Aug. 14, 2009
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IOWA CITY, IA – – The University of Iowa men’s golf team will represent the Big Ten Conference, and along with Riverside Casino and Resort, co-host top teams from 14 other conferences in Golfweek’s 2009 Collegiate Conference Challenge. This inaugural event for Golfweek will kick off the 2009 fall collegiate season and include some of the best Division I programs in the country. The 54-hole Challenge will be held at Blue Top Ridge in Riverside, IA, Aug. 29-Sept. 1, with 18 holes of play each of the three days.
“We are excited to co-host an exceptional national level event here in Iowa,” said Iowa Head Coach Mark Hankins. “We are fortunate to have an elite venue such as Blue Top Ridge, that is very supportive of college golf, and the University of Iowa to make this happen.”
Teams competing, with their respective conference, include Florida State (ACC), Xavier (Atlantic 10), Baylor (Big 12), South Florida (Big East), Coastal Carolina (Big South), Iowa (Big Ten), VCU (Colonial Athletic Association), Memphis (Conference USA), Illinois State (Missouri Valley), California (Pac-10), Vanderbilt (SEC), Georgia Southern (Southern), Texas-Arlington (Southland), Middle Tennessee State (Sun Belt) and New Mexico State (WAC).
“There are 14 teams competing that qualified for the NCAA Regionals last season, which will make this a highly ranked national tournament,” said Hankins. “This is also the first collegiate event of the season. I think every coach will agree that whoever wins this tournament will have to play great team golf all week.”
Designed by world-renowned architect Rees Jones, Blue Top Ridge is Jones’ newest championship golf course. Jones’ list of more than 100 courses includes seven U.S. Open venues, five PGA Championship courses and three Ryder Cup sites. Spanning over 7,500 yards, Blue Top Ridge is a world class golf course offering breathtaking vistas overlooking two rivers, lakes and diverse terrain. This will be the first collegiate event to be played at Blue Top Ridge.
“The cooperation of Bobby Kehl and Bryan Haas at Blue Top Ridge, along with Golfweek and in conjunction with the University of Iowa, has resulted in a unique and exciting tournament,” added Hankins. “This is a great opportunity for local golf enthusiasts and college golf fans to attend a great tournament right here in our area.”
Golfweek’s Collegiate Conference Challenge marks the first of four fall events for a Hawkeye team that graduated just two seniors from the squad that finished 17th at the 2009 NCAA Championships.