Preview: Collegiate Challenge Cup
The inaugural Dick’s Sporting Goods Collegiate Challenge Cup is set to take place this weekend at The Golf Club of Tennessee in Kingston Springs.
Featuring a format of ACC vs. SEC, the tournament is a 54-hole stroke-play event on Sept. 20 and 21, followed by an 18-hole match-play finale on Sept. 22.
There will be team and individual champions crowned after stroke play concludes Saturday.
Then the top team in each conference will meet to play for the “Top Conference” honor.
The Golf Club of Tennessee was founded in 1989 and designed by Tom Fazio. It plays to 7,184 yards and a par 71.
Three top-30 teams – Georgia, Texas A&M and Clemson – in the preseason Golfweek/Sagarin College Rankings highlight the field. No. 11 Georgia is coming off a runner-up finish at the Carpet Capital Collegiate, while the Aggies will be playing in their season opener. Clemson is coming off a 13th-place finish at the Fighting Illini Invitational.
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Georgia: No. 11 in the Golfweek rankings finished its first tournament of the season, the Carpet Capital Collegiate, in second. Last season, the Bulldogs won the Brickyard Collegiate Championship in Macon, Ga. Seniors Michael Cromie, Joey Garber and Keith Mitchell will try and lead this team to another NCAA Championship appearance.
Mississippi State: The Bulldogs placed second at their season opener, the Sam Hall Intercollegiate. Senior Joe Sakulpolphaisan picked up his first collegiate win, setting the course record at Hattiesburg CC with a 14-under 199 in a 54-hole tournament. It was the second-lowest 54-hole tournament score in Mississippi State history.
Tennessee: The Vols finished 11th at the Carpet Capital Collegiate. Sophomore Oliver Goss finished T-33. The U.S. Amateur runner-up is No. 6 in the Golfweek individual rankings. Junior Thomas Dunne and freshman Jack Smith also will help the team this season.
Texas A&M: The Aggies, No. 23 in the Golfweek rankings, are playing in their first tournament of the year. They took a trip to Long Island, N.Y., two weeks ago to play a friendly against Yale, with senior Jade Scott and sophomore Andrew Lister tying for medalist honors. Junior Ty Dunlap and sophomore Ben Crancer will contribute to the team’s success this season.
Vanderbilt: The Commodores finished their first tournament of the season at a match-play event in Pebble Beach, Calif., the Carmel Cup. The team played in the championship match, but fell 4-1-1 to UNLV in the final. Senior Charlie Ewing and junior Ben Fogler earned points in the final match. Look for junior Hunter Stewart and freshman Matthias Schwab to make an impact.
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Boston College: The Eagles opened their season at the Tar Heel Intercollegiate and finished 14th. BC played all underclassmen: two juniors, two sophomores and a freshman. Sophomore Nicholas Pandelena led the team with a T-28 finish.
Clemson: No. 21 in the Golfweek preseason rankings, the Tigers finished 13th at the Fighting Illini Invitational at Olympia Fields. Clemson posted its best team score in the final round, with a 10-over 290. Sophomore Cody Proveaux paced the team with a top-30 finish. Freshmen Carson Young and Austin Langdale will help this young team improve.
Duke: After winning the ACC Championship last spring, the Blue Devils started the fall with a sixth-place finish at the Tar Heel Intercollegiate, one of their five tournament titles a year ago. Freshman Max Greyserman opened his collegiate career with a fourth-place finish at UNC Finley Golf Course. Senior Austin Cody will provide the leadership for this young team.
Virginia: To open the fall season, the Cavaliers finished second at the Northern Intercollegiate, one shot behind Central Florida. Junior Denny McCarthy, who placed fourth with a three-round total of 2 under, led Virginia. The Cavs' Ji Soo Park and Jimmy Stanger also finished in the top 10.
Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons placed seventh at the Carpet Capital Collegiate Classic in their first tournament. Senior Thomas Birdsey led the team with a 12th-place finish at The Farm Golf Club. The team has eight underclassmen and three seniors.