Golden Eagles one of four past champs at Great Smokies Intercollegiate


WAYNESVILLE, Tenn. -- One of four past champions in the field, and one of only two schools to win multiple titles at the event, the Tennessee Tech women's golf team will tee off Monday morning looking for another first place finish in the 16-team Great Smokies Intercollegiate at the Waynesville Inn Golf Resort.

The Tech women captured the crown in the first two years of the event, topping the field in 1999 and 2000. Since then, six other schools have won the championship, including seven by host Western Carolina. In addition to Tech and the Catamounts, previous one-time winners in this year's tournament include Eastern Kentucky and Elon. The closest the Golden Eagles have come to adding a third win was a third place finish in 2008.

This year's gathering of 16 teams, including two making their first-ever tournament appearance, will square off vying for both team and individual titles at the 14th-annual Great Smokies Intercollegiate. All told, 84 women's golfers are slated to vie for the tournament championship.
 
The two-round event will again be held at the par 72, 5,932-yard Waynesville Inn – Golf Resort and Spa. The 36-hole tournament will begin with a shotgun start at 9 am on Monday, with the final round also teeing off with a shotgun start at 9 am on Tuesday. Coach Polk Brown's Golden Eagle squad is paired up with OVC rival Morehead State along with Presbyterian on the first day of play on the Blue Ridge Course.
 
"We are really excited to be returning to this tournament," Brown said. "Our returning players have been pn the course in the past and know first-hand what a beautiful course it is, and our frehmen have heard them talk about. They're excited to see the course and test their games on it. The tournament always features a competitive field and we're looking forward to getting started."
 
The Waynesville Inn - Golf Resort and Spa was established in 1926, nestled on the hills and valleys of Western North Carolina. The 27-hole course sits on a former dairy farm and features rolling fairways ending in bent grass greens. The course was designed by renowned golf course designer, Donald Ross, who also designed Pinehurst #2 which hosted the 2005 U.S. Open. Golf Digest gave the Waynesville Inn – Golf Resort and Spa a four-star rating.
 
Teams will once again play the Carolina and Blue Ridge courses. The Carolina course will play 2,979 yards while Blue Ridge, which features three par-3 and three par 5 holes, measures out to 2,953 yards to make up the 5,932-yard course.
 
Full recaps and results will be made available online at www.TTUsSports.com at the conclusion of both rounds Monday and Tuesday.
 
ADDITIONAL GREAT SMOKIES INTERCOLLEGIATE NOTES:
* A total of 64 different teams have participated in the event all-time … the 2012 tournament features 16 teams from six different states (Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee) including two – Sandhills CC and USC Beaufort – making their first-ever tournament appearance;
 
* Four of the six all-time tournament team champions will be in competition: Eastern Kentucky (2011), Elon (2001), Tennessee Tech (1999, 2000) and Western Carolina (2002, '03, '04, '05, '06, '08, '09);
 
* Defending individual medalist – Western Carolina's Sofie Kvarnstrom – returns to the field in 2012 ... She is the only previous GSI winner in the 86 golfer field … Her two-day total of 135 is the second-best in tournament history, just one stroke behind Ashley Hovda from WCU who shot 134 en route to medalist honors in 2005;
 
* Three of the top four best team rounds have been turned in the past two seasons … Gardner-Webb posted a tournament record-low round of 282 over the final 18 holes of last fall's event … Eastern Kentucky matched the team 36-hole record of 576 originally set by WCU in 2005 … All told, the 2011 event saw five teams set or match low rounds inside the all-time top 12 in tournament history;