Oglethorpe University and the Jekyll Island Authority are set to welcome 30 men's teams and 24 women's teams to the Jekyll Island Golf Club Friday through Sunday for the 18th annual Jekyll Island Collegiate Invitational. This year's field has teams from 18 states, and will include 310 players from some of the best programs in the country.
For the women, it'll be the 14th annual Jekyll Island Collegiate. The 2017 field features defending national champion Rhodes, leading a group of 10 of the top 20 teams in the Golfstat Relative Ranking.
"This is as deep a field from the top 20 as I can recall," said Owen. "We also have the most depth in tournament history on the women's side, with 17 of the top 55."
Sewanee returns to defend their first-ever Jekyll Island title without 4-time All-American (and last year's individual medalist) Emily Javadi. She shot a 1-under-par 215 to edge out Christina Herbert of Bridgewater (Virginia) by a couple strokes. The women will play to a par-72 Indian Mound course at Jekyll Island Golf Club. Finishers 2 through 5 from last year's tournament all return to this year's tournament.
The Stormy Petrels are coming off a seventh-place finish at the Callaway Gardens Intercollegiate in Pine Mountain. Seven women will compete for Oglethorpe in this year's event. Senior Lisa van der Ross and freshman Ana Garcia will compete as individuals on Indian Mound. The Petrels will line up with sophomore Hailey Willman, fresh off her 13th-place finish at Callaway Gardens, in the No. 1 spot. Freshman Mara Tiger will hold down the second slot, with sophomores Vickie Kwak and Katie Hanley at Nos. 3 and 4, respectively. Senior Elizabeth Burns will play out of the No. 5 slot for the Petrels.
"We have some momentum built on the women's side that we need to continue to develop as the spring season progresses," said Owen. "One of our goals is for the women's team to post a good number in Round 1 and improve on it each of the subsequent rounds. Coach Quinn has challenged the team to improve in this area, and this tournament is an chance to see that in action. Another top 10 finish for our women's team, and we could approach the top 20 in the Golfstat rankings. This weekend is a big opportunity for our women's team."
The Petrels will tee off at 12:45 p.m. Friday, and will be paired with Carnegie Mellon and Olivet.