Isleworth Collegiate offers unique experience

Tiger Woods, right, shares a laugh with Stanford players and Isleworth member Stephen Brooks during the 2009 Isleworth Collegiate.

Tiger Woods, right, shares a laugh with Stanford players and Isleworth member Stephen Brooks during the 2009 Isleworth Collegiate.

Each year teams from across the country hope to be lucky enough to get invited to the Isleworth Collegiate Invitational.

It is a prestigious field, on an amazing golf course, with the chance for a Tiger Woods sighting. Stanford is in the field this year, so there is a chance Tiger may be around to support the Cardinal.

But there are other marquee names from the golf world that have shown their support for the event. The past couple of years, in fact, I have spotted J.B. Holmes, Charles Howell III, Lee Janzen, Mark O’Meara, and Ian Poulter watching the action.

What makes the ICI a fun week is never knowing what PGA pro might appear next on the golf course. Players from across the country are always anxious throughout the round, looking to see who may be watching them at any given moment.

Aside from the course and the players, the ICI also has become nationally known for the swag they have supplied players. It all started at the first tournament, in 2004, with clothes and a duffel bag, but it has continued to get even better since.

Here’s a list of some of the items players have received as part of their “goodie bag” when at the event: iPod, Sony PSP, digital camera, and a head-to-toe outfit provided by Ian Poulter himself (and his clothing line).

The premier event kicks off Sunday and will go through Tuesday. In the six-year history of the event, Georgia has won four times, and both Oklahoma State and Texas have each won once. History would suggest that Georgia has an extremely good chance of winning the event this year, considering Oklahoma State will be without Peter Uihlein – he’s representing the U.S. at the World Amateur Team Championship in Argentina – and that three of the current Dawgs were a part of the winning teams in 2007 and 2008.

The national championship is not until June, but this coming weekend the feeling will be similar. The ICI will have a top-notch field, on a championship caliber golf course, with teams doing all they can to hoist the tournament’s crystal.

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