The ETSU men’s golf team is set to host the 21st Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate, which gets underway on Friday morning from the Blackthorn Club at The Ridges.
ABOUT THE BUCS
This weekend marks the fourth tournament of the fall season for the Blue and Gold and the first since finishing up at the Old Town Collegiate Invitational back on Sept. 25 … ETSU opened the season at the Rod Myers Invitational back on Sept. 8, while also playing at the Louisville Cardinal Classic Sept. 14-16.
Sophomore Jack Rhea (Jonesborough, Tenn.) – who ranks third in the SoCon with a 70.67 stroke average – has led the Bucs in their last two tournaments … Rhea finished tied for 15th at 2-under-par 211 in Louisville and finished tied for 20th at the Old Town Club Collegiate at 2-under-par 208.
Fellow sophomore Shiso Go (Kanagawa, Japan) is coming off his appearance at last weekend’s Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship where he finished tied for 30th at 1-over-par 281 … Go, who led ETSU in the season opener at the Rod Myers, ranks eighth in the conference with a 71.67 stroke average.
Geuntae Kim (Daegu, South Korea) is the only senior on the Buccaneer roster, and he ranks right behind Go in stroke average at 71.78 … Kim is coming off his best showing of the fall as he finished even-par 210 at last month’s Old Town Club Collegiate.
ABOUT THE TOURNAMENT
The three-day tournament gets underway Friday morning at 8:30 a.m. with teams going off from No. 1 and No. 10. Saturday’s second round will also start at 8:30 a.m. with the same format, while Sunday’s tee times and pairings will be released at the conclusion of Saturday’s round.
The course is a par-72, 7,147-yard layout.
Penn State is the defending champion and the No. 15 Nittany Lions return to this year’s tournament … Penn State finished last year with a three-day total of 31-under-par 833 and won by nine shots over Kent State.
A new individual champion will be crowned this week as Missouri’s Hayden Buckley was a senior for the Tigers last season … Buckley broke the tournament record by finishing at 17-under-par 199 to win by three strokes over Penn State’s JD Hughes.
Buckley was not the only player setting records last year as Shiso Go set a new single-round tournament record after firing a 9-under 63 in Saturday’s second round.
Jack Rhea led the Blue and Gold last season as he finished tied for fourth at 10-under-par 206 (70-65-71), which was the third-lowest score posted by a Buccaneer at the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate.
Last year, ETSU finished tied for seventh in the 15-team field.
The Bucs finished second in 2006, 2008 and 2014, marking their best team placing in tournament history. In 2008, ETSU lost by one stroke to Coastal Carolina, while falling by one stroke to Tennessee in 2006. In 2014, the Blue and Gold finished five strokes back of Wake Forest.
Adrian Meronk (2015) and Rhys Davies (2005 & 2006) are the two Buccaneers to earn medalist honors at the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate.
Since its first year of competition in 1998, the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate has featured players who have gone on to enjoy successful careers on the PGA and European PGA Tours. This list of names includes Matt Kuchar, Luke Donald, Lucas Glover, Bill Haas, Webb Simpson, Graeme McDowell, Jason Dufner, Anthony Kim and ETSU’s own Seamus Power and Davies, to name a few.
Click here for the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate record book.
Joining ETSU and Penn State in this year’s tournament are Coastal Carolina, East Carolina, Furman, Kent State, Louisville, Missouri, Tennessee, UNC Wilmington, VCU, Villanova, Virginia Tech and Virginia … Wake Forest also has two individuals playing this weekend’s tournament.
Five teams in this weekend’s tournament are ranked in the top-50 Golf week rankings … Those teams include No. 6 Tennessee, No. 12 Louisville, No. 15 Penn State, No. 44 Virginia and No. 50 Kent State.
Seven of the 14 teams in this year’s field have won this tournament at least once … Those teams include Coastal Carolina (2008), Kent State (2011), Missouri (2012), Penn State (2017), Tennessee (2004, 2006, 2009), Virginia Tech (2007) and Virginia (2010, 2013, 2016).
The Bucs’ lineup this week consists of No. 1 Jack Rhea, No. 2 Shiso Go, No. 3 Geuntae Kim, No. 4 Trevor Hulbert and No. 5 Dhaivat Pandya.
Sophomore Austin Carter (Kingsport, Tenn.) will play as an individual … Carter will go out at 10:30 a.m. from No. 10.
The Bucs will be paired with Tennessee and Penn State in Friday’s opening round … ETSU will tee off starting at 10:10 a.m.