FEATURED COLLEGE TOURNAMENTS for the week of March 6
Southern Highlands CC
Over its 32-year history, UNLV’s home event had undergone a variety of format changes—starting as a six-team, 36-hole event before eventually evolving into its current 54-hole tournament—and survived a two-year hiatus before the school and Golf Digest revived the event at the old Desert Inn GC in 1996. UNLV and the Las Vegas Founders Club took over the tournament in the late 1990s and moved it to Southern Highlands, where it began getting some of the most impressive fields of any spring tournament.
Suffice it to say, the tournament sports an impressive list of past winners, including Billy Mayfair (ASU, 1987), Phil Mickelson (ASU, 1989, 1991), Stewart Cink (Georgia Tech, 1992), David Duval (Georgia Tech, 1992), Ryan Moore (UNLV, 2003) and Camilo Villegas (Florida, 2002, 2004). UCLA sophomore Daniel Im is the defending champion, shooting a seven-under 209 and winning in a playoff over South Carolina’s Mark Anderson. Meanwhile, 2005 winner UNLV looks to claim its sixth team title in the event, second only to Arizona State’s nine victories in Sin City.
FIELD: Arizona, No. 11 Arizona State, No. 19 Clemson, No. 7 Duke, No. 6 Florida, No. 1 Georgia, No. 2 Georgia Tech, No. 25 New Mexico, No. 3 Oklahoma State, No. 20 Texas, No. 22 Texas A&M, No. 4 UCLA, No. 8 UNLV, No. 10 Wake Forest, No. 17 Washington
Cal Guadalajara Invitational (For final story, see this link)
Guadalajara CC (6,200 yards; par 72)
What started as an idea for the Cal women to hold a training week in the hometown of one of its top players, Mexican amateur champion Sophie Sheridan, evolved into a full-fledged tournament when Bears coach Nancy McDaniel talked to colleagues at various other schools that also had Mexican players on their rosters about playing south of the border. With the assistance of Sheridan’s father, Dennis, the tournament came to fruition as a handful of top schools were invited to fill out the field.
The tournament will actually be more than just a competition. After the first round, all the teams will visit a Guadalajara hospice that cares for children with cancer, bringing hats, shirts and other items from their schools.
Also of note: Guadalajara CC’s head professional is former Oklahoma State standout Rafael Alarcon while LPGA Tour pro Lorena Ochoa grew up 50 yards from the course’s clubhouse.