The Western Intercollegiate already has the distinction of being the longest-running tournament in men’s college golf (72 years and counting). Now it has another superlative to help it stand out: It’s the only men’s regular-season stroke-play event that will be broadcast live on national TV.
The tournament, hosted by San Jose State and played at Pasatiempo Golf Club, the Alister MacKenzie gem in Santa Cruz, Calif., has entered into a multi-year partnership with Topgolf Entertainment and the Golf Channel to televise the 54-hole event starting this April.
Golf Channel will cover Rounds 1 and 2 live on April 15 and 16 from 7 to 10 p.m. Eastern, and warp up with live final-round coverage on April 17 from 4 to 7 p.m. Bob Papa, play-by-play voice for Golf Channel’s NCAA Championship broadcast team, and Curt Byrum will work in the broadcast booth with Steve Burkowski, Billy Ray Brown and Arron Oberholser (1996 Western medalist) also working the telecast.
Topgolf’s involvement in the event will allow the broadcast to incorporate its Toptracer technology to provide real-time ball tracking.
Three programs currently ranked in the Golfstat top 25 are among the 13-team field: No. 8 USC, No. 15 Pepperdine and No. 17 Cal-Berkley. Other participants include UC-Irvine, Colorado State, Hawaii, Oregon, San Jose State, San Diego State, Stanford, UTEP and Washington.
The event has a rich history with an impressive list of former individual winners. Among them are Ken Venturi (1951, 1953) Johnny Miller (1968), Peter Jacobsen (1974), Mark O’Meara (1978) and Bobby Clampett (1980). Recent champions include Stanford’s Patrick Rodgers (2012) and Maverick McNealy, Texas’ Scott Scheffler (2015), USC’s Justin Suh (2017) and Oregon’s Norman Xiong (2018).