FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – A year removed from leading the program to its third NCAA Championship appearance in the last five years and the sixth consecutive regional since taking over the helm in 2006, University of Arkansas men’s golf head coach Brad McMakin unveiled a challenging 2013-14 schedule on Tuesday.
Featured in the schedule are three tournaments that the Razorbacks have won since McMakin was named head coach and three others in which Arkansas will make its first appearance.
"The goal when putting together the schedule each year is to make sure it will prepare us for the SEC and NCAA Championships," said McMakin, who has led the Razorbacks to 17 team titles in his seven years. "I think this year’s schedule accomplishes that while allowing our team to play some amazing golf courses. Our players look forward to the challenge that every tournament presents and competing against the best teams in the country."
Fall gets underway on Sept. 13th when the Razorbacks defend their team title at the Olympia Fields/Fighting Illini Invitation held at Olympia Fields Country Club. Led by a second place finish from senior-to-be Sebastian Cappelen, Arkansas won by a 13-stroke margin over a field that included six other top 25 teams.
Arkansas follows with another tournament it has won under McMakin, returning from a one-year hiatus to play in the Windon Memorial Classic hosted by Northwestern at Knollwood Country Club in Lake Forest, Ill., from Sept. 22-23. In 2011, the Razorbacks took home the team title, which was their third of the fall and was part of a record-breaking seven wins that year.
The start of October sends the Razorbacks to the Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate, hosted by defending national champ Alabama, on Oct. 7-8. It will be Arkansas first appearance at the tournament since 2009 when the event was reduced to one round due to weather. The program’s first-ever appearance at the Crooked Stick Intercollegiate (Oct. 14-15) and the Isleworth Collegiate Invitational close out the fall season and a span of three tournaments in three weeks. Arkansas will be looking to rebound from last year’s seventh place showing at Isleworth Golf and Country Club.
For the third straight year, Arkansas will begin its spring in Florida at the Gator Invitational held at Mark Bostick Golf Course. The Razorbacks posted a second and sixth place finish in 2012 and 2013, respectively, led by Cappelen, who has finished in the top 12 each time.
The Bayou City Collegiate Championships at Redstone Golf Club in Humble, Texas, on Feb. 21-23, co-hosted by Houston and Rice will be the second new tournament of the year for the Razorbacks. The month of March will feature just two tournaments, beginning with the Cabo Collegiate Invitational in Los Cabos, Mexico, from Mar. 2-4. Behind Cappelen’s eight-under par 205 that earned him medalist honors, Arkansas won the Cabo Collegiate Invitational in the fall of 2011.
A second trip to Florida lands the Razorbacks at the Floridian Golf Course in Palm City from Mar. 24-25 as the host of the Floridian. Arkansas closes out regular season play at the Aggie Invitational held at Traditions Golf Course on April 5-6. The Razorbacks finished fourth at last year’s Aggie Invitational, led by sophomore-to-be Taylor Moore’s eighth place showing.
Held at the Sea Island Golf Club’s Seaside Course in St. Simons Island, Ga., the SEC Championship runs from April 25-27. The NCAA Regional Championships get underway May 15-17, at one of six sites while the NCAA Championships will be held at Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kan., from May 23-28.
Arkansas returns four of the five players from last year’s NCAA Championships team that finished 10th. The Razorbacks finished the year ranked No. 8 by Golfstat and No. 11 by Golfweek.
For more information on Arkansas men’s golf, follow @RazorbackMGolf on Twitter.