With a new college golf season approaching, we present our “Nine for ‘19” series. In the countdown to the first major weekend of college competition, we take a look at the nine best storylines for the fall. Consider this your primer for one of our favorite parts of the game.
Pebble Beach Golf Links during the 2018 U.S. Amateur (AGC photo)
College golf’s season-opening event is being played this weekend at the same venue as this year’s U.S. Open. Let that sink in for a minute.
Eight teams teed it up at Pebble Beach over Labor Day weekend to start the fall season. Oklahoma’s Garrett Reband made an early impression with a 7-under 65 that included nine birdies.
College golf is hardly lacking for quality venues. Don’t believe us? This man has a point:
Even though the Carmel Cup is wrapping up, we think the real
start of the season comes next week. Here, we highlight 10 fall tournaments where the top teams are playing. It’s a good way to see how the game’s best stacks up this year:
To kick off:
Carpet Capital Collegiate (men), The Farm GC, Rocky Face, Ga., Sept. 6-8
The Georgia Tech-hosted tournament that traditionally opens the fall season. Walker Cuppers (including Tech’s own Andy Ogletree) will miss it.
Cougar Classic (women), Yeaman’s Hall, Charleston, S.C., Sept. 8-10
Last year, the Cougar Classic was cut short by Hurricane Florence (let’s hope for no repeat with Dorian next week), but that was enough time for Florida’s Sierra Brooks to post rounds of 65-62 to win the shortened event. Yeaman’s Hall is a coveted venue in women’s college golf.
To determine the early frontrunner:
Annika Intercollegiate (women), Royal GC, Elmo, Minn., Sept. 15-18
Winning the Annika is a big accomplishment considering the depth of the field. Here’s a look at who will be there: Duke, Texas, Arkansas, Virginia, Arizona State, Wake Forest, USC, Alabama, UCLA, Minnesota, South Carolina and Arizona.
For a Midwest showdown:
OFCC/Fighting Illini Invitational (men), Olympia Fields (Ill.) CC, Sept. 20-22
Always one of the must-hit tournaments of the fall season. The top teams should be intact by the end of the month and ready to compete in Illinois.
To watch closely:
Nike Golf Collegiate (men), Colonial CC, Ft. Worth, Texas, Sept. 29-Oct. 1
A Tour venue and a big-name sponsor draw the top programs to Texas. It’s Duke’s title to defend.
For a West Coast preview
: Stanford Intercollegiate (women), Stanford (Calif.) GC, Oct. 11-13
Despite Stanford being the host, this tournament was a USC show a year ago. Seeing the two teams go head-to-head for the first time this season will be interesting enough in itself.
For a good finish:
Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate (men), Lakeside/CC of Georgia, Alpharetta, Ga., Oct. 18-20
There’s quality golf in Atlanta and Georgia Tech isn’t shy about sharing it. This tournament has been running since 2006, and is widely considered one of the best stops on the calendar. The home team has won it twice, but not since 2012 – that could change this year.
To see how the other half lives:
Tavistock Collegiate Invitational, Isleworth G&CC, Windermere, Fla., Oct. 20-22
One of the closing events of the fall takes collegians to the home of many a Tour player. The Tavistock event traditionally draws another stacked field.
To make Pac-12 predictions:
Nanea Pac-12 Preview (women), Nanea GC, Kona, Hawaii, Nov. 4-6
Recent history says that the Pac-12 is the strongest in women’s college golf (with the SEC and ACC being close seconds). Nanea presents a picturesque final stop for West Coast teams.
To watch on TV:
East Lake Cup (men and women), East Lake GC, Atlanta, Oct. 28-30, 2019
The East Lake Cup is a made-for-TV match-play event that debuted in 2015 and features the semifinalists from the previous year's NCAA Championship. On the men’s side, that includes Stanford, Texas, Vanderbilt and Oklahoma State. On the women’s side, the field will include Duke, Wake Forest, Arizona and Auburn. Get your college-golf-on-TV fix.