University of Alabama Wins Third Straight Linger Longer Invitational

Written by Bryce McCuin

The number two-ranked University of Alabama men’s golf team battled through challenging conditions over the weekend on their way to capturing their third straight Linger Longer Invitational title held at Reynolds Lake Oconee’s Great Waters golf course March 23rd – 24th. The Crimson Tide bested second-place Kennesaw State (E, 576) by shooting a 36-hole total of 16-under-par 560. The first round of play was delayed due to thunderstorms forcing continuation of round two into Sunday, which was also delayed, causing the tournament to be cut short to 36 holes.

Alabama junior Cory Whitsett did not disappoint from his previous Invitational performances, scoring a 7-under par for the tournament – one shot short of his score in 2012. Whitsett made birdies on holes 17 and 18 to record a 2-under 70 in his final round for a one shot lead over South Florida’s Richard James and University of Georgia's Nick Reach who tied for second place at 6-under par. The first place trophy gives Whitsett medalist honors for the third straight year he has played in the event.

“I can’t say enough about the job our golf course maintenance team did in getting the course into a very playable condition after taking on nearly 3 inches of rain over the last 24 hours,” explains Mark Lammi, vice president of golf operations for Reynolds Lake Oconee. “Their hard work and dedication allowed us to get 36 holes in on two days I thought we would be lucky to get in 9.”

This year’s Linger Longer Invitational featured 14 teams participating in both team and individual stroke-play format with four teams ranked in the Top 25. The colleges represented at this year’s event were Alabama (2), Charlotte, Georgia (12), Georgia Tech (10), Jacksonville, Kennesaw State, Liberty, Mercer, Michigan State, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State (14), Penn State and South Florida. It was an elite group of individuals battling through tough weather conditions.

“This weekend really showed how world-class these players are,” says Lammi. “I watched them play many holes throughout the weekend and I was so impressed how they were able to overcome the conditions and put together tremendous rounds.” 

As with every year, one of the special experiences of the tournament is the housing of the college athletes that is provided by families throughout Reynolds Lake Oconee.  Each year teams and their host families create a connection that lasts a lifetime, truly setting this event apart from others.

Co-hosted by Kennesaw State University and Mercer University, the Linger Longer Invitational is a showcase for teams from coast to coast. Since its inception, the Invitational has been played on courses that are part of the Reynolds Lake Oconee collection- The Oconee Course the first two years, The Landing for two, and Great Waters for the past three.

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