No. 12 Men's Golf Opens Spring at Mobile Bay
BATON ROUGE - In the wake of a strong fall campaign in which the Tigers took home a pair of tournament titles, the 12th-ranked LSU men's golf team are ready to open the 2013 spring season this week with a trip to Mobile, Ala., to compete at the sixth-annual Mobile Bay Intercollegiate beginning Monday at Magnolia Grove Crossings Golf Course.
The University of South Alabama has played host to the event in each of the last five years dating back to the 2008 spring season. Mobile's Magnolia Grove Crossings Golf Course is the home of the sixth-annual tournament as it will play to a par-72 layout and a length of 7,212 yards for the week.
Monday's opener features two rounds beginning with a shotgun start at 8 a.m. CT. Tee times for Tuesday's final round are set to begin at 8 a.m. on holes No. 1 and No. 10.
Live scoring of each round of the championship will be provided by Golfstat and can be found online at www.golfstat.com. Fans can also receive live updates and behind-the-scenes coverage of the Tiger golfers competing this week by liking LSU Men's Golf on Facebook and following @LSUMensGolf on Twitter.
The Tigers enter the tournament ranked as high as No. 12 nationally in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index, while they also boast a No. 14 national ranking in the Golfstat Top 25.
"We're looking forward to getting back into tournament play following the layoff," said LSU head coach Chuck Winstead. "We're looking forward to the opportunity to get some competitive rounds under our belt so the guys can see where their game is and start building toward a successful spring. We expect a very competitive event with a strong field this week."
The Mobile Bay Intercollegiate features a strong 16-team field with four teams ranked in the Top 25 and eight teams ranked in the Top 50 of the latest Golfstat rankings released Wednesday.
The Tigers are the top-ranked team in the field with a No. 14 national ranking in the Golfstat Top 25. They will face the likes of No. 17-ranked Vanderbilt, No. 19-ranked Illinois, No. 23-ranked Wake Forest, No. 27-ranked Auburn, No. 37-ranked Kentucky, No. 46-ranked Mississippi State and No. 50-ranked South Alabama.
Rounding out the field are Akron, Arkansas State, Illinois State, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana Tech, Memphis, Middle Tennessee State and Southern Mississippi.
LSU is paired with Kentucky, Memphis and Vanderbilt during Monday's action at Magnolia Grove Crossings Golf Course and will tee off on holes Nos. 5-9 with a shotgun start set for 8 a.m.
The Tigers will compete for their third team title of the season with a lineup featuring juniors Smylie Kaufman and Andrew Presley and sophomores Stewart Jolly, Myles Lewis and Curtis Thompson. LSU's lineup features three of the Top 50 players in the country as Thompson is ranked No. 22, Jolly is ranked No. 32 and Presley is ranked No. 42 in the latest Golfweek Individual Player Rankings.
LSU's nationally-ranked trio have each earned one top-five, two top-10 and three top-20 finishes in four starts during the fall campaign. Thompson leads the team with a 72.9 scoring average, followed by Jolly with a 73.1 scoring average and Presley with a 73.3 scoring average in 12 competitive rounds played this season.
Jolly and Thompson actually tied one another for the individual title at the Shoal Creek Intercollegiate while recording a season-low score of 6-under par 210 in the event held in Birmingham, Ala., on Sept. 24-25. Presley followed with a victory at the David Toms Intercollegiate held in Baton Rouge on Oct. 6-7.
In addition, South Alabama will also play host to the USA Individual Tournament at the nearby par-71 Magnolia Grove Falls Golf Course on Monday and Tuesday.
Four Tigers will be competing in the individual-only event with junior Landon Lyons and freshmen John Jonas, Chuck Spears and Zach Wright in the field. The field in the USA Individual Tournament will be comprised of players from the 16 teams making the trip to Mobile, but not competing as part of the Mobile Bay Intercollegiate.
After competing at the sixth-annual Mobile Bay Intercollegiate this week, the Tigers will make their annual trip to Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., to compete at this year's John Hayt Invitational event hosted by the University of North Florida at Sawgrass Country Club from Feb. 24-26.