. Williamson will be a big loss, but the Seminoles still have arguably the best one-two punch in the country in Heath and Woad, who were both first-team All-Americans last season while combining for three wins and 16 total top-10s. With that kind of contribution at the top, head coach Amy Bond doesn’t need a ton of depth – and she might not have much this fall anyway. Hewlett is out for the fall because of injury, and Ting, a transfer from Augusta State who had six top-7s in her debut college semester last spring, is still trying to get eligible after entering the portal just hours before the deadline this summer. Once she arrives, the Seminoles might have the best top three in the nation as well. In the interim, Bond will hope to get a lot out of Hodge, a consistent piece but not flashy, and Williams, who played the postseason last spring but didn’t crack the top 35 at regionals or nationals. But luckily for FSU, NCAA titles aren’t won in November, and by May the Seminoles will be more than fine and ready to qualify for a third straight NCAA match play.

• • •

The Vagliano Trophy - Day Two

DORNOCH, SCOTLAND - JULY 1: Hannah Darling of Team Great Britain and Ireland tees off at the 14th hole on Day Two of the Vagliano Trophy at Royal Dornoch Golf Club on July 1, 2023 in Dornoch, Scotland. (Photo by Ross Parker/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)

R&A via Getty Images

Nos. 11-30

11. South Carolina: The Gamecocks finally broke through and reached match play at the NCAA Championship last spring before falling to eventual national runner-up USC. Two players from that starting squad have departed (Mathilde Claisse graduated and Justin Fournand transferred to Ole Miss), plus sixth woman Katherine Muzi, but with junior and two-time first-team All-American Hannah Darling back to lead the way along with the addition of top-250 amateur freshmen Maylis Lamoure and Vairana Heck (T-6 at European Ladies this summer), the Gamecocks aren’t going anywhere. The only concern is one of their top players, junior Louise Rydqvist, didn’t post a single top-25 in four summer starts, and there isn’t much depth outside the top five.

12. Mississippi State: The Bulldogs will surely miss the most recent graduating class of Hannah Levi, Abbey Daniel and Ashley Gilliam, but when you return one of the Annika Award favorites and add the Women’s British Amateur champ via the portal, it helps soften the blow. Junior Julia Lopez Ramirez followed her three-win freshman season with three more individual titles, including SEC and NCAA regional victories, as a sophomore among nine top-5s. She is a powerful talent that continues to get more consistent on the greens. The Bulldogs also welcome junior transfer Chiara Horder from Texas Tech, who won the Women’s British Am this summer and will be expected to add a ton of leadership. Sophomores Izzy Pellot and Surapa Janthamunee both had their bright spots last season, including late at the NCAA Championship, where Mississippi State placed 14th to cap a four-win season, and the second-year pair will be counted on more this season. The fifth spot could be a revolving door with junior Ana Pina Ortega and freshmen Avery Weed and Samantha Whateley among the candidates. Head coach Charlie Ewing continues to build something special in Starkville, so don’t be surprised if by May the Bulldogs are again battling for a No. 1 regional seed.

13. Ole Miss: After notching 11 top-10s, including a victory, the past two seasons at TCU, junior transfer Caitlyn Macnab is a huge boost to a squad that only lost one starter, Chiara Tamburlini, who was Ole Miss’ low finisher in five of 12 events last season. Six of the other seven were led by Andrea Lignell, who had a breakout junior campaign with two wins and three other top-3 showings. Ole Miss head coach Kory Henkes has options after her top pair, maybe the most the program has ever had, with South Carolina senior transfer Justin Fournand, fellow seniors Elle Johnson and Ellen Hume, junior Natacha Host Husted, sophomore Nicole Gal, and a pair of talented freshmen in Sophie Linder and Filippa Sundquist.

14. Duke: Blue Devils legendary head coach Dan Brooks tapped into the transfer portal this summer and landed Xavier’s Emma McMyler, a top-100 amateur who won four times last season among nine top-10s. Pair her with All-American Phoebe Brinker and her six top-10s, and Duke will do just fine replacing the graduated Erica Shepherd. And with five players ranked No. 177 or better in the world, the Blue Devils are deep as well and should build off a strong postseason last spring in which they went second, second and then 18th at the NCAA Championship.

Women's and Men's Home Internationals - Final Day

LLANELLI, WALES - AUGUST 11: Rosie Belsham of England reacts on the 2nd tee during the foursomes matches on the final day of the Women’s and Men’s Home Internationals at Machynys Peninsula Golf & Country Club on August 11, 2023 in Llanelli, Wales. (Photo by Alex Burstow/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)

R&A via Getty Images

15. Baylor: The Bears had not one but three players break the program’s single-season scoring mark last season – Sera Hasegawa, Rosie Belsham and Silje Ohma. Those three are back, as is senior Britta Snyder, though she has a pair of talented freshmen hot on her heels for a starting spot – Ashleen Kaur, sister of Baylor legend Gurleen Kaur, and Amy Huh. Baylor has made three straight NCAA Championship, though it’s not finished better than 14th. That should change this season.

16. Arizona: It was a quick rebuild for Arizona head coach Laura Ianello, who after losing the Hou sisters midseason the previous year not only led her Wildcats back to the NCAA Championship but to a T-9 finish. Her starting five is back, too, plus Arizona adds freshman and top-150 amateur Charlotte Back from Germany. The team’s top-ranked player, junior Carolina Melgrati, has struggled in recent months, but on the flip side, sophomore Julia Misemer seems poised to break out after qualifying for the U.S. Women’s Open, making match play at the U.S. Women’s Amateur and posting a runner-up in a mini-tour event this summer.

17. Florida: For the third straight season, the Gators failed to advance past the NCAA regional round. And you can bet this year’s squad, which is led by four seniors, is hungry to finally buck that trend. Fifth-year player Annabell Fuller led the Gators last season with a 72.4 scoring average and four top-6 finishes, and she’ll team up with senior Maisie Filler atop the lineup. Expect freshman Ines Archer from France to get some playing time early and often while Georgia Southern transfer Sarunchana Rattanasin gives Florida some much needed depth.

18. UCLA: The Bruins had a rough go of things last season, which culminated in the retirement of longtime head coach Carrie Forsyth and an eighth-place regional finish, which kept them from the NCAA Championship for the first time since 2017. New head coach Alicia Holmes was promoted from assistant, and while she adds four transfers, she still has a talented junior trio to lean on – first-team All-American Zoe Campos, Caroline Canales, who made the Round of 32 at the U.S. Women’s Amateur, and Alessia Nobilio, a former top-35 amateur who recently was runner-up at the Finnish Amateur.

2021 NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championship

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - MAY 24: Celina Sattelkau of the Vanderbilt Commodores hits her second shot during the fourth round of the Division I Women’s Golf Championship held at the Grayhawk Golf Club on May 24, 2021 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Justin Tafoya/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

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19. Vanderbilt: Fifth-year senior and two-time All-American Celina Sattelkau is back after leading the Commodores in scoring (71.2) and top-5s (five). Vanderbilt has four of five back from its starting five for the NCAA Championship, where it finished 27th, and freshmen Sara Im and Ava Merrill will be determined to crack the lineup right away, too.

20. Virginia: The Cavaliers struggled to close out tournaments last season, and as a result didn’t finish in the top two of any stroke-play event. Don’t expect that to happen again, though, as junior Amanda Sambach headlines a squad that returned its five postseason starters. Sambach showed what she’s capable of when she won conference and regional titles last season, while freshman Jaclyn LaHa, a semifinalist at the Women’s Western Amateur, has the potential to slot right in behind Sambach as Virginia’s No. 2.

21. UCF: The Knights were enjoying arguably their best season in program history before a disappointing seventh at regionals. Anna Nordfors has graduated, and Zoe Allaux transferred to East Carolina, but a strong core of seniors Tunrada Piddon and Jess Baker, and sophomore Pimpisa Sisutham return. Plus, head coach Emily Marron added Oregon transfer Brittany Shin and three good freshmen in Katie Poots, Emma Baier and Molly Smith, who has a ton of firepower. There is more than enough talent and depth to get UCF back to the NCAA Championship for the first time since 2019.

22. Pepperdine: Don’t call last season a fluke. The Waves have serious momentum after winning six times, including an NCAA regional, and making the top eight at the NCAA Championship before falling to Stanford. Only Reese Guzman has graduated, and sophomore Jeneath Wong has her sights on first-team All-America honors after posting four top-10s once arriving in Malibu last spring. Senior Leon Higo is a seasoned leader, and while the fifth spot is a question mark for now, there is potential for yet another midseason arrival to bolster another Pepperdine postseason run.

Augusta National Women's Amateur - Final Round

AUGUSTA, GEORGIA - APRIL 03: Caterina Don of Italy putts on the second green during the final round of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur at Augusta National Golf Club on April 03, 2021 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

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23. Georgia: The Bulldogs underwent a major roster makeover during the offseason with six of nine players on the roster new to the team and five experienced players having moved on, most notably first-team All-America Jenny Bae, who has already won twice on the Epson Tour. Head coach Josh Brewer knows this team will have to build a good amount of chemistry, but the Bulldogs certainly have a solid mix of talent, including New Mexico graduate transfer Napat Lertsadwattana and fellow fifth-year player Caterina Don. The big news with this team will be the January arrival of No. 44 amateur Savannah de Bock of Germany, who should instantly become Georgia’s top Dawg.

24. San Jose State: The Spartans backed up an NCAA quarterfinal appearance two years ago nicely by getting back to nationals and finishing T-16 with two players, Lucia Lopez Ortega (T-2) and Kajsa Arwefjall (T-18) making the final round. Ortega, a junior – and future doctor – who might be the longest player, pound for pound, in women’s college golf, and Arewjall, No. 35 in WAGR, are back to lead head coach Dana Dormann’s squad, which did lose Antonia Malate to graduation. The issue last postseason was the back end, and it’s still a slight question, though sophomore Rebecca Gyllner, redshirt freshman Darae Chung and freshman Tessa Kremser all have high ceilings.

25. Clemson: On the heels of an ACC Championship-winning season and trip to nationals for just the second time in school history, the Tigers return all five starters, led by graduate student Savannah Grewal, who posted the best scoring average in program history last season (71.77), and senior Annabelle Pancake, who led the Tigers with four top-10s, including a win, as a junior.

26. Texas Tech: After finishing in the top 10 six times as a freshman last season, Shannon Tan won the Singapore Ladies Masters, a pro event, this summer and enters the fall as the Red Raiders’ unquestioned star. Head coach JoJo Robertson has a solid supporting cast, too, especially with the addition of freshman Klara Hurtova, this summer’s Czech International Junior champ. There shouldn’t be much issue getting over an eighth at Big 12s and a missed NCAA Championship last season.

Augusta National Women's Amateur - Round Two

EVANS, GEORGIA - MARCH 30: Maria Jose Marin of Colombia plays her tee shot on the 12th hole during the second round of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur at Champions Retreat Golf Course on March 30, 2023 in Evans, Georgia. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

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27. Arkansas: Incoming freshman Maria Jose Marin, the No. 32 amateur in the world, has won seven times this year in South America, and she’s instantly the Razorbacks’ top All-American threat. Graduate student Kajal Mistry is the top returner, though keep an eye on junior Cory Lopez, who missed all last season with a right-shoulder injury but if healthy can be a strong piece for head coach Shauna Estes-Taylor.

28. Iowa State: There were a lot of things that went right for the Cyclones last season – shooting an NCAA-record 60 under as a team, boasting a first-team All-American in freshman Karisa Chul-Ak-Sorn and making a 13th straight NCAA regional. However, Iowa State finished sixth at regionals to fall a spot short of an NCAA Championship berth. Head coach Christie Martens had her No. 4 player graduate, but she added No. 282 amateur Keely Marx from Australia and Sacramento State transfer Tess Blair. With six players on the roster, there isn’t much margin for error, but the starting five could be really good.

29. Michigan State: Despite an emotional spring that included the departure of top player Valery Plata midseason and a tragic shooting on campus, the Spartans stuck together, won a regional and ended up T-18 at the NCAA Championship. Everyone is back this season, including junior Brooke Biermann, and seniors Valentina Rossi and Leila Raines, who combined for 11 top-20s a season ago. Also, keep an eye on freshman Ana Sofia Murcia of Colombia, who has been overshadowed by countrywoman Maria Jose Marin but could push Michigan State into the top 20 with a breakout freshman campaign.

30. Alabama: Benedetta Moresco leaving school early is a huge hit to the Crimson Tide, but head coach Mic Potter did add a trio of likely starters in 2022 AJGA Player of the Year Kaitlyn Schroeder, fellow freshman Harriet Lockley of England and Auburn transfer Elina Sinz. For a program that didn’t finish better than ninth last spring, there is a lot of room for improvement, but if sophomore Kynadie Adams can build off two top-10s as a freshman, Alabama could surprise.

• • •

Top 30 teams

1. Stanford
2. USC
3. LSU
4. Texas A&M
5. Wake Forest
6. Oregon
7. Texas
8. Arizona State
9. Auburn
10. Florida State
11. South Carolina
12. Mississippi State
13. Ole Miss
14. Duke
15. Baylor
16. Arizona
17. Florida
18. UCLA
19. Vanderbilt
20. Virginia
21. UCF
22. Pepperdine
23. Georgia
24. San Jose State
25. Clemson
26. Texas Tech
27. Arkansas
28. Iowa State
29. Michigan State
30. Alabama

Next five: 31. Kentucky, 32. Oklahoma State, 33. Northwestern, 34. Ohio State, 35. Cal

• • •

AIG Women's Open - Day Four

TADWORTH, ENGLAND - AUGUST 13: Amateur, Julia Lopez Ramirez of Spain looks across the 10th green on Day Four of the AIG Women’s Open at Walton Heath Golf Club on August 13, 2023 in Tadworth, England. (Photo by Cliff Hawkins/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)

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Top 30 players


1. Ingrid Lindblad, Gr., LSU
2. Rachel Kuehn, Gr., Wake Forest
3. Julia Lopez Ramirez, Jr., Mississippi State
4. Amari Avery, Jr., USC
5. Rachel Heck, Sr., Stanford
6. Cayetana Fernandez Garcia-Poggio, Fr., Texas A&M
7. Hannah Darling, Jr., South Carolina
8. Charlotte Heath, Gr., Florida State
9. Lottie Woad, Soph., Florida State
10. Megan Schofill, Gr., Auburn

11. Amanda Sambach, Jr., Virginia
12. Latanna Stone, Gr., LSU
13. Carolina Lopez-Chacarra, Jr., Wake Forest
14. Andrea Lignell, Sr., Ole Miss
15. Maddison Hinson-Tolchard, Oklahoma State
16. Caitlyn Macnab, Gr., Ole Miss
17. Jennie Park, Gr., Texas A&M
18. Kajsa Arwefjall, Gr., San Jose State
19. Catherine Park, Soph., USC
20. Kiara Romero, Fr., Oregon

21. Paula Martin Sampedro, Fr., Stanford
22. Zoe Campos, Jr., UCLA
23. Jeneath Wong, Soph., Pepperdine
24. Caley McGinty, Sr., Ohio State
25. Bailey Shoemaker, Fr., USC
26. Jensen Castle, Gr., Kentucky
27. Sadie Englemann, Sr., Stanford
28. Ting-Hsuan Huang, Fr., Oregon
29. Mirabel Ting, Soph., Florida State*
30. Maria Jose Marin, Fr., Arkansas

Next five: 31. Phoebe Brinker, Sr., Duke; 32. Shannon Tan, Soph., Texas Tech; 33. Laney Frye, Sr., Kentucky; 34. Ashley Menne, Sr., Arizona State; 35. Bentley Cotton, Sr., Texas

*likely not eligible until January