COLLEGE GOLF: Tournaments to watch this fall
29 Aug 2022
by Jim Young of

It doesn't seem all that long ago that Stanford and Texas were being crowned national champions at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale.

Time flies, as the 2022-23 NCAA golf season tees off this weekend with the playing of the Carmel Cup at Pebble Beach where the Stanford Cardinal, led by the last two ANNIKA Award winners Rachel Heck and Rose Zhang along with highly-touted freshman Megha Ganne, will begin its quest for a second consecutive national championship.

The defending national champion Texas Longhorns will open its title defense with a tough test at the Fighting Illini Invitational at Olympia Fields, on Sept. 16.

From the first tee shots to the final putt at the NCAA Championships, will once again provide the most comprehensive coverage of both men's and women's Division I teams this season.

Here are just a few tournaments we'll be tracking this fall.

Men's Events

Frederica Cup; Sept. 6-7; Frederica Golf Club; St. Simons Island, Ga.
Vanderbilt hosts the inaugural Frederica Cup, where Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi State, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Texas Christian and Texas Tech will join the Commodores on St. Simons Island. Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Georgia, Ohio State and Arkansas all made the 2022 NCAA Championships and Vandy, Oklahoma and Texas Tech all advanced to the match play portion of that event. Oklahoma was ranked the No. 1 team in the country for much of the 2021-22 season and Texas Tech’s Ludvig Aberg is considered one of the world’s top amateur golfers. The Frederica Cup is a 54-hole event over two days.

Fighting Illini Invitational; Sept. 16-18; Olympia Fields (Ill.) Country Club
Traditionally the first early-season test that attracts one of the best fields in collegiate golf, this year's Fighting Illini Invitational features teams that have combined to account for 14 of 20 spots in the last 10 NCAA Championship match play finals. In addition to each of the last four national title winners - Texas (2022), Pepperdine (2021), Stanford (2019), and Oklahoma State (2018) - the Illini also welcome Alabama, Arizona, Arizona State, Army West Point, Baylor, Florida, Florida State, Indiana, North Carolina and Northwestern. The field combined to tally 11 berths into the 2022 NCAA Regionals last May, with nine programs that advanced to stroke play at the NCAA Championship and five of the eight programs that closed the season in match play vying for the championship trophy at Grayhawk.

SEC Fall Preview; Sept. 25-27; Old Overton Golf Club; Birmingham, Ala.
From the reigning U.S. Amateur champion Sam Bennett of Texas A&M and current NCAA individual champion Gordon Sargent of Vanderbilt to prized recruits Nick Dunlap and Jonathan Griz of Alabama, Caleb Surratt of Tennessee and Wells Williams of Vanderbilt, the SEC Fall Preview is loaded with talent. The event will consist of 36 holes of stroke play the first day followed by 18 holes of stroke play the second day. The final day of competition will feature match play with the bracket set based upon each team’s respective finish in stroke play.

Ben Hogan Collegiate Invitational; Oct. 3-4; Colonial Country Club; Fort Worth, Texas
TCU will host the newly-named Ben Hogan Collegiate Invitational at the prestigious Colonial Country Club just seconds down the road from TCU campus in Fort Worth. It's a heavyweight field which includes top teams such as Arizona State, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Pepperdine, Stanford, Texas, Texas Tech, USC, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest.

Big 12 Match Play; Oct. 17-19; The Club at Houston Oaks; Hockley, Texas
Anytime Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas Tech go head-to-head in the same tournament, there's sure to be lots of fireworks. The tournament will be played over three days consisting of pool play for two-and-a-half days (five sessions) followed by a final round the afternoon of day three. Match play will occur during all rounds. Each team match will consist of six individual matches. Texas won last year's event, defeating Texas Tech, 3-2-1 in the championship match. Eight months later, the Longhorns captured the national championship in Scottsdale.

Golf Club of Georgia Intercollegiate; Oct. 21-23; Alpharetta, Ga.
Georgia Tech hosts the 16th Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate Invitational on its home course in Alpharetta, where the Yellow Jackets will be joined by 2021 national champion Pepperdine, perennial ACC powerhouses Clemson and Wake Forest, as well as traditionally-strong teams from USC, Stanford, Texas A&M and UCLA.

Isleworth Collegiate; Oct. 23-25: Isleworth Golf & Country Club; Windermere, Fla.
Recognized as the premier collegiate golf tournament in the country, co-hosts Central Florida and West Virginia welcome 15 of the nation’s best teams to Orlando to compete in the 2022 Isleworth Collegiate, including Illinois, South Carolina, Cal, Minnesota, Arizona, UNLV, Purdue, Auburn, LSU, Florida, Utah, North Florida and Augusta. Founded in 2003, the Tavistock Collegiate Invitational, recently changed to Isleworth Collegiate, is known as college golf’s major championship, played at Isleworth Golf & Country Club, on one of the most prestigious courses and communities in the world.

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Women's Events

Carmel Cup; Sept. 2-4; Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links
The Stanford Cardinal, led by the last two ANNIKA Award winners Rachel Heck and Rose Zhang along with highly-touted freshman Megha Ganne, begins its quest for a second consecutive national championship at famed Pebble Beach on Friday. Along with Stanford, teams from Arkansas, Mississippi State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and Vanderbilt will tee off their seasons on the Monterey Penninsula.

ANNIKA Intercollegiate; Sept. 12-14; Royal Golf Club; Lake Elmo, Minn.
The ANNIKA Foundation – golf Hall-of-Famer Annika Sorenstam’s charitable organization – will host the eighth edition of the ANNIKA Intercollegiate presented by 3M. The elite field features 12 of the best NCAA Division I women’s golf programs, led by No. 2 Oregon, No. 3 and defending ANNIKA Intercollegiate champion South Carolina, and No. 4 and 2019 champion Wake Forest. They are joined by eight more top teams in the current Golfweek/Sagarin rankings: No. 7 Arizona State, No. 12 Alabama, No. 13 Virginia, No. 14 Auburn, No. 15 Texas, No. 16 Florida, No. 20 Michigan and No. 21 Duke. Host program Minnesota rounds out the 12-school field.

Mason Rudolph Championship; Sept. 23-25; Vanderbilt Legends Club; Franklin, Tenn.
Ladened with southern charm, thirteen teams will join the host Commodores at the Vanderbilt Legends Club for the Mason Rudolph Championships. Denver, Ohio State and Washington will travel south to join SEC schools Mississippi State, Alabama, Auburn, Kentucky, LSU and Georgia, along with Middle Tennessee and Tennessee-Chatanooga. Led by the world's second-ranked female amateur in Ingrid Lindblad and ANWA runner-up Latanna Stone, LSU will be tough to beat, but this is the tournament that Oregon used to kick start a wave of momentum and confidence that carried the Ducks to the national title match against Stanford.

Windy City Classic: Oct. 3-4; Exmoor Country Club; Highland Park, Ill.
Northwestern welcomes another strong field to the Windy City Classic, which will be held this season at Exmoor Country Club in Highland Park, the site of this year's Western Amateur. The host Wildcats will be joined by Big Ten Conference members Michigan (featuring U.S. Women's Amateur runner-up Monet Chun), Michigan State and Purdue, while the Pac-12 Conference will have five teams at Exmoor, including Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon, USC and Washington. Duke, Florida, Iowa State, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia round out the field.

Stanford Intercollegiate; Oct. 21-23; Stanford (Calif.) Golf Course
Curtis Cup participants Rachel Heck, Rose Zhang, Megha Ganne of Stanford, Amari Avery and Brianna Navarossa of USC, Annabel Fuller of Florida, along with traditional powers Arizona State, San Jose State, Georgia, Northwestern, Texas, Virginia and Washington headline one of the strongest fields of the fall.

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Combined Events

The Blessings Collegiate; Oct. 3-4; Blessings Golf Club; Fayetteville, Ark.
Men's and women's teams from California, Central Florida, Clemson, Kansas, Louisville, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Texas A&M, UCLA and UNLV will join host Arkansas at the Blessings Golf Club for this unique, three-day event which will be televised by the GOLF Channel. In addition to men's and women's team champions and individual medalists, titles will also be determined for mixed pairs best ball, and overall college champion.

Stephens Cup; Oct. 10-12; Seminole Golf Club; Juno Beach, Fla.
Esteemed Seminole Golf Club will serve as the host for the Stephens Cup, a combined event featuring some of the top men's and women's in the nation. Joining host Arkansas in the men's field will be Florida State, North Carolina, defending champion Notre Dame, Oklahoma State, reigning NCAA champion Texas and Stanford, along with six individuals. The women's field is stacked with Arkansas, Duke, LSU, Stanford, South Carolina, USC, and Wake Forest. GOLF Channel will provide live three-day coverage from Seminole.

East Lake Cup; Oct. 24-26; East Lake Golf Club; Atlanta, Ga.
A three-day event featuring the top four teams from last year's nationals, the East Lake Cup is modeled after the NCAA Golf Championships. The format consists of an opening round of stroke play to crown an individual male and female champion and determine seeding for the following two days of match play competition. The men's field will feature defending NCAA Champion Texas, runner-up Arizona State along with semifinalists Vanderbilt and Pepperdine. The women's field consists of national finalist Oregon and semifinalist Texas A&M along with quarterfinalists Auburn and UCLA. GOLF Channel will provide live, three-day coverage from historic East Lake.

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