PREVIEW and LIVE SCORING: The Jackson T. Stephens Cup
08 Oct 2022
by Jim Young of AmateurGolf.com

see also: Jackson T. Stephens Cup, Trinity Forest Golf Club

Esteemed Seminole Golf Club will open its gates to 14 of the top men's and women's programs in college golf with the playing of the second annual Jackson T. Stephens Cup, a combined 54-hole stroke and match play event beginning on Monday in Juno Beach, Fla.

The event, named in honor of the late chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and prominent Arkansas businessman, Jackson (Jack) Stephens, will feature 54-holes of stroke play followed by one day of match play. The first 54-holes of team stroke play will be used to determine the seeding for the men’s and women’s fields for the final day of match play. Individual and team champions will be crowned accordingly.

The men's field is headlined by No. 2 (Golfweek/Sagarin) Stanford, No. 10 North Carolina, No. 11 Oklahoma State, No. 16 Florida State, No. 22 and defending NCAA Champion Texas, Notre Dame and Arkansas.

The women's field features four of the top-10 teams in the country in No. 1 Stanford, No. 2 Wake Forest, No. 5 South Carolina and No. 9 Arkansas, along with top-20 teams from Duke (12), USC (13) and LSU (19).

In addition, The Stephens Cup will feature some of the top players from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and U.S. Military Service Academies (Army, Navy and Air Force).

The individuals featured in the women’s stroke play competition are Marley Franklin (Howard University), Kendall Jackson (Howard University), Jayla Rogers (North Carolina A&T) and Eve Worden (Naval Academy).

Also competing in the men’s stroke play division are Ian Davis (Florida A&M), Isaac Layne (Air Force Academy), Patrick Mwendapole (Arkansas Pine Bluff), Xavier Proctor (Livingstone College), Keegan Shreves (United States Naval Academy), Dragon Theam (United States Military Academy), and Everett Whiten Jr. (Howard University).

After its debut at the Alotian Club in Rogers, Ark. last year, the venerable Seminole Golf Club will play host to this year's event. Consistently ranked among the United States’ top courses, Seminole Golf Club was designed by Donald Ross and opened for play on January 1, 1930. Ben Hogan frequently visited the club to prepare for the Masters, saying, “It’s the only course I could be perfectly happy playing every single day. If you can play well at Seminole, you can play well anywhere.”

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Players to Watch

With the three top-ranked women's amateurs and four of the top 10 male amateurs in the world competing at The Stephens Cup, there will be no shortage of star power at Seminole next week.

The women's field is headlined by the three top female players in the world, Rose Zhang and Rachel Heck of Stanford and Ingrid Lindblad of LSU.

Last year's NCAA individual champion and ANNIKA Award winner as the top female player in collegiate golf, Zhang won her fifth collegiate tournament in September at the Carmel Cup held at Pebble Beach, where she set the women's competitive course record with a second-round 63. In August, Zhang won the McCormack Medal, given annually by the USGA and R&A to the top-ranked female player in the World Amateur Golf Ranking.

Lindblad was the low amateur at this year's U.S. Women's Open at Pine Needles. After opening with a 6-under-par 65, The native of Halmstad, Sweden ultimately tied for 11th. She has won a school-record nine individual championships as a collegian, including last year's SEC Championship.

Heck, the 2021 ANNIKA Award winner and NCAA individual champion, has won eight times as a collegian, with seven of those wins coming in her freshman year.

Stanford also welcomed Megha Ganne to The Farm this fall. The former No. 1 ranked junior in the world who played in the final grouping at the 2021 U.S. Women's Open at Olympic Club, finished second to Zhang at The Carmel Cup in her collegiate debut.

Perhaps the only other team in the country that can match the mighty Cardinal 1-3 in the lineup are the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. Featuring WGCA first-team All-Americans Rachel Kuehn and Emilia Migliaccio, along with second-team WGCA second-team All-American Carolina Chacarra, last year's ACC Freshman of the Year, the Deacs have won both of their outings this season.

Kuehn is ranked 10th in WAGR, while Migliaccio and Chacarra are ranked 22nd and 23rd, respectively.

The fifth-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks are led by sophomore Hannah Darling of Scotland, currently ranked seventh in WAGR. USC's Amari Avery, who picked up her fourth win as a collegian last week at the Windy City Classic, is ranked ninth.

Four of the top-10 male amateurs in the world will also be at Seminole, including No. 4 Michael Thorbjornsen of Stanford, the 2021 Western Amateur champion who won his first collegiate title at the OFCC/Fighting Illini Invitational in September; No. 6 Austin Greaser of North Carolina, the 2021 runner-up at the U.S. Amateur and current Western Amateur champion; his Tar Heel teammate Dylan Menante, currently ranked seventh, and No. 9 Travis Vick of Texas, who was the low amateur at this year's U.S. Open at the Country Club in Brookline.

North Carolina sophomore David Ford, the winner of the 2022 Southern Amateur, is ranked 13th by WAGR while defending Stephens Cup champion Mateo Fernández de Oliveira of Arkansas is ranked 26th.

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GOLF Channel Coverage
Monday, October 10: 4-7:00 pm ET
Tuesday, October 11: 3-6:00 pm ET
Wednesday, October 12: 3-6:00pm ET

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Looking Back at Last Year's Event
The Notre Dame men’s team and LSU’s women’s squad won the inaugural Jackson T. Stephens Cup titles last year in impressive fashion at the Alotian Club in Rogers, Ark. The Fighting Irish, which earned the top seed by a 20-stroke margin over host Arkansas, downed the third-ranked Razorbacks, 4-1-0, to claim the men's crown, while top-seed LSU turned back sixth-ranked South Carolina by the same margin to win the women’s championship.

Mateo Fernandez de Oliveira of Arkansas earned men's medalist honors while LSU’s Ingrid Lindblad claimed the women's stroke-play title on the first hole of sudden death over her teammate Carla Tejedo Mulet.

ABOUT THE Stephens Cup

Debuting in 2021, the Jackson T. Stephens Cup is an annual collegiate golf tournament named in memory of the late Augusta National Chairman, Jackson T. Stephens. The tournament is a four-day stroke play- match play event featuring NCAA Division I National Championship contending men’s and women’s teams.

The tournament format will be 54 holes of stroke play setting the field for a final day of match play based on the stroke-play team finish; the final day of match play will be 18 holes. The event will also recognize its 54-hole winners upon completion of stroke play.

View Complete Tournament Information

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