JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. (Oct. 11, 2012) – After nearly a three week lay-off, the ETSU men’s golf team returns to action when the Bucs host the 15th annual Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate at Blackthorn Club this weekend. The tournament begins Friday morning and ends Sunday with 18-holes being played each day at the 7,147-yard, par-72 course.
This year’s field includes five teams ranked in the top-50 of the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings. The ranked teams consist of No. 20 Wake Forest, No. 23 Missouri, No. 31 Tennessee, No. 39 Coastal Carolina, and No. 40 Virginia Tech, while Army, Furman, Memphis, Penn State, Pepperdine, UNC-Wilmington, and Virginia join the host Buccaneers in the 13-team field.
Kent State won last year’s tournament over 2010 champion Virginia by seven strokes, 869 to 876, while Missouri’s Jace Long returns to defend his individual title. Long, the 10th ranked individual in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings, shot a 2-under-par 214 en route to claiming a share of the championship with North Carolina State’s Mark McMillen.
Last year, ETSU was led by Rhys Pugh (Pontypridd, Wales) and Rhys Enoch (Cornwall, England) as the Buccaneer duo tied for 18th, while Scott Gibson (Southerness, Scotland) tied for 35th.
Pugh and Gibson join freshmen Chris Hickman (Centreville, Md.), Gudmundur Kristjansson (Reykjavik, Iceland), and Adrian Meronk (Wroclaw, Poland) in ETSU’s team lineup this weekend. Meanwhile, sophomores Tom Heggarty (Cheshire, England) and Justin Hulbert (Orlando, Fla.) will compete as individuals.
Meronk and Pugh are coming off performances at 2012 World Amateur Team Championship last weekend in Turkey. The Buccaneer freshman registered a 65 in the final round on Sunday en route to finishing tied for seventh after carding a 7-under 207 in the three-round tournament. Pugh shot a 1-over 72 in Sunday’s final round and finished in a three-way tie for 145th. Pugh opened the season with a ninth-place showing at the Tar Heel Intercollegiate, whereas, Kristjansson led the Blue and Gold after tying for sixth in Chapel Hill, N.C.
The resume of former competitors in the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate includes PGA Tour and European Tour winners such as Lucas Glover (Clemson), Camillo Villegas (Florida), David Gossett (Texas), Anthony Kim (Oklahoma), Luke Donald (Northwestern), Jonathan Byrd (Clemson), D.J. Trahan (Clemson), Matt Kuchar (Georgia Tech), Carl Pettersson (N.C. State), and Graeme McDowell (UAB).
The tournament begins at 8:30 a.m. Friday with each player beginning on the first hole. ETSU – who is paired up with Wake Forest and Missouri – tees off at 11:50 a.m.
Live scoring for the tournament will be available at GolfStat.com or by visiting ETSUBucs.com and clicking on the live stats link.
Blackthorn Club Golf Course was designed by Arthur Hills, twice named Golf Digest’s “Architect of the Year” and one of the top five course designers in the country. Hills drapes his courses around a simple idea--to capture the beauty of a place, not alter it.
Across the graceful landscape of Blackthorn Club, Hills has drawn on this same sensibility to lay out a masterpiece of hole-to-hole variety----what he calls “a golfer’s delight.” Like every great course, Blackthorn Club gives the golfer drama and excitement. You encounter water on seven holes, magnificent views and heart-pounding approach shots to the greens. For instance, hole #8, where golfers can play “safe” to the right side of Boones Creek or try to carry the green in two by flying over the water twice.
So it’s a course that is absolutely designed to be fun, regardless of the level of ability. Then again, there’s an ever-present temptation to “go for it.”
Official Tournament Name: Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate @ Blackthorn Club
Host School: East Tennessee State University
Location: Jonesborough, Tenn.
Dates: Oct. 12-14
Course: Blackthorn Club at The Ridges
Par/Yardage: 72 / 7,147-yards
Format: 54-holes / 18-holes each day
Field (13): Army, Coastal Carolina, ETSU, Furman, Memphis, Missouri, Penn State, Pepperdine, Tennessee, UNC Wilmington, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest
For more information on the ETSU men's golf team please visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s golf link.