PREVIEW and HOW TO WATCH: The Southwestern Invitational
29 Jan 2023
by Jim Young of AmateurGolf.com

see also: Southwestern Invitational Collegiate, North Ranch Country Club

The spring portion of the collegiate season begins in earnest on Monday with the 44th edition of the Southwestern Invitational hosted by Pepperdine at North Ranch Country Club in Westlake Village, Calif.

Joining the 16th-ranked Waves in the 12-team field will be No. 2 Arizona State, No. 17 Texas, No. 20 San Diego State, Georgia, Oregon, San Jose State, UCLA, UNLV, USC, Wake Forest and Washington.

Play is scheduled to begin at 7:32 a.m. PT each day. Live scoring will be available at Golfstat.

GOLF Channel will provide live, three-day coverage from North Ranch beginning at 1:30 p.m. PT, preceded by the College Central from 1-1:30 p.m.

Nine of the top 50 players in the nation as listed by Golfweek/Sagarin are in the field, including No. 9 Derek Hitchner of Pepperdine, No. 12 Preston Summerhays of Arizona State, No. 21 Luke Potter of Arizona State, No. 23 Caden Fioroni of UNLV, No, 28 Michael Mjaaseth of Arizona State, No. 39 Owen Avrit of Oregon, No. 40 Christiaan Maas of Texas, No. 46 Ryggs Johnston of Arizona State and No. 48 William Mouw of Pepperdine.

Fioroni enters the spring riding a wave of confidence after winning the Patriot All-America title in December when the UNLV junior fired a final round 8-under 63 to erase a five-stroke deficit to earn a one-stroke victory over Oklahoma's Ben Lorenz.

Hitchner reached the semifinals of last year's U.S. Amateur where he fell to finalist Ben Carr. Mouw, a former Walker Cup team member, claimed the biggest win of his amateur career by capturing the Trans-Miss Amateur last July at the Denver Country Club. Travis Vick of Texas was the low amateur at the 2022 United States Open at Brookline and also reached the semifinals of the Western Amateur.

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Television Coverage
As part of its continuing commitment to collegiate golf, GOLF Channel will provide three-day coverage from North Ranch beginning with College Central from 1-1:30 PT, followed by live coverage from 1:30-4:30 p.m. PT. Bob Papa (play-by-play), John Cook (analyst), Steve Burkowski (hole) and Billy Ray Brown (on-course) will call the action.

Other spring events include the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate hosted by South Carolina (Feb. 27-March 1), the Western Intercollegiate hosted by San Jose State (April 10-12) along with the NCAA Women's (May 22-24) and Men's (May 29-31) from Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz.

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Southwestern Invitational History
First played in 1978 as the Southwestern Intercollegiate, the event was established by C.W. Johnson, who served as tournament director for more than 25 years. Pepperdine fully assumed the role of tournament host in 2016.

Past individual champions of the event include Corey Pavin (1978, ’81) and Patrick Cantlay (2011) of UCLA, Dan Forsman (1980), Billy Mayfair (1987) and Paul Casey (1998) of Arizona State, Tiger Woods (1996) and Maverick McNealy (2014) of Stanford, Jason Gore (1997) and Sahith Theegala (2017, ‘20) of Pepperdine, Oklahoma's Anthony Kim (2006) and Justin Suh (2019) of USC.

Arizona State has won the event a record nine times while Pepperdine has claimed three victories (2006, 2017, 2020).

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A Look Back at Last Year
Last year, Arizona State carded a final round of 13-under 283 to finish 30-under 834, setting the tournament record for the 54-hole event to earn a 13-stroke victory over host Pepperdine, which finished at -17 under 847 following a final round of 5-under 283. ASU's David Puig earned a two-stroke victory over Michael Brennan of Wake Forest and teammate Cameron Sisk to become the first-ever back-to-back winner of the Southwestern.

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About North Ranch Country Club
Located in Westlake Village, Calif., North Ranch Country Club will play to a par of 72 and at 7,017 yards for this event.

ABOUT THE Southwestern Invitational

54-hole men's college tournament with team (best four scores of five players) and individual competitions. The Southwestern Invitational is the combination of two previously existing tournaments: the Southwestern Intercollegiate (started by USC in 1978) and the Jones Invitational (hosted by Pepperdine since 2014).

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