PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 2, 2014) – The ETSU men’s golf team opens its 2014 season Monday morning as the Bucs gear up for the Sea Best Invitational, which is hosted by Jacksonville University at the PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass.
LAST TIME OUT FOR THE BUCS
The Bucs were last in action back in November when the Blue and Gold tied for 10th at the Warrior Princeville Makai Invitational.
ETSU, who posted a team score of 12-under-par 852 (280-284-288), were led by sophomore Adrian Meronk (Wroclaw, Poland). Meronk finish tied for 20th at 5-under 211 (69-72-70), marking the second time the Polish standout led ETSU in scoring in the fall season.
ABOUT THE TOURNAMENT
The two-day tournament will be held at TPC Sawgrass on the historic PLAYERS Stadium Course in Ponte Vedra, Fla. on a par-72, 6,977-yard layout.
The first two rounds will begin with a shotgun start Monday at 8:00 a.m. The tournament will conclude on Tuesday morning starting at eight.
Tennessee returns to defend its title as the Volunteers defeated Texas A&M by four strokes in 2013, 879-883.
ETSU placed sixth in the tournament last year and won the Sea Best Invitational back in 2010. Meronk tied for third a year ago with a three-round score of 3-over-par (71-74-74—219), while fellow sophomore Chris Hickman (Centreville, Md.) – who shot a 1-under 71 in the final round – finished in a four-way tie for ninth at 7-over 223.
Joining ETSU and Jacksonville are Cal Poly, East Carolina, Florida Atlantic, Florida, Florida Gulf Coast, Jacksonville State, Liberty, North Florida, Old Dominion, Pepperdine, Tennessee, Texas A&M, USC-Upstate and Winthrop.
The 16-team field features four teams ranked in the top-50 of the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings. Texas A&M enters the week fifth, Liberty is 36th, Tennessee is 46th, and the Buccaneers are 48th.
ABOUT THE COURSE
From the initial idea by former PGA TOUR Commissioner Deane R. Beman, the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass was built in 1982 to host THE PLAYERS Championship and be the permanent Home of THE PLAYERS Championship. As the first true “Stadium Course,” it was designed to improve the overall on-site fan experience. Finally, the Stadium Course would be a championship-caliber course accessible to all golf fans.
Working with renowned golf course architect Pete Dye, Commissioner Deane Beman created a course design that favored no particular player or style of play. The result is a truly balanced course. Players find a selection of short, medium and long holes within the categories of par-3s, par-4s and par-5s; both right and left doglegs; and a course routing laid out so no two consecutive holes ever play in the same direction. With its signature island green on the par-3, 17th hole being one of the most recognized in golf, this legendary track has captured the imagination of golf fans all over the world and is consistently named among the top golf courses worldwide. While the 17th hole gets a lot of attention, the 18th hole on this golf course – a 462-yard, par 4 guarded by water down the left side, is a formidable finishing hole.
While championship tees stretch the Stadium Course to 7,215 yards, there are three other yardage options to suit your game. The blue tees measure 6,661 yards and the white tees are at 6,103. A blended tee option at 6,402 yards offers a nice compromise. The forward, or ladies’ tees are at 5,109 yards.
The Stadium Course has been honored by multiple golf publications as a top golf destination. Golf Digest ranked it 41st among “America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses for 2011-2012” and ranked the Stadium Course 9th overall among “America’s 100 Greatest Public Golf Courses” in 2011-2012. Golfweek ranked the Stadium Course the No. 1 “Best Course You Can Play in the State of Florida”.
(Information provided by TPC.com)
Joining Meronk and Hickman are Rhys Pugh (Pontypridd, Wales), Gudmundur Kristjansson (Reykjavik, Iceland), and Mateusz Gradecki (Oborniki Śląskie, Poland).
The Bucs are scheduled to tee off from No. 4 on Monday at 8:30 a.m. ETSU is paired with Texas A&M and Liberty.
Live scoring of the tournament can be accessed via GolfStat.com.
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For more information on Buccaneer men’s golf, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s golf page.