ORLANDO, Fla. -- Golf Channel announced on Tuesday eight of the top NCAA Division I collegiate golf programs have committed to compete in the annual East Lake Cup presented by Hewlett Packard Enterprise match play championship, featuring an expanded tournament format and airing live on the network Monday-Wednesday, Oct. 31-Nov. 2 at historic East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Ga.
MEN’S DIVISION: The men’s division of the East Lake Cup will include the 2016 reigning NCAA National Champions, University of Oregon; runner-up, University of Texas, who lost to Oregon in the championship match; the 2015 East Lake Cup champion, University of Illinois, coming off a school-record nine-tournament-win season, including the Big Ten Championship and its fourth consecutive NCAA Regional title; and Vanderbilt University, quarterfinalists in the 2016 NCAA National Championships.
“We are thrilled to be competing in the East Lake Cup,” said Casey Martin, Oregon men’s head golf coach. “To be associated with this event and the schools participating means the world to us at Oregon.”
WOMEN’S DIVISION: The women’s division will feature all four teams from the 2016 National Championship semifinals, headlined by reigning national champions, University of Washington, 2016 runner-up and 2015 national champions, Stanford University, six-time national champions Duke University and three-time national champions University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA).
“We are very excited to be part of the 2016 East Lake Cup,” said Washington’s women’s head golf coach Mary Lou Mulflur. “The commitment from the East Lake Foundation and Hewlett Packard Enterprise to showcase the best teams from both sides of collegiate golf is going to create a thrilling three days for everyone involved. We can't wait to get to Atlanta!”
The East Lake Cup will expand to three days of live tournament action, following a format from the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Golf National Championships. On Monday, Oct. 31, the eight teams will compete in individual stroke play competition to determine the individual national champion and to seed for two days of match-play competition. Tuesday-Wednesday, Nov. 1-2, two match-play tournaments will be hosted simultaneously for the men’s and women’s divisions, with the semifinals taking place on Tuesday and the finals and consolation matches on Wednesday.
Teams for the East Lake Cup will compete on the championship golf course at East Lake Golf Club, home of the TOUR Championship, the season-ending event of the PGA TOUR’s FedExCup Playoffs. The East Lake Cup, benefits the East Lake Foundation, a charitable organization dedicated to helping families build better lives and children reach their highest potential through its holistic approach to community revitalization incorporating mixed-income housing, cradle-to-college education and community wellness. The inaugural East Lake Cup, in association with presenting sponsor Hewlett Packard Enterprise and associate sponsors BMW, CSX and Rolex, raised $475,000 for the East Lake Foundation.
“We are thrilled to celebrate the 2nd Annual East Lake Cup at historic East Lake Golf Club,” said Daniel Shoy, Jr., President of the East Lake Foundation. “This year, Charles R. Drew Charter School welcomed its first senior class, completing the cradle-to-college pipeline, an integral part of the holistic revitalization in the East Lake community. The East Lake Cup provides a fantastic opportunity to showcase the importance of post-secondary education and the best in college golf to our Drew students and participants in The First Tee® of East Lake program.”
The East Lake Cup also features the Tom Cousins Award, an annual recognition presented to an outstanding male and female golfer who exemplify the values of the East Lake Foundation: excels in academics, engaged in his or her community and has overcome adversity. This award is named for Tom Cousins, founder of the East Lake Foundation, which transformed a community in despair into a thriving neighborhood, now a national model for community redevelopment through Purpose Built Communities. Baylor’s Laura Lonardi and Illinois’ Alex Burge were the first recipients of the Tom Cousins Award.