Aug. 15, 2011
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky men’s golf team will face a grueling 2011-12 schedule, featuring 10 challenging tournaments at some of the best courses across the South, including a stop in Lexington at the University Club of Kentucky, UK head coach Brian Craig announced Monday.
Craig, who is entering his 11th season as the Wildcats head man, and the Wildcats will travel to seven different states, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina and West Virginia. UK will face several top-notch opponents on championship-style courses, with four new tournaments added to the schedule, including the Marshall Invitational, Inverness Intercollegiate Invitational, Bearcat Invitational and USF Invitational.
“We’ve got a great schedule that’s going to get us ready for the Southeastern Conference Championship and the postseason,” Craig said. “We’ve got a couple different tournaments in the fall that will give the guys experience on different courses. I’m especially looking forward to the spring schedule because it’s as good as it gets, it really is.”
One very noticeable change to the 2011-12 schedule is the switch in dates between the UK Bluegrass Invitational and the Gary Koch Invitational. For the past two seasons the UK Bluegrass Invitational has been the Wildcats’ final tournament before the SEC Championship and the Gary Koch Invitational has been the second tournament on the docket in the fall. With the trade in dates, Craig believes the fields will be more difficult and will better prepare the Wildcats as the season progresses.
“We’ve moved our tournament at the University Club to the fall,” Craig said. “The different conditions that this will present will be good for our guys. By moving the Gary Koch, a tournament we co-host with Auburn, to the spring, it has attracted an even better group of schools and has enhanced our schedule even more. It comes right before the conference tournament at Sea Island, Ga., and it will get us ready for the SEC Championship.”
The overall schedule will be separated into a fall and spring schedule, with Kentucky playing five events in each season. The fall schedule will begin at the Marshall Invitational in Huntington, W.Va., running Sept. 12-13. The Wildcats will then come home to the University Club where they will host the UK Bluegrass Fall Invitational at the Big Blue course on Sept. 17-18.
The Wildcats then head north to Toledo, Ohio for the Inverness Intercollegiate Invitational (Sept. 26-27) before going to Traditions Golf Club in Hebron, Ky., for the Bearcat Invitational (Oct. 10-11). Kentucky will close out the fall schedule at the UNCG Bridgestone Golf Collegiate, played at Forest Oaks Country Club in Greensboro, N.C., from Oct. 29-30.
UK’s 2011 spring schedule opens with the Mobile Bay Intercollegiate. The two-day event will be played at Magnolia Grove Golf Club on Feb. 20-21. The Wildcats will then head to the Sunshine State for the USF Invitational taking place at Lake Jovita Golf and Country Club on March 4-6.
After its brief stop in Florida, Kentucky will participate in two more three-day events with the Schenkel Invitational in Statesboro, Ga., running from March 16-18 and the Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate going from March 25-27 in Awendaw, S.C. Kentucky closes out the spring portion of the season at the Gary Koch Invitational. UK will co-host the event with Auburn at the Old Memorial Golf Club in Tampa, Fla., for the third consecutive season.
Kentucky will make the annual trip to St. Simons Island, Ga., for the SEC Championship on April 20-22. The Wildcats have been successful at the SEC Championships under Craig, posting four top-six finishes under Craig’s tenure. Kentucky won its first ever SEC Championship in 2005 when Craig was named the SEC Coach of the Year and Eaton Golf Pride Midwest Coach of the Year.
The NCAA Regional Championship is May 17-19 and the NCAA Championship, being held at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif., takes place from May 29–June 3.
For all Kentucky men’s golf news and updates, go to UKathletics.com and follow the Wildcats on Twitter at “UKmensgolf.”