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Oct. 16, 2013

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By Andy Seeley
UCFKnights.com

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ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFKnights.com) – Now in its 10th year, the Isleworth Collegiate Invitational (ICI) has earned its reputation as the top tournament in college golf.

Need proof? Fourteen of the 15 teams in the field are currently ranked in the Golfstat Top 50. Thirteen of those squads are in the Top 35. Six of last season’s NCAA Quarterfinalists are in the field, including both the defending national champion (Alabama) and runner-up (Illinois).

“Every year, we’re attracting the top programs in the country,” UCF head coach Bryce Wallor said. “We’ve done that once again this year, led by Alabama who won the national championship and is currently ranked No. 1. California, who was probably the top team in the country for much of the year last year with all their success, is the defending champ. So, it’s a very, very strong field. There are a lot of great programs playing at Isleworth this year.”

The Tavistock Group, along with ICI co-hosts UCF and Texas Tech, are committed to creating an experience that rivals that of playing in a PGA Tour event. Isleworth is consistently rated as one of the longest and toughest courses in the nation and it is home to many of today’s top touring professionals.

“No. 1 Alabama is coming, No. 4 California, Texas was national champion a few years ago,” Wallor said. “Those are major names in all sports. To have those teams come be part of our event here at Isleworth, it’s a special place for golf, for golfers and for college golf.”

Alabama, which is currently ranked No. 1 in the nation in addition to winning last year’s national title, finished third at last year’s Isleworth Collegiate Invitational. California, the defending ICI champion returns to the field after reaching the semifinals at last year’s national championships. Michael Kim, who won medalist honors at the ICI last year, is back with No. 4-ranked Cal this season and looks to defend his crown, as well.

Illinois comes to Isleworth ranked No. 6 in the nation after finishing second at the NCAA Championships last season. The Illini took fifth at the ICI in 2012.

UCF tied for 11th at last year’s Isleworth event, a disappointing finish for the Knights. Senior Greg Eason highlighted UCF’s play at the ICI in 2012, finishing in a tie for 10th. Eason went on to wrap up his junior campaign by tying for eighth at the national championship.

With two early victories under their belts this fall and a No. 16 national ranking, the Knights are looking to improve at Isleworth in 2013.

“Last year, we had a good golf team that went out and made a lot of mental mistakes on the golf course,” Wallor said. “The pins are cut and tucked in the corners of the greens. If you don’t play into the green, you’re going to suffer. If you get greedy, if you think like a kid, you’re going to suffer. You have to think like a professional out there.

“If you don’t do that, it can be hard,” Wallor continued. “Last year, we failed to do that and we learned from it, I hope.”

The following is a look at the entire Isleworth Collegiate Invitational Field, listed in order of the current Golfstat rankings:

1. Alabama
4. California
6. Illinois
11. New Mexico
15. Texas
16. UCF
18. Arkansas
23. Vanderbilt
29. Florida State
31. Georgia Regents – Augusta
34. LSU
35. Texas Tech
47. UNLV
48. TCU
92. North Florida

The 2013 Isleworth Collegiate Invitational runs Sunday-Tuesday at Isleworth Golf & Country Club in Windermere, Fla. Teams hit the tees beginning at 8 a.m. each day. Live scoring is available by clicking here.


 

 

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