BATON ROUGE – With three tournaments already in the books this season, the LSU men’s golf team is set to wrap up the 2013 fall season this week with a return trip to Isleworth Golf & Country Club in Windermere, Fla., to compete against an NCAA Championships caliber field at the 10th-annual Isleworth Collegiate Invitational beginning Sunday.
The three-day, 54-hole championship kicks off with Sunday’s opening round, followed by the second round on Monday and final round on Tuesday. Tee times for each day of the tournament are set to begin at 7 a.m. CT off the front nine and 7:25 a.m. off the back nine as the course will play to a par 72 and 7,387 yards for the week.
Thirteen teams in the 15-team field at the 10th-annual Isleworth Collegiate Invitational competed at the 2013 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championships to end the 2013 spring season.
That includes six of the eight teams that competed in the eight-team match play tournament for the national championship. Headlining the field in this year’s fall finale is defending national champion and No. 1-ranked Alabama; NCAA runner-up Illinois; NCAA semifinalist California; NCAA quarterfinalists New Mexico, Texas and UNLV; and NCAA qualifiers Arkansas, Central Florida, Florida State, North Florida TCU and Texas Tech.
Also making the trip to Isleworth Golf & Country Club to compete at the Isleworth Collegiate Invitational this week are Vanderbilt and Georgia Regents-Augusta.
After wrapping up Saturday’s practice round, the Tigers learned of their pairing with Florida State and North Florida in Sunday’s opening round as they will tee off from the front nine beginning at 7:50 a.m. CT. Golfstat will provide the live scoring throughout the event as fans can follow the Tigers in each round at www.golfstat.com.
The Tigers have enjoyed great success in recent years at the Isleworth Collegiate Invitational after taking home back-to-back runner-up finishes in 2010 and 2011 before tying for eighth place in the event a year ago.
LSU finished just two shots behind Alabama for the tournament championship in 2010 after posting a 54-hole team score of 22-over par 886 in three rounds at Isleworth Golf & Country Club. The team followed with an effort of 18-over par 882 for a second-straight second-place finish while finishing 26 shots behind Texas for the runner-up spot in 2011.
Four Tigers return to the lineup from a team that tied for eighth place in the event a year ago with senior All-SEC performer Andrew Presley, junior All-American and All-SEC performer Curtis Thompson, junior standout Stewart Jolly and junior Myles Lewis leading the way this week. Freshman Eric Ricard has also cracked LSU’s five-man lineup for the first time in his collegiate career.
Presley was the top Tiger a year ago as he cracked the Top 10 of the final leaderboard at the 2012 Isleworth Collegiate Invitational when he tied for ninth place at 3-over par 219 en route to earning his second career All-SEC second-team selection later in the season. Presley is making his third-straight appearance in the event as he was also the top Tiger in 2011 while tying for 16th place at 5-over par 221.
Presley will tee off in LSU’s fall finale as the team’s third-leading scorer this season with a 73.0 scoring average in his two tournament appearances on the year.
Like Presley, Jolly and Thompson are also making their third-straight appearance for the Tigers at the Isleworth Collegiate Invitational after earning a spot in LSU’s five-man lineup as freshmen in 2010 and sophomores a year ago. Jolly’s best finish in the event is a tie for 20th place in 2010, while Thompson’s best finish is a tie for 26th place in 2011.
The two have certainly led the Tigers through the early part of the 2013 fall season as Jolly is the team’s leading scorer with a 71.56 scoring average and Thompson follows with a 72.78 scoring average while appearing as part of the lineup in each of LSU’s three tournaments thus far.
Jolly is off to a fast start in his junior season after opening with a third-place finish at the Carpet Capital Collegiate Classic where he fired a season-opening 5-under 211 at The Farm Golf Club in Rocky Face, Ga., and firing a season-low 6-under 210 to share medalist honors at the Golfweek Conference Challenge held at Spirit Hollow Golf Club in Burlington, Iowa.
After wrapping up the 2013 fall season at the 10th-annual Isleworth Collegiate Invitational this week, the Tigers will break for winter before returning to action Feb. 17-19 with a trip to La Quinta, Calif., as they kick off an exciting 2014 spring season at The Prestige at PGA West to be held at the Greg Norman Course at PGA West.