Arkansas returns to the links this week traveling to Tennessee for the Mercedes Benz Collegiate Classic.
First-year head coach Shauna Estes and her new assistant Mike Adams put the team through its paces and a tough qua lifer before making the final cut. Estes elected to “exempt” three players who finished in the top 20 in the first event. Exempt from qualifying were senior Stacy Lewis, sophomore Kristin Ingram and freshman Kelli Shean. The rest of the Lady Razorbacks battled for the final two spots with Tiffany Phelps and Lucy Nunn earning the trip.
Make this and go a lot
The final three dates of the fall schedule are in quick succession and it is unlikely that the Lady Razorbacks will re-qualify between each of the these invitationals. If you make the cut for the Mercedes, you probably get to go on the rest of the fall trips. Don’t forget, however, that the head coach reserves the right to make a change so stay tuned.
About the Mercedes Benz
This year’s event takes place Friday-Sunday, Oct. 12-14, at Cherokee Country Club in Knoxville, Tenn. It’s a big field with 17 teams scheduled to compete.
An SEC preview – sort of
Tennessee also hosts this year’s SEC Championship April 18-20. However, the Lady Vols host the event at Tennessee National in Louden, Tenn.
Still a lot of SEC teams in the field
Despite that, there are still six SEC teams in the Mercedes Benz field. They are: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, LSU and host Tennessee.
This year’s field
The rest of the field is from the Central and East Regions. Here’s a complete list of teams scheduled to compete this weekend: Alabama, Auburn, Arkansas, Central Florida, Denver, Florida, Furman, Kent State, LSU, Michigan State, North Carolina, Ohio State, Purdue, SMU, the Swedish Junior National Team, Virginia and Tennessee.
Who is the team to beat?
There are several. Most of the collegiate golf rankings are based on pure numbers but there are some discrepancies in the three polls. Auburn is the highest ranked team checking in at No. 5 in the Golf World poll, No. 9 in the Golfweek poll and No. 6 in the Golfstat poll. Here’s a look at teams in the poll this week: