Men¡¯s Golf Team Set to Host the Rutherford Intercollegiate This Weekend
STATE COLLEGE, Pa.; April 30, 2007 ¨C The 2007 Rutherford Intercollegiate will mark the 31st edition of the tournament and will feature 12 competitive teams for the two-day, 54-hole event. The tournament will be held May 5-6 at the 7,228-yard, par-72 Penn State Blue Course.
Host Penn State, the 2005 Champion, will square off against 11 other teams from the eastern part of the country. These teams include Austin Peay, Eastern Kentucky, George Mason, Liberty, Morehead State, Princeton, Seton Hall, Towson (2004 Champion), Villanova, Wright State and Youngstown State.
Eastern Kentucky and Penn State enter the tournament as the highest ranked teams in the field, ranked No. 80 and No. 82 in the nation by Golfweek, respectively. Eastern Kentucky has won five tournaments this year, including the Firestone Intercollegiate last weekend. Penn State tied for first at the VCU/Mattaponi Springs Shootout in the fall and won the Marshall Invitational in early April.
Former Nittany Lion assistant coach Kirk Kayden will be returning to State College for the tournament as the current head coach of Austin Peay. Kayden, who was an assistant at Penn State from 2001-04, has coached the Governors to two wins this season -- the Samford Intercollegiate and the Belmont Intercollegiate.
Eastern Michigan, last year¡¯s winning team, will not be able to defend its title because they¡¯ll be competing at the MAC Championships. There will be a new individual champion in 2007 as the defending champion, Korey Mahoney, is from Eastern Michigan.
There are six players competing in the tournament who have recorded top 20 finishes at the event, including two runner-up finishers: Alex Brueggemann of Towson (last year¡¯s runner-up) and Penn State junior Robert Rohanna (the 2005 second-place finisher). Penn State¡¯s Marco Poccia and Matt Leon have both finished in the top 10 at the Rutherford Intercollegiate while Wright State¡¯s Brandon and Penn State junior Harvin Groft both have two top-20 finishes.
The tournament became known as the Rutherford Intercollegiate in 1983 to honor R.B. ¡°Pop¡± Rutherford Sr., the man known to the Nittany Lions as the ¡°father of Penn State golf.¡± Rutherford organized the first Penn State golf team in 1922 and coached until 1949.
Penn State has dominated the Rutherford winning 13 of the last 15 years. Thirteen Nittany Lion golfers have placed atop the leader board, the last being Greg Pieczynski in 2004.