Reynolds Lake Oconee Invitational Returns for Another Round

Written by Caylee Franklin

On Friday, February 21, 15 women’s collegiate golf teams gathered at The Landing to drive, chip, and putt their way to victory.

The three-day women’s collegiate tournament, hosted by the Mercer University Bears, attracted a surplus of talented top-tier squads from near and far, from Auburn University to the University of Delaware.

“Collegiately, we look for golf courses that challenge our players. Reynolds Lake Oconee does that and the word is spreading through the NCAA,” says Mercer coach, Michele Drinkard. “Reynolds Lake Oconee is a special place; not only are all the courses championship venues but the hospitality you receive makes you feel welcomed and at home.”

Having previously been held at Great Waters and The National, and now The Landing, the challenge of Reynolds’ courses draws more teams each year, and offers new challenges to participants.

“The uniqueness of having different course architects and the natural terrain these courses are built upon are a draw to the Reynolds Lake Oconee Invitational,” says Drinkard. “The courses challenge us with all kinds of lies, different shaped greens, and short game shots which only helps our players to better their game.”

Despite facing record rainfall, a late frost, and fighting through dense fog, the teams played three rounds over three days, with Auburn University taking the victory on Sunday with Mercer trailing a close second.

“Ronald McWhorter and his staff at The Landing did an amazing job preparing the golf course for play each day,” says Drinkard. “The greens were rolled to a very nice speed resulting in quite a few birdies which is a testament to the care for the course.”

The 2020 Reynolds Lake Oconee Invitational was another all-around success, and the teams are eager to return for next year’s competition, to be held at the newly redesigned Great Waters course.

“The volunteers in the Reynolds community are a big part of our success,” says Drinkard. “Thank you to all our Reynolds volunteers that hosted our 15 teams in their homes, volunteered to do live scoring during the tournament, and so much more. We are blessed at Mercer to be able to call Reynolds Lake Oconee our home.”

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