The USC Aiken golf team will participate in a major tournament this weekend hosted by Augusta State, its rivals across the Savannah River. Many of the nation’s top teams will be in the CSRA this weekend when the Insperity Augusta State Invitational gets underway at the recently renovated Forest Hills Golf Club.
The two-day, 54-hole event is USCA’s final tournament of the regular season and will feature 15 teams, 13 of which are ranked in the top 50. In addition to USCA, ranked No. 3 in Division II, the field includes the fourth-ranked team and defending IASI champion Texas.
The Longhorns edged Augusta State in a two-hole playoff last year to capture the team title. Texas and Augusta State both fired a 26-under 838, the third-lowest total in tournament history. TCU freshman Julien Brun bested Dylan Frittelli of Texas by a single stroke to earn medalist honors.
Other teams participating are regional favorites No. 28 Clemson, No. 35 South Carolina and No. 14 Georgia. Rounding out the field is No. 40 Baylor, No. 39 Central Florida, No. 47 Coastal Carolina, No. 25 Houston, No. 24 Illinois, Purdue, No. 16 SMU, No. 23 Tennessee and No. 37 Virginia Tech.
Today’s schedule consists of 36 holes beginning with an 8:30 a.m., shotgun start on the par-72, 7,142-yard Forest Hills layout. Teams will play the first two rounds in threesomes, then will repair by score for Sunday’s third and final round.
USCA will be grouped with Coastal Carolina and Virginia Tech for today’s first two rounds. Other groupings include Augusta State, Georgia and South Carolina as well as Texas, Houston and Central Florida. SMU, Clemson and Purdue will also be grouped together while Baylor, Illinois and Tennessee will play together as well.
In its last event, the USCA golf team finished second in the Bearcat Golf Classic at Greenwood Country Club. The second place finish was the third runner-up finish in the past four tournaments for the Pacers – including the Richard Rendleman Invitational and the Bobcat Invitational.
Three Pacers finished in the top-10 individually, with JP Solis tying for third place at 218. It was his first top-5 finish of the season.
Mark Dickson also claimed his first top-5 finish of the season by ending his efforts in the Bearcat Golf Classic tied for fifth at 219, while Matt Atkins was the final Pacer in the top-10. He tied for 10th at 221 and now has five top-10 finishes in the 2012-13 season.
Live scoring for the Augusta State Invitational will be available at www.golfstat.com. The event is free of charge and open to the public.