Golfweek Division III Fall Invitational Preview 2017

Golfweek Division III Fall Invitational Preview 2017

College

Golfweek Division III Fall Invitational Preview 2017

SANDESTIN, Fla. – The Golfweek Division III Fall Invitational gets underway Sunday, as the 54-hole event is set to host some of Division III’s brightest programs.

The men’s tournament will feature 18 squads, with the women’s side boasting 16. The men will compete on Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort’s Raven Golf Club while the women will take on the resort’s Baytowne Golf Club.

The tournament has gained a reputation for its strong fields, and 2017 is no different. The men’s bracket is loaded with elite teams, as the top seven squads in the Bushnell/Golfweek Coaches Poll are in this field.

Overall, 13 of the top 25 in the men’s rankings made the trip to Sandestin.

That stacked group is led by No. 1 Texas-Tyler, the defending champions.

The Patriots have won all three of their first four events this fall on the way to top billing but aren’t convinced they’ve peaked.

In fact, head coach Michael McMunn is still looking for one complete round from his squad.

“I don’t think we’ve had a round where everyone’s played to their best ability yet,” McMunn said. “If we can figure out a way to play a round where everyone plays their best, it could be a really good number.”

Such a dominant field doesn’t leave the Patriots fretting, as the top-ranked squad has played a difficult schedule in order to acclimate to playing top competition.

The women’s competition in Sandestin will not include defending champion Wittenberg but does boast Rhodes – the two-time defending national champions and winners of three of the last four NCAA Championships.

The Lynx are actually down their top two players this fall as juniors Emily Salamy and Melissa Kiker are studying abroad this semester (Salamy in London, England, and Kiker in Florence, Italy). The pair will return to the team in the spring.

In the meantime, that means more opportunities for underclassmen. So far, Rhodes has posted runner-up and fourth-place showings minus Salamy and Kiker.

Those results have head coach Mike Clary enthused.

“We play well without them, so I’m very optimistic when we get them back in February,” Clary said.

The action will be fierce on both sides when it commences Sunday and the Raven and Baytowne layouts are known to be treacherous if players get too adventurous.

A tournament in sunny Florida weather at this point in the fall should bring plenty of excitement.

“This event is truly one of the highlights of the year,” Clary said.

• • •

What: Golfweek Division III Fall Invitational

Where: Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort (Raven GC for MEN,  Baytowne GC for WOMEN)

When: Oct. 15-17

Format: 54-hole stroke play

Field:

MEN

  • Berry
  • Centre
  • Concordia (Texas)
  • Emory
  • Guilford
  • Huntingdon
  • Illinois Wesleyan
  • LaGrange
  • Mary Hardin Baylor
  • Methodist
  • Oglethorpe
  • Rhodes
  • Sewanee
  • Skidmore
  • St. John’s (Minn.)
  • St. Thomas (Minn.)
  • Texas-Tyler
  • Wisconsin Eau-Claire

WOMEN

  • Berry
  • Birmingham Southern
  • Bridgewater
  • Centre
  • Concordia (Texas)
  • Huntingdon
  • Illinois Wesleyan
  • Mary Hardin Baylore
  • Methodist
  • Oglethorpe
  • Piedmont
  • Rhodes
  • Sewanee
  • Texas-Tyler
  • Washington-St. Louis
  • Washington and Lee

• • •

Past Winners

Team

2016 – Texas-Tyler, 2-over 854 (MEN); Wittenberg, 63-over 927 (WOMEN)

2015 – St. Thomas (Minn.), 11-over 863 (MEN); Texas-Tyler, 67-over 931 (WOMEN)

2014 – Methodist and Texas-Tyler, 17-over 869 (MEN); Texas-Tyler, 48-over 912 (WOMEN)

2013 – Oglethorpe, 5-under 847 (MEN); Methodist, 40-over 904 (WOMEN)

2012 – St. John’s (Minn.), 24-over 876 (MEN); Methodist, 58-over 922 (WOMEN)

2011 – Guilford, 22-over 874 (MEN)

x-2010 – Greensboro, 6-under 858 (MEN)

Individual

2016 – Conner O’Neil, Illinois Wesleyan, 8-under 205 (MEN); Jane-Hopkinson-Wood, Wittenberg, 1-under 215 (WOMEN)

2015 – Chris Harris, Rhodes, 5-under 208 (MEN); Laura Lindsey, Texas-Tyler, 2-over 218 (WOMEN)

2014 – Anthony Maccaglia, Oglethorpe and Mason Stutler, Methodist, 4-under 209 (MEN); Connie Zhou, Washington-St. Louis, 5-over 221 (WOMEN)

2013 – Anthony Maccaglia, Oglethorpe, 7-under 206 (MEN); Connie Zhou, Washington-St. Louis, 3-over 219 (WOMEN)

2012 – Cory Howard, LaGrange, 8-under 205 (MEN); Loretta Giovannettone, Methodist and Taylor O’Rear, Mary Hardin-Baylor, 9-over 225 (WOMEN)

2011 – Noah Ratner, Guilford, 9-under 204 (MEN)

x-2010 – Michael Elder, Greensboro, 7-under 209 (MEN)

Note: No women’s competition in 2010 or 2011; x-played at Southern Dunes G&CC

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