JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Oct. 23, 2010) - The ETSU men's golf team will conclude the fall season beginning on Sunday at one of the premier events in college golf, The United States Collegiate Championship. The event, at The Golf Club of Georgia, enters its fifth year of competition, with the Bucs making their fourth appearance.
Hosted by Georgia Tech and often called "the Masters of college golf," the USCC begins Sunday with 15 of the nation's top college teams playing the first of three tournament rounds, beginning at 9 a.m.
The Bucs are coming off an 8th place finish at the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate at The Ridges last weekend. They were led by juniors Peter Wilson (Locust Valley, N.Y.) and Devin Komline (Dorset, Vt.) as both tied for 16th place individually at 1-over par. Senior Paul O'Kane (Castledawson, Northern Ireland), sophomore Patrick Spraggs (Rochford, England) and freshman Spencer Lawson (Raleigh, N.C.) will join Wilson and Komline in the starting lineup at the U.S. Collegiate Championship.
The tournament typically brings future stars of the PGA Tour to The Golf Club of Georgia. Among the past participants are Rickie Fowler, who went from the 2009 USCC with Oklahoma State to the 2010 U.S. Ryder Cup team; Nationwide Tour standouts Jamie Lovemark (Southern Cal), Chris Kirk (Georgia) and Roberto Castro (Georgia Tech); and Rhys Davies (East Tennessee State) and Joel Sjoholm (Georgia State), who have earned victories playing as professionals in Europe.
The USCC was moved to the fall predominantly for better weather, but also to separate it from the club's other major event, The Georgia Cup, which annually brings together the reigning United States and British Amateur Champions for a charity match the week before the Masters.
Defending champion Clemson, which also won in 2006, joins the Yellow Jackets in a USCC field that includes 2009 NCAA Champion Texas A&M, 2008 USCC Champion Southern California, UCLA, Washington, California, South Carolina, Florida State, Virginia, Duke, Wake Forest, ETSU, Kent State and Georgia State.
Unlike any other tournament in college golf, the USCC features caddies for every player and an intimate fan opportunity to walk behind the players in the fairway, with no gallery ropes, in the style of the U.S. Amateur and Walker Cup. Also, in 2010 the tournament features Corporate Skyboxes around the 18th green, a first for college golf.
The USCC is televised by Comcast Sports Southeast, which serves more than 6 million households in 13 states. The date of the replay broadcast will be announced at a later day.
Teams that competed in 2009 will see some other changes this year - even beyond dry fall weather more conducive to firm, fast conditions.
The Golf Club of Georgia's practice facility has been expanded, adding 45 yards in length, a 8,000-square foot, 360-degree chipping green and more than twice the previous teeing area. Also, the Lakeside Course's par-3, 17th hole, which is guarded closely by a pond and previously played at 226 yards from the championship tee, can now be stretched to about 245 yards. New back hole locations have been added since the 17th green was extended by about 2,000 square feet last year and reshaped.
Three-day tickets are available to the public at The Golf Club of Georgia for a $20 donation to the tournament's charities - the Folds of Honor Foundation, which provides scholarships to the children of U.S. military persons killed in action, and the Georgia State Golf Foundation. Parking is available just minutes from The Golf Club of Georgia, with free shuttles to the Clubhouse. Tournament information can be found on www.TheUSCC.org. Live scoring information can be found at GolfStat.com.
The Lakeside Course, named "Best New Private Course in America" by Golf Digest in 1991, plays to 7,017 yards and a par-72.
The Golf Club of Georgia is a private, member-owned club north of Atlanta featuring two championship Arthur Hills-designed courses, Lakeside and Creekside, which was completed in 1993.
The Golf Club of Georgia also has hosted the Georgia Amateur, the NCAA East Regional Championship and U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying.