GREENSBORO, N.C. – Practice-round action will commence Friday in preparation for Saturday's first two rounds at the highly touted UNCG Bridgestone Golf Collegiate men's golf tournament, to be played at Forest Oaks Country Club.
The teams will play 36 holes on Saturday via an 8:30 a.m. shotgun start and 18 holes on Sunday through an 8:30 a.m. tee-time start off of Nos. 1 and 10.
Forest Oaks Country Club has served as the host for all five previous events. The event was a spring tournament in 2005 and 2006 before moving to the fall in 2007, serving as the final stop on many teams' fall slates.
This is the fifth season that Bridgestone Golf has served as the event's title sponsor. Forest Oaks, which will play at nearly 7,200 yards this weekend, served as a PGA Tour stop for more than 30 years.
Carved from North Carolina hardwoods by noted architect Ellis Maples, Forest Oaks opened in 1962 to wide acclaim. It was already known as one of the best tests of golf in a state known for great golf tests when it became the home course of the venerable Greater Greensboro Open in 1977.
As the golf course matured, alterations to the course were necessary. In 2002, the job of restoring the course to all its glory was assigned to Davis Love III's Love Design Group. The course now features Tift Sport Bermuda grass to handle extremes of summer heat and winter wetness better than it had before. The greens are now a mix of A4 and A1 bentgrass to offer a faster and truer surface than the old Penn Links bentgrass. At its absolute longest length, the course can play to more than 7,400 yards.
This weekend's tournament features a wealth of ranked players and teams. Seven individuals are in the top 75 according to Golfweek's Sagarin ratings, while Golfstat puts four in the top 75. Both ratings put five teams in the top 50.
Individually, Pepperdine's Andrew Putnam is 25th in the current Golfstat rankings. North Carolina's Jack Field is No. 46, while Auburn's Michael Hebert is No. 48 and Blayne Barber is No. 61.
Golfstat's team rankings have Auburn in ninth, Michigan 30th, Northwestern at No. 32, Charlotte at No. 36 and Pepperdine at No. 39.
Golfweek's Sagarin ratings have Auburn's Niclas Carlsson at No. 11, Pepperdine's Putnam at No. 30, and Auburn's Hebert at No. 41 and Barber at No. 48. Northwestern's David Lipsky is No. 66, while Minnesota's Donald Constable is No. 71 and Pepperdine's Josh Anderson is No. 72.
The team rankings from Sagarin have Auburn at No. 8, Pepperdine at No. 29, Michigan 33rd, Northwestern 34th and Charlotte at No. 35.
Friday's activities will also feature a youth clinic for the First Tee of the Triad program. UNCG golfers regularly work with the First Tee program at its facility at Gillespie Golf Course near downtown Greensboro, but have invited the program to Forest Oaks for a special clinic on Friday afternoon and will host the group on Saturday in a special viewing area.
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