Nittany Lion Men's Golf Team Competes in Big Ten Match Play for Spring Opener
Feb. 10, 2009
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State men's golf team will head to the Heron Bay Golf Club Wednesday in Coral Springs, Fla., for the first annual Big Ten Match Play, set for Feb. 13-14. The Big Ten Network will broadcast the inaugural tournament on a date to be announced, commentated by ESPN announcer Jim Kelly and Golfweek's Lance Ringler.
Heron Bay has been host to the PGA TOUR'S Honda Classic from 1997-2002 and was voted one of America's 10 Best New Public Golf Courses by Golf Digest Magazine when it opened. The Course has crowned champions such as Vijay Singh and Matt Kuchar. Along with Big Ten Match Play Heron Bay will also be host to the 2009 VH1 Save the Music Celebrity Golf Classic. For more information about the Heron Bay Golf Club please visit Heron Bay Golf Club
Big Ten teams will have an early look at match play which will be the new NCAA Golf Championship format. Starting this season, the NCAA championships will begin with 54 holes of stroke play to narrow the field to eight teams. Those eight teams will continue in match play format until a national champion is crowned.
"This is an exciting new event that will bring great exposure to Big Ten golf. The Big Ten will be hosting the only conference sponsored match play event of the year, and early planning has it showcased on our Big Ten Network," according to Coach Nye.
Match play will include five head-to-head matches between players from each team. The matches will not be halved. If necessary, a playoff will be used to determine the match winner. The team claiming at least three of the five matches will advance to the next round.
For more information about the new NCAA championship format please visit NCAA Championship Format
Beginning on Fri. Feb. 13, the 11-team field will participate in the first round and quarterfinals. On Sat. Feb. 14, play will resume with the semi-finals and then the championship. Admission is free to all spectators.
Penn State heads into the 2009 spring season ranked No. 8 in the Big Ten and No. 51 in the nation according to Golfweek. All Big Ten schools enter the 2009 spring season ranked in the top-85, with six in the top-50 and No. 6 Illinois, No. 8 Indiana representing the Big Ten in the top ten of the national rankings. Other ranked participants include No. 28 Michigan State, No. 37 Michigan, No. 40 Ohio State, No. 44 Iowa, No. 51 Northwestern, No. 56 Penn State, No.63 Minnesota, No. 64 Purdue and No. 81 Wisconsin.
Ten individual Big Ten players are ranked in the top 100 in the nation. Penn State's Kevin Foley (Sommerville, N.J.) is ranked No. 4 in the Big Ten and No. 24 in the nation heading into the tournament. Other competitors in the national ranking include No. 3 Jorge Campillo of Indiana, No. 15 Scott Langley of Illinois and No. 18 Vaughn Snyder of Ohio State.