Many of the nation's top teams and golfers will descend on the Crescent City for the 2013 Allstate Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate Championship this Sunday-Tuesday, Feb. 24-26.
Feb. 22, 2013
NEW ORLEANS - For the third straight year, Tulane University and the Allstate Sugar Bowl have teamed up to bring many of the nation's top women's collegiate golfers to the Crescent City for the 2013 Allstate Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate Golf Championship, Feb. 24-26, at the English Turn Golf & Country Club. Admission to each round is free of charge.
The three-day, 54-hole event will feature 18 holes each day on the par-72, 6,105-yard course. Play will begin on Sunday, Feb. 24 with a 9 a.m. shotgun start due to inclement weather that will be approaching the area by Sunday afternoon. Monday's second round will begin from holes No. 1 and No. 10 at 8 a.m., while Tuesday's final round will begin with a shotgun start at 8 a.m.
The 2013 field is comprised of 18 teams and features 10 squads ranked among the nation's Top-25 programs, while a total of 16 of the 18 teams are rated among the Top-50 programs in the country. This year's participants includes No. 1 USC, No. 2 Duke, No. 3 Florida, No. 4 Alabama, No. 16 Oklahoma State, No. 17 Purdue, No. 19 Baylor, No. 21 Texas A&M, No. 25 Texas, No. 25 UCLA, No. 31 Tulane, No. 35 Auburn, No. 37 Oregon, No. 41 LSU, No. 43 UTSA, No. 47 Ohio State, No. 67 Tulsa and No. 88 Colorado.
A total of 20 of the nation's top-50 ranked individuals will compete for both the team trophy and individual medalist honors, including 11 golfers among the top-25 in the country. USC is the nation's top-ranked squad heading into the 2013 Championship, while Oklahoma State's Kelsey Vines is the top ranked golfer in the country and she will lead the Cowgirls into action at this year's event.
"We are really excited to host the Third Annual Allstate Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate Golf Championship at English Turn Golf & Country Club," Tulane head coach Andrew Pratt said. "This tournament has become in three short years the third-best women's collegiate tournament in the country. I think that speaks volumes for the Allstate Sugar Bowl, English Turn Golf & Country Club and Tulane Athletics. The field this year has 10 Top-25 teams, including the top four ranked squads in the country. I hope everyone will come out and watch some of the best collegiate golfers in the country."
"The Sugar Bowl is very excited to again work with Tulane and to sponsor this Intercollegiate Golf Championship," Paul Hoolahan, Allstate Sugar Bowl Chief Executive Officer, said. "We welcome the opportunity to host some of the top collegiate golfers in the country and we're looking forward to another great event at English Turn."
Duke enters this year's field as the defending team champion. Last year, the Blue Devils fired a 13-over 877 total to edge runner-up Colorado by three strokes. Colorado's Alex Stewart is the defending individual medalist after she fired a 5-under 211 total to top Oregon's Cassy Isagawa by one stroke for the top spot.
The 2013 field features both of the first two team champions and individual medalists of the Allstate Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate Golf Championship. With Duke returning as the defending champion, the Blue Devils will face off against the 2011 champions, USC.
In the individual race, Stewart returns as the defending medalist while Alabama's Stephanie Meadow, the 2011 medalist, returns for the third straight year. Stewart and Meadow each own the tournament record for lowest 54-hole total with identical 5-under 211 totals.
Ryan Herrington of Golf Digest ranked the 2013 Allstate Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate Golf Championship as the third-best women's collegiate tournament for the spring season. Herrington has ranked the Allstate Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate Golf Championship among his top five spring tournaments in each of its three years of existence. The 2012 Championship was rated as the fourth-best, while the inaugural 2011 Championship ranked as the nation's second-best women's collegiate golf event.
Tulane is coming off a second place finish two weeks ago in the spring opener at the UCF Challenge. The Green Wave boasts two golfers who have already won individual titles this season, including sophomore Gemma Dryburgh in the fall opener at the Old Waverly Bulldog Invitational and senior Maribel Lopez Porras in the fall finale at the Alamo Invitational.
Porras leads the team with a 73.00 scoring average, while freshmen Emily Penttila boasts a 73.80 average and Dryburgh is third with a 74.22 average. The freshmen duo of Madison Opfer (74.53) and Silvia Garces (76.73) rounds out the Green Wave line-up, while each of these golfers has earned a top-20 finish this season.
Last season at the Allstate Sugar Bowl Intercollegiate Golf Championship, Tulane posted a sixth-place finish, while the Green Wave registered a third-place effort at the event in 2010.
"This is a great opportunity for our program to have an outstanding finish in our own tournament. We are ranked 31st in the country and we're the 11th best team in our field. That just shows you how strong of competition we are up against but I believe we are up to the challenge. If we are going to play well this week we need to stay extremely patient for all three rounds and just play our own game. If everyone does that and sticks to their game plan that we've gone over for weeks we will do just fine," Pratt said.
In a city internationally known for its magnificent private clubs, English Turn Golf and Country Club stands out as an unmatched example of luxurious environment and superb recreational facilities.
The 18-hole championship golf course is a fitting testimony to Jack Nicklaus's extraordinary reputation not only as a world-renowned player, but as a world-class course designer. The Nicklaus-designed Par 72 Championship Golf Course presents a unique challenge to golfers of any skill level. Water comes into play on every hole.
Giant sand and waste bunkers guard many holes, and numerous grass depressions and mounds line the sculptured fairways. Huge tiered greens challenge putting strokes.
New Orleans is the 11th-oldest host city on the PGA Tour and English Turn was a regular stop on the Tour when it hosted the Zurich Classic from 1989-2004 and again in 2006. Past winners of the Zurich Classic include Billy Casper, Byron Nelson, Jack Nicklaus, Davis Love III, David Toms, and Vijay Singh.