March 10, 2011

Nation's Top Golfers Head to Jekyll Island Collegiate Invitational

Beginning next week, Jekyll Island will be teaming with host institution Oglethorpe University as collegiate golfers from across the nation flock to the 2011 Jekyll Island Collegiate Invitational. Teams will begin arriving early next week to prepare for the tournament. In total there will be 52 teams and 270 competitors on the Pine Lakes and Indian Mound courses. There will also be about 30 individual competitors on the Oleander course bringing the total to 300 male and female collegians and almost 60 coaches.

"The Jekyll Island Collegiate Invitational is currently the largest Division III tournament in the country, with the strongest and deepest field in the nation. We are thrilled to host players on such outstanding and well manicured courses with over seeded tee boxes and fairways," stated Tournament Director and Host Coach Jim Owen of Oglethorpe University. "It is no wonder there are thirty teams in the field and a dozen more waiting to get in the tournament in the future. We are looking forward to another great year."

The tournament is scheduled for three days of competition and a total of 54 holes of stroke play. Trophies are awarded to the top four teams in both the men and women's team competition and the top ten individuals make up the "All-Tournament" team in both the women's and men's events. A low medalist trophy is awarded to the individual champion.

This year marks the 12th Annual Men's Collegiate on Jekyll and the 8th year for the Women's Collegiate. The first ten years of the Men's Collegiate were played exclusively on the Oleander Course. Last year the men's event moved to the Pine Lakes Course and this year, the twelfth edition of the collegiate remains on the Pine Lakes 18.

The tournament is loaded with individual talent from all over the country. 65 of the top 150 individual golfers in the country will be on the golf course this week including six of the top ten ranked players. The nation's top ranked player Tain Lee of Claremont McKenna as well as #3 Justin Tereshko of Transylvania and #6 Chris Morris of Centre College headline the stellar field. #8 Jordan Stein of Claremont, #9 Eric Bunge of LaVerne and #10 Chase Blaich of Huntingdon College round out the top ten.

This year 22 of the 30 teams in attendance are ranked inside the top 50 nationally. The 30 men's teams come from 14 different states from as far north as Minnesota and Rochester, NY and as far west as California. There are six teams from the state of Virginia and five from the state of Georgia. Teams from Georgia include Coastal Georgia, Emory, LaGrange, Oglethorpe, and Piedmont. Three schools from the state of Tennessee are represented Maryville, Rhodes and The University of the South/Sewanee.

The 2011 Jekyll Island Women's Collegiate will enter its 8th year on the Indian Mound Course. This year's event features 22 teams from 15 states and about a dozen individual competitors for a total of 120 women in the field. The 2011 tournament features ten of the top 25 teams mentioned in a March Golfstat poll and 45 of the top 150 ranked individual players in the country.

There are four teams from the state of Georgia in the 2011 field including host Oglethorpe University, Piedmont College, Coastal Georgia and Berry. Three teams from the state of Texas make the trek to Jekyll including Trinity, Southwestern and The University of Texas at Tyler. Two teams each from Tennessee (Rhodes and Maryville), from Alabama (Birmingham Southern and Huntingdon) and two teams from Wisconsin (Wisconsin Stevens Point and Wisconsin Platteville). The following states have one representative in attendance at the 2011 Collegiate: Ohio (Otterbein), Illinois (Illinois Wesleyan), New York (St John Fisher), Kentucky (Centre), Minnesota (Macalaster), Mississippi (Millsaps), Massachusetts (Amherst), Pennsylvania (Allegheny), and from North Carolina the defending champs Methodist University.

"It's an honor for the Jekyll Island Golf Club to be involved in this tournament and have the opportunity to host some of the nation's best players on our courses," stated Jekyll Island Authority Head Golf Pro Rob Ellis. "We are appreciative of Oglethorpe University for continually choosing to host this great event on Jekyll Island."

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