BATON ROUGE – After wrapping up the 2013 fall season at the Isleworth Collegiate Invitational back in October, the LSU Men’s Golf team is ready to resume its campaign this week with a trip to La Quinta, Calif., to compete as part of a 12-team field at The Prestige at PGA West beginning with Monday’s opening round at the Greg Norman Course.
This marks the 14th year of one of the truly unique events of the collegiate season as the Greg Norman Course will play to a par 72 and 7,096 yards for the three-day, 54-hole championship.
Monday’s first round and Tuesday’s second round are set to begin at 10:45 a.m. CT, while Wednesday’s final round will get underway at 9:15 a.m. as the Tigers are looking for a fast start in the 2014 spring season. They ended the fall season with a 10th-place team finish in their last tournament appearance at the Isleworth Collegiate Invitational.
LSU is part of a strong 12-team field that features four Top 25 and eight Top 50 teams in the latest Golfstat rankings heading into the week. The No. 33-ranked Tigers join the likes of No. 11 Stanford, No. 17 Washington, No. 22 Southern California, No. 23 UCLA, No. 31 Arizona State, No. 42 Texas Tech, No. 45 Oregon, Pepperdine, San Diego State, UC-Davis and the University of Stirling (Scotland).
Southern California and Washington return to defend the team title they shared a year ago with matching scores of 1-under par 863. Stanford and UC-Davis are serving as co-hosts of this year’s event.
The Tigers are paired with Oregon and Pepperdine in the opening round and will tee off from the front nine beginning at 1 p.m. CT. Fans can follow the Golfstat live scoring online through the tournament here.
Three Tigers return to the lineup from the squad that appeared at the Isleworth Collegiate Invitational in LSU’s fall finale as juniors Curtis Thompson and Stewart Jolly and freshman Eric Ricard join junior Ben Taylor and sophomore Zach Wright in kicking off the spring season with the team’s debut appearance at The Prestige at PGA West.
Jolly and Thompson were the only Tigers to appear in each of the team’s four tournaments during the fall season as Jolly leads the team with a 71.8 scoring average followed by Thompson with a 73.2 scoring average in their junior seasons. Wright is set to make his fourth appearance of the season this week, while Ricard is making his third appearance and Taylor is making his second appearance for the Tigers in 2013-14.
Jolly has proven himself as the team’s top performer this season, which includes a victory at the Golfweek Conference Challenge held at Spirit Hollow Golf Course in Burlington, Iowa, on Sept. 15-17 during the fall.
After opening their spring season at The Prestige at PGA West this week, the Tigers will travel to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, on March 2-4 to compete at the Querencia Cabo Collegiate being held at Querencia Golf Club at Querencia Resort. That trip will be followed by an appearance at the 29th-annual Louisiana Classics being held March 10-11 at Oakbourne Country Club in Lafayette.