Men's Golf to Open Spring at John Hayt

LSU head coach Chuck Winstead
LSU head coach Chuck Winstead
Kevin Bishop
Will Stafford (@WillStaffordLSU)
Will Stafford (@WillStaffordLSU)
Associate SID

BATON ROUGE - The No. 14-ranked LSU men's golf team will kick off its 2012 spring season on Sunday morning with its annual trip to Sawgrass Country Club in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., where it is set to tee it up at the 2012 John Hayt Invitational hosted by the University of North Florida.

The three-day, 54-hole event opens Sunday with the first round followed by the second round on Monday and final round on Tuesday. The course will play to a par 72 and 6,910 yards for the championship.

Live scoring of the event will be provided by Golfstat and can be found online at LSU fans can also receive live updates on the Tigers throughout the three days of the event by liking LSU Men's Golf on Facebook and following @LSUMensGolf on Twitter.

The 14th-ranked Tigers will compete as part of a 15-team field that includes three other programs entering the tournament among the nation's Top 25 teams in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index.

The Tigers will square off against such teams as No. 7 Arkansas, No. 16 North Florida and No. 19 Central Florida for the team title at this year's John Hayt Invitational. Also joining the chase for the team title this week is Alabama-Birmingham, Coastal Carolina, Furman, Georgia Southern, Jacksonville, Mercer, North Texas, Ole Miss, TCU, Tennessee and Tulsa as part of the tournament field.

LSU will tee off with Central Florida and Ole Miss in the first round of the 2012 John Hayt Invitational as they open play in the final wave on the front nine with tee times beginning at 8:30 a.m. CT.

The Tigers have enjoyed tremendous success at Sawgrass Country Club in recent seasons, which includes their first team championship at the John Hayt Invitational in 2009 after firing a winning team score of 21-over par 885. They have followed with a runner-up finish in 2010 with their team score of 24-over 888 and a third-place finish in 2011 with their final team score of 7-over 871 in the event.

The Arkansas Razorbacks will open play Sunday as the defending John Hayt Invitational champions after firing a winning score of 3-over 867 to finish two shots clear of Auburn in the final team standings.

Sophomore Andrew Presley is the lone Tiger in the lineup making his return to Sawgrass Country Club to compete after helping the Tigers to their third-place finish a year ago as he fired a team-low 2-under 70 in the final round to finish the event in a tie for 32nd place with a 54-hole score of 8-over par 224.

Yi led the Tigers to a strong fall campaign while posting a team-leading 72.7 scoring average while taking two top-five finishes, three top-10 finishes and four top-20 finishes in his five starts. Presley followed with a 73.5 scoring average, and one top-five finish, one top-10 finish and four top-20 finishes for the fall.

Presley will be joined in the lineup this week by senior standout Sang Yi, who is making his third start for the Tigers at the John Hayt Invitational. Yi earned his best finish in the event of 12th place while posting a 4-over par 220 in three rounds to help lead the Tigers to a runner-up finish in the team standings. Yi made his debut at Sawgrass as a freshman in 2009 with a 56th-place finish on the leaderboard.

Three Tigers will compete at the John Hayt Invitational for the first time as Tigers, as sophomores Franco Castro and Smylie Kaufman and freshman Curtis Thompson round out the starting lineup.

The Tigers wrapped up the fall season Oct. 25 with their most impressive performance of the campaign as they earned a runner-up finish at the prestigious Isleworth Collegiate Invitational held at Isleworth Golf & Country Club in Windermere, Fla., with a team score of 18-over par 882.

After competing this week at the John Hayt Invitational, the Tigers return to the state of Louisiana a week from now for the Louisiana Classics being held March 5-6 at Oakbourne Country Club in Lafayette. They will look for their second team title at the Louisiana Classics in three appearances after capturing the team championship in 2010 and earning a runner-up finish in the event a season ago.





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