Men's Golf Starts 2010 Schedule at Jacksonville University Invitational

Feb. 7, 2010

Video of 17th Hole

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Looking to start its 2010 spring schedule on the right foot, the University of Kentucky men’s golf team starts the 54-hole Jacksonville University Invitational at the famous TPC at Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., on Monday.

The second annual tournament is hosted by the University of Jacksonville and will be held at the par-72 PLAYERS Stadium Course at the TPC at Sawgrass. Live results will be available online at golfstat.com, along with a new and exciting video feature that will have a live video feed of the famous 17th hole through the entire tournament.

“We are excited to start the spring season competing on the famed TPC Sawgrass course,” head coach Brian Craig said. “This is a great way to kick off 2010 on one of the best courses in the U.S. The break was nice, but the guys are now ready to compete and see how great of a spring we can have.”

UK, coming off a second-place finish in its final fall tournament, will send a rotation of two seniors, two juniors and a freshman to the tournament. The rotation is headlined by junior Brian Belden and senior Ben Fuqua. Bleden posted the lowest stroke average on the team in the fall or 2009 with a mark of 74.09. The native of Emmaus, Pa., was Kentucky’s top finisher in the first two tournaments of the fall season, finishing in the top 20 at the Wolf Run Intercollegiate and the Gary Koch Invitational.

Fuqua, the senior leader of the team, ended his final fall season in style, finishing tied for fourth in the Hummingbird Intercollegiate, the best individual finish of the fall season for a Wildcat. The native of Danville, Ky., had the third-best season-stroke average on the team this fall.    

Coach Craig and associate head coach David Trainor complete their rotation with senior Jordan Blann, junior James Kania and freshman Chase Parker in the three, four and five positions respectively. Blann played in all five tournaments for UK in the fall of 2009, posting a 75.21 season-stroke average. The native of Bowling Green, Ky., posted two top-15 finishes in the fall.

Kania, who was named the Golf Association of Philadelphia’s Amateur Player of the Year this summer, and Parker, who finished the fall with the second-lowest stroke average on the team, will add depth to the UK rotation.

UK will also send senior Derek Oldham, sophomores Mads Kristensen and Chase Carpenter, and freshmen Seth Blann, Joseph Barr and Michael Kania to play as individuals at the Ponte Vedra Golf and Country Club.

Kentucky will join 14 quality teams at the tournament in Charleston Southern, Clemson, East Carolina, East Tennessee State, Georgia State, Idaho, Jacksonville State, Jacksonville, Liberty, Murray State, Old Dominion, USC Upstate, Wake Forest and Winthrop.

The event will consist of a shotgun start for the first two rounds Monday followed by the final 18 holes Tuesday with tee times starting at 8 a.m. both days. On Sunday, teams will participate in a practice round and a college-am event will be held.

Last season, Kentucky finished the tournament in second place with all five players finishing in the top 25. James Kania, Jordan Blann and Fuqua finished in the top 15 at the event which was held at the TPC Dye Valley course.