Jan. 21, 2009

Courtesy of Texas Tech Athletics

LUBBOCK, Texas – One of the nation’s premier collegiate golf events has secured the most competitive field outside of the NCAA Championships, as each of the top 10 teams in the latest Golfweek/Sagarin poll will participate in the Isleworth Collegiate Invitational hosted by Texas Tech in late October.

”The field is without a doubt one of the strongest in the country, if not the strongest,” said Greg Sands, Texas Tech’s men’s head golf coach. “It’s an honor to host such a prestigious event at such a prestigious club. I’m happy Tech golf and Texas Tech get to put our name on something that has been regarded as the premier golf tournament in the country.”

“Our athletes are excited to play in this outstanding event,” Sands added. “We’ve seen several of the best golf professionals in the world there. It is an honor to be in the midst of so many great players.”

The No. 15 Red Raiders are one of 15 teams in the field for the annual event at Isleworth Golf & Country Club, in Orlando, Fla. The three-round tournament takes place Oct. 25-27. Texas Tech is hosting the event for the first time, assuming the host role from the University of Central Florida.

The top 10 collegiate golf programs include (in order of rank) Georgia, Southern California, Oklahoma State, Alabama, Stanford, Clemson, Illinois, Arizona State, South Carolina and Georgia Tech. No. 15 Texas Tech, No. 19 Texas Christian University, No. 25 UCF, No. 26 Florida and No. 64 Kentucky complete the field.

The Isleworth Collegiate Invitational was created in 2004 to give collegiate players and coaches the feel of a PGA Tour event. The tournament provides collegiate golfers the opportunity to compete on one of the toughest courses in the nation against the best players in the game. Since the collegiate golf event’s inception, the University of Georgia has dominated by winning four of the five tournaments.

Isleworth is a par-72, 7,544-yard championship course originally designed by Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay, later redesigned and enhanced by Steve Smyers. Isleworth consistently ranks as one of the longest and most difficult courses in the state of Florida and is home to a number of world-renowned PGA professionals.