Gearing up for 2011 Conference Challenges
Lance Ringler's College Golf Page
For the third consecutive season, Golfweek is set to host the men’s and women’s Golfweek Conference Challenges, which will return to the same venues that were used this fall.
The men will play at Spirit Hollow Golf Course in Burlington, Iowa, on Sept. 24-27 and the women will return to the Fazio Course at Red Sky Golf Club in Wolcott, Colo., on Sept. 18-21. The University of Iowa will serve as the host school for the men’s tournament and the University of Denver for the women’s event.
This past fall, the Iowa Hawkeyes of the Big Ten Conference posted a 15-shot victory at the men’s Conference Challenge which kick started a stretch of four consecutive wins by Iowa. Iowa went on to win the Fighting Irish Gridiron Classic, the Rod Myers Invitational and closed the fall with a victory at the Royal Oaks Intercollegiate. The Hawkeyes finished the fall ranked No. 12 in the Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings.
It was Virginia, representing the ACC, that won the women’s challenge. The Cavaliers pulled away in the final round to win by six shots over Arizona. Virginia finished the fall season ranked No. 8.
In 2009, Florida State (ACC) won the men’s tournament and Pepperdine (WCC) took the women’s title. That year the men played at Blue Top Ridge Golf Course in Riverside, Iowa, and the women competed at Primm Valley’s Desert Course in Primm, Nev.
The top-ranked team in each conference based on the fall Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings are invited to participate in the Conference Challenges. The previous year’s winners are given an automatic invitation to defend its title.
If the top team declines to play, Golfweek will invite the next best team in the conference or use another conference, based on rankings.