The BCI will be broadcast on Golf Channel Oct. 5-7
Yes, there will be college golf on television this fall.
In an announcement from the Southeast Conference in conjunction with Blessings Golf Club, it was announced that the first televised collegiate tournament since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March will be played at the Blessings Golf Club, just outside of Fayetteville, Arkansas October 5-7. The event will be televised on Golf Channel all three afternoons.
The inaugural Blessings Collegiate Invitational joins five other collegiate events that Golf Channel boasts in its arsenal. The East Lake Cup, NCAA DI Men's Championships, NCAA DI Women's Championships, the Western Intercollegiate, and the Maridoe Collegiate Invitational make up the rest of the stacked lineup.
The field for the BCI will consist of solely SEC teams this year due to most golf programs taking a hiatus this fall due to the pandemic. As of publication, the only other Power Five conference to not announce a fall cancellation is the Big 12.
BLESSINGS COLLEGIATE on GOLF Channel (All Times EST):
Monday to Wednesday Oct. 5-7 from 4:30pm to 7:30pm
The 54-hole event will feature all 14 member schools’ men’s and women’s teams and will crown both an individual and team champion. Below is a list of whom viewers should keep their eyes on over the course of the nine-plus hours of feature coverage.
Furr was the 2020 U.S. Amateur medalist at Bandon Dunes. He rode his medalist finish all the way to the Round of 32 when he was ousted by Vanderbilt’s Harrison Ott.
After a light summer, Wright finds herself ranked No. 40 in the Golfweek/AmateurGolf.com world ranking and still boasts a top-100 WAGR ranking. The fifth-year senior is recharged and ready to attack the fall season which will be capped off with an Arnold Palmer Cup appearance in December.
The Peruvian had a great summer. Consistently making deep runs at some of the summer’s most elite events, Perico looks to build on the momentum and possibly breakthrough with a win on his home course.
Matthews tested her talents against some of the LPGA’s best this past week. Playing in the NW Arkansas Championship, Matthews tied for 49th with rounds of 70-69-67 for a 7-under finish.
The nephew of Ernie Els is continuing to pave his own path. Coming off a strong, albeit abbreviated 2019-20 campaign, the former British Amateur champ comes back for one more season with the Tigers after setting the school’s single-season scoring average (70.19).
The sophomore may have had one of the most remarkable wins of the summer when she erased a 10-shot deficit in the final round to take home the Florida Women’s Amateur.
The biggest question for Castillo: can he repeat the success he had his freshman year that earned him a full trophy case that includes the 2019-20 Phil Mickelson Outstanding Freshman Award? After withdrawing from the U.S. Amateur, let’s hope he’s healthy enough to give it the old college try.
An incoming freshman, the Englishwoman put up quite the fight at the British Women’s Amateur, advancing all the way to the championship final, but fell to Stanford’s Aline Krauter 2&1.
Currently ranked No. 1 in the Golfweek/AmateurGolf.com World Amateur Ranking, the Bulldog begins the college season with a target on his back. The Jones Cup champion will be ready; he has already proven he can play with the world's best last fall with a T23 finish at the PGA Tour's RSM Classic.
In her freshman season at Georgia, the Italian posted the fifth-best scoring average in school history (72.25). With a partial season under her belt, we’ll see if Don can continue her record-setting pace.
As one of two seniors for Kentucky, Liston will without a doubt be a leader for his team as the Wildcats suffered a tragic loss over the summer. Rising sophomore Cullan Brown lost his battle with osteosarcoma in early August.
Castle teamed up with North & South Women’s champion Rachel Kuehn over the summer to win the 43rd Carolinas Women’s Four-Ball Championship. The duo broke the tournament scoring record, posting a 16-under-par score.
Barbaree, like Perico, had many deep runs at major tournaments throughout the summer. Highlighted by a quarterfinal exit at the U.S. Amateur, Barbaree has an opportunity to continue to build momentum into his final season for the Tigers.
Stone kicked 2020 off with a bang, picking up a win at the Harder Hall Women’s International. Can the back half of the year treat her as well as the beginning?
Suber did damage despite the shortened season last year. Finishing ninth in SEC scoring average (71.04), the Rebel tacked three top-5 finishes to his name before the season came to an abrupt end.
As the 23-seed at the U.S. Women’s Amateur, Swann made a run at the title but was eliminated in the quarterfinals by Michigan State’s Valery Plata 1 up. Plata would lose in the semifinals to 2019 U.S. Women’s Amateur champion and 2020 runner-up Gabriela Ruffels.
Highlighting this Bulldog’s summer was a T-4 finish at the Chattanooga Choo Choo Invitational. Vukovits led the tournament through 36 holes. He was also the runner-up in the Indiana State Amateur.
As a freshman, Gilliam made quite the impression as she finished sixth in all of Division I with a 70.61 scoring average, and had three top-3 finishes.
Talk about consistency. The Scot tallied six consecutive top-25 finishes to close out the season last year.
The rising sophomore took to college golf like a fish takes to water. She was second on the team in scoring average as a freshman last year (73.86).
Playing at home this summer, Wall was crowned MET Amateur champion at the beginning of August. In a marathon match against incoming Duke freshman Luke Sample, Wall eventually took home the win at Bethpage Black with a 4&2 comeback victory.
Pimnipa Panthong & Lois Kaye Go
The Gamecocks seem to be building a team built for a championship sprint. Kent State graduate transfer Pimnipa Panthong joins South Carolina great Lois Kaye Go for their joint final season. Panthong has seven career wins to her name while Go claims the USC all-time socring average (72.65).
One of five Volunteers to make the trek to Bandon Dunes for the U.S. Amateur, Wolcott made the deepest run of the bunch. Making it to the Round of 32, his championship attempt was cut short by BYU’s Carson Lundell.
Bardwell capped off her summer with a win at the Tennessee Women’s Amateur. She also made it to the Round of 32 as the 9-seed at the North & South Women’s Amateur.
The biggest unknown with the Aggies is how will interim head coach Brian Kortan fill the shoes of J.T. Higgins? The longtime assistant took over the program as Higgins left for the Southern California coaching vacancy.
After making the cut at the U.S. Women’s Amateur by a stroke, Dow took down the 7-seed Catherine Park in 20 holes before being bested by Oklahoma State’s Isabella Fierro 3&2 in the Round of 32.
John Augenstein & Harrison Ott
Augenstein is a household name when it comes to college golf. He and fellow Commodore Harrisson Ott will be leading the charge for the Vanderbilt men. Just one week after a Sweet 16 run at the U.S. Amateur, Ott faced pros from around his home state of Wisconsin, winning the Wisconsin Open by six shots.
Leading the way for the Lady Commodores, Kim earned All-SEC honors last season and earned one of the final spots in the 15 for six playoff at the U.S. Women’s Amateur, making a brief appearance before losing to 4-seed Phoebe Brinker 2&1 in the Round of 64.
Coverage of the Blessings Collegiate Invitational begins October 5 at 4:30 ET on Golf Channel with mirroring broadcast times on October 6 and 7.