Countdown to Tee Time
Eight of Nation's Top 12 Men's Golf Teams to Converge in Birmingham


Thursday, October 09, 2003

Austin Hynson

TUSCALOOSA - The Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate is considered one of the nation's premier collegiate golf tournaments, and the field for this weekend's tournament is an example of why.

The University of Alabama men's golf team will host the JPNI at Birmingham's Old Overton Club on Monday, October 13 and Tuesday, October 14 with a practice round on Sunday. Monday's play will include the first two rounds of the 54-hole event. The third round will be contested on Tuesday. Admission is free and the public is invited to come and watch the play.

Twelve teams compete in the field. Eight of the twelve are ranked in the top 12 in the newest Division I Precept Coaches Poll released on Wednesday. Two more are ranked among the Top 25.  Clemson leads the way as the defending national champions and the No. 3 team in the country. The Tigers have won the JPNI tournament championship five of the past six years.

Also competing are No. 4 Georgia, No. 7 Oklahoma State, No. 8 Texas, No. 9 Georgia Tech, No. 10 Augusta State, No. 11 Wake Forest, No. 12 UNLV, No. 17 Arizona, and No. 25. Alabama and UAB, both of which have been receiving votes in this year's poll, round out the field.

The teams are made up of some of the country's best golfers, including two who are ranked in the top five in the latest GolfWeek Men's Individual Ratings. (Coaches do only the team poll). Bill Haas, who followed his father, PGA Tour player Jay Haas, to Wake Forest, is expected to compete in the tournament. Bill Haas is ranked No. 3 in the country. He is expected
to be paired with Alabama's Lars Brovold on Monday.

Top 25 ranked players from these teams also include No. 13 ranked Matt Hendrix of Clemson, No. 16 ranked Jack Ferguson of Clemson, No. 17 ranked Jason Hartwick of Texas, No. 23 ranked Nicholas Thompson of Georgia Tech and No. 25 ranked Matthew Rosenfeld of Texas. UAB's Chris Cousins, also expected to compete, is ranked No. 28 in the country.