Golf Hosts 34th Annual Schenkel Invitational this Weekend
STATESBORO, Ga. – The Georgia Southern golf team hosts the 34th annual Schenkel Invitational this weekend at the par-72, 6,962-yard Forest Heights Country Club.
A loaded field with current top-20 teams (Golf Week/Sagarin Poll) Alabama (2), Texas (4), Florida (11) and North Florida (15) joins North Texas (33), Vanderbilt (38), Central Florida (46), Kentucky (51), Virginia (58), UAB (67), Ole Miss (70), College of Charleston (97), Maryland (100) and Notre Dame (122) along with the host Eagles (52).
Texas won the NCAA Team championship in 2012, while Alabama, the Schenkel Invitational defending champs, came in second. Twenty current top-100 individuals in the GolfWeek/Sagarin rankings are expected to tee it up in Statesboro this weekend.
Texas, North Texas, College of Charleston and Central Florida will be competing in the tournament for the first time. Florida will be making its 29th appearance, and Alabama makes its 20th. An SEC school has won the last six Schenkel team titles.
All three rounds of the tournament are open to the public, admission is free and grandstands will be available on the course at a few holes. Spectator galleries around the course are one of the many characteristics that make the Schenkel unique in college golf.
"I like the spectator part of it," said Georgia Southern junior Hayden Anderson, who will play in his third Schenkel in 2013. "I think it gives you a little edge. Sometimes it can be a little nerve-racking and we've got a lot of big-time players competing, but I like to try to use it to my advantage – use the excitement of the crowd to keep me excited going through the round."
Eight Georgia Southern golfers will compete this weekend with Anderson, Will Evans, Charlie Martin, Blake Olson and Scott Wolfes making up the Eagle quintet and Matt Mierzejewski, Caleb Morris and Christian Humber playing as individuals. The Eagles hope to parlay their numerous practice rounds at Forest Heights into a home-course advantage.
"We know the greens a lot better than most of the teams coming," said Evans. "We know where to hit it around the greens and which way the greens break. There are a lot of subtle breaks out here at Forest Heights, and it pays to know the greens."
Georgia Southern has five top-5 finishes and three tournament titles to its credit in 2012-13. Anderson has a 73.61 scoring average and three top-10 individual finishes this year, and Evans is coming off a fifth-place outing at the Samford Intercollegiate.
Martin has a 73.71 scoring average and three top-15 finishes, and Olson is coming off his best tournament of the season at Samford, where he carded a 224. Wolfes leads the team with a 71.42 scoring average and has placed first or second in five of eight tournaments.
Mierzejewski will compete in his first tournament of the spring and the second Schenkel of his career, while Morris plays in his third tournament of the season. Humber will play in his second tournament of the season.
Following the weekend, the Eagles will take three weeks off before traveling to the Gary Koch Intercollegiate in Tampa, Fla.
About the Schenkel
The Schenkel Invitational is named after Hall of Fame sports broadcaster Chris Schenkel. Schenkel, who was the first to cover The Masters on television, the first to anchor a live telecast of the Olympics and to call a nationally broadcast college football game, helped lend his name to a tournament that has grown into one of the premier collegiate golf tournaments in the nation. He grew familiar with Statesboro by spending nine months in a language institute at Georgia Teachers College (now known as Georgia Southern University) as part of his duties with the U.S. Army during World War II.
The lending of Schenkel's name and contacts helped the tournament get started in 1971 and annually attracts an elite field from across the country. The tournament has attracted 68 different schools from 25 states and the nation's capital. Current and past PGA pros Curtis Strange, David Toms, Scott Verplank, Hal Sutton, Jodie Mudd, Luke Donald, Lucas Glover, Bill Haas and Bubba Watson have competed in the Schenkel.
Through the years, six teams and three players have won the tournament en route to capturing the NCAA team and individual titles. Florida (1973), Wake Forest (1974, 1986) and Oklahoma State (1980, 1983, 1987) won both team titles. Curtis Strange and Gary Halberg, both from Wake Forest, won the tournament and NCAA Championship in 1974 and 1979, respectively. Matt Hill of N.C. State was the most recent golfer to accomplish the feat, winning both titles in 2009.
Six U.S. Open, four PGA, two British Open and one Masters titles are among the major wins by individuals who posted a top-10 finish at the Schenkel Invitational during their collegiate careers.
Georgia Southern Athletics provides up-to-date information on all its sports through its official website, GSEagles.com, through social media channels facebook.com/GSAthletics and twitter.com/GSAthletics, and its new "Eagles GATA" mobile app for Android and iOS.
- Category: Golf
- Published on Sunday, 31 December 1899 19:00