In early June, Alabama and Texas squared off in the title match of this year’s NCAA Championship at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif. It was the classic showdown – No. 1 vs. No. 2 for the national championship.
Needing to win three of the five matches to claim the crown, the two powers were deadlocked at 2-2 with one match still on the course. And, in Hollywood movie-style fashion, it came down to the 18th hole and was decided when Texas senior Dylan Frittelli drained a 30-foot birdie putt to defeat Cory Whitsett, 1 up, and give the Longhorns their first NCAA men’s golf title since 1973.
This fall, the stakes won’t be nearly as high, and it will be stroke play rather than match play, but expect to see Alabama and Texas paired together for at least the opening round as the two headline the 15-team field for this year’s Ping/Golfweek Preview.
The tournament, not held last fall due to scheduling conflicts with Riviera Country Club, will make its return Sept. 23-25 at Capital City Golf Club’s Crabapple course just north of Atlanta in Alpharetta, Ga. Teams will play 18 holes each day with a practice round on Sept. 22.
From its inception in 1989, the Preview has been geared to take place each fall at the site of the following spring’s men’s NCAA Division I Championship.
In addition to Texas and Alabama, the field will feature NCAA match play qualifiers Kent State, California, San Diego State, UCLA and Washington.
Rounding out the 2012 lineup will be host team Georgia Tech, Arkansas, Florida State, Georgia, New Mexico, Chattanooga, Texas A&M and UNLV.
“We are excited to bring the Preview back on the schedule for the 2012-13 season,” said Scott Sullivan of Ping. “It is one of the most respected events in college golf and we will continue to keep it that way. We’re going to have another very strong field with all the teams ranked among the top 32 from last season, including 13 of the top 20.”
Added Golfweek publisher Jason Redditt, “Ping and Golfweek have long been huge supporters of college golf and the Preview has been one example of that support. We are happy to have the event back in place and we know Capital City Golf Club and the Crabapple course will make for an exciting and challenging tournament.”