Arkansas Set to Take Part in Hall of Fame Invi
BY ANDRES FOCIL
HUMBLE, Texas – The 16th-ranked Razorbacks had little time to rest as they traveled straight from the Morris Williams Intercollegiate in Austin, Texas to Humble, Texas for the Hall of Fame Invitational on March 19-21. Arkansas was extended an invitation to the tournament from the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) after its excellent play in 2003.
“This is the best golf course we’ve played on in my five years of coaching in college,” Arkansas head coach Mike Ketcham. “It’s in great shape since they’ll be hosting the PGA Tour’s Houston Open in a few weeks. It’s a wonderful field and we’re extremely excited to play in the GCAA’s first annual invitational tournament. It’s going to present a great challenge for us, but we took the day off yesterday and got away from golf. Now we’re ready to play.”
UA is a part of a highly ranked field that includes five of the top 10 teams in the nation. Joining the Hogs on the Redstone Golf Club’s par 72, 7,352-yard golf course is No. 20 Arizona, No. 6 Arizona State, Averett College, East Tennessee State, England, Francis Marion University, Houston, No. 9 Minnesota, No. 17 New Mexico, No. 10 Oklahoma State, No. 23 Oklahoma, Rice, Sweden, No. 8 TCU, No. 7 Texas, No. 31 Texas A&M and No. 11 UNLV.
Arkansas had a slight lineup change and freshman Beau Glover is now a part of the five-man squad. Seniors Andrew Dahl and Chad Faucett, sophomore Paul Bradshaw and freshman Matt Bortis will also take to the greens in hopes of putting together an excellent team showing.
Dahl is coming off the tourney title he captured at the Morris Williams Intercollegiate. In Austin he fired a career-best and competitive course record round of 64 to establish himself as the early leader. His performance was his third-career individual title and also improved his stroke average to a 72.3, the best on the team. Dahl will look to continue his outstanding play this weekend against some of the best in the country.
Both Bortis and Bradshaw will be making their fourth-consecutive tournament appearances. Bortis has remained steady and is carding the third-best team average of 73.5. Bradshaw is close behind with a 73.9 stroke average. He has been the consistent No. 2 man on the team and turned in a season-best finish two weeks ago when he tied for seventh place at the General Jim Hackler Intercollegiate.
Faucett has been making an impact during his senior campaign and is carrying an average of 73.8 through four tournaments. He has been the No. 3 or 4 team finisher and will look to improve this weekend.
Glover is returning to competition for the first time since suffering food poisoning that forced him to bow out of the General Jim Hackler Intercollegiate on March 7. Glover had represented Arkansas in five tournaments up to that point and he hopes to get back into a routine of solid play. For the year he has recorded four top-30 finishes and a 74.3 stroke average.
The Razorbacks will play 18 holes on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Live results will be available on www.golfstate.com. When they return from Texas they will have a much-deserved week off, before the Border Olympics on April 1-3.
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