Tiger Golf Set to Open Spring Play at Rio Pinar
Feb. 20, 2009
ORLANDO, Fla.--The University of Memphis men's golf team will open play for the spring this Monday, February 23, at the Rio Pinar Invitational. The event is being held at the 6,978 yard, par 72 Rio Pinar Country Club with UCF serving as the tournament's host school.
The starting five for the Tigers this week will be Jordan Payne, Brandon Bunn, Brad Benjamin, Mark Trow and Jeff Hall. This will be the first time this season the Tigers will have upperclassmen only in the lineup. Benjamin and Bunn both competed in the Rio Pinar Invitational last season. In 2008, Bunn posted rounds of 73-69-77 to finish T34, while Benjamin carded rounds of 75-70-75 to finish in a tie for 37th.
Payne looks to continue his strong play from last fall. He recorded two top-10 finishes in his last three events, including a tie for fifth at the Memphis Intercollegiate. Payne also posted the lowest scoring average of his Tiger career in the fall, averaging a team-best 72.4 strokes per round.
Memphis will be facing some stiff competition in this event, as the 21-team field features 13 of the nation's top-100 teams, including six of the top-50. The field is as follows: #24 UCF, #62 Kentucky, Mercer, Iowa State, Akron, #75 Memphis, UNC-Greensboro, #29 Baylor, #98 South Alabama, #45 Ohio State, #46 Augusta State, #40 Louisville, Southern Miss, #80 Wichita State, #65 Texas-Arlington, South Florida, #30 Ole Miss, Connecticut, VCU and East Carolina.
"We are very excited and eager to get the spring season started," said Tiger head coach Grant Robbins. "Orlando is always a great place to play and we are looking forward to competing against a very strong field."
The Rio Pinar Invitational will tee off Monday, February 23 at 6:45 (CT). The teams will play 36 holes Monday and 18 on Tuesday. Keep up with the action at www.golfstat.com.