Reynolds Lake Oconee Celebrates 10th Anniversary of Top Collegiate Event, Linger Longer Invitational
Written by Bryce McCuin
Established as one of the country’s premier men’s collegiate golf events, the Linger Longer Invitational at Reynolds Lake Oconee celebrates its 10th Anniversary in 2015, a milestone in what already is an illustrious legacy of championship competition.
The defending champion University of Georgia Bulldogs head a roster of 15 top college programs that will gather at the award-winning Great Waters course, March 21-22, 2015. The 54-hole stroke-play tournament, which crowns both team and individual winners, is co-hosted by Mercer University and Kennesaw State University.
Attracting many of the nation’s best teams year after year, the Linger Longer Invitational combines award-winning golf, a resort destination setting, and a welcoming, supportive community. Together, they make the Reynolds Lake Oconee event one of college golf’s most respected.
Among the tournament’s special experiences is the housing, provided by families throughout Reynolds Lake Oconee. Each year, teams and their host families create a connection that lasts a lifetime. “It is a relaxed atmosphere, so calm and peaceful there,” says Georgia coach Chris Haack. “And we are not always hustling, getting to and from a hotel; it’s like we are right at home.”
Also headed to Reynolds Lake Oconee in 2015 are two-time defending NCAA Champion Alabama and 2012 NCAA Champion Texas, along with Charlotte, Chattanooga, Clemson, Georgia State, Liberty, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Purdue, UNC Greensboro, and Yale.
Georgia’s Lee McCoy and Alabama’s Robbie Shelton, both in the recent Golfweek Top 10 college player rankings, head the list of talented players, along with Ben Griffin of North Carolina, Jimmy Beck of Kennesaw State, and GavinHall of Texas, all recently ranked among the Top 30 players in the nation. Eatonton native Trey Rule, currently a senior at Mercer, will return to his hometown to compete in this year’s event.
Numerous PGA Tour winners played in the Linger Longer Invitational, including Rickie Fowler (Oklahoma State); Chris Kirk, Harris English, and Russell Henley (Georgia); Jonas Blixt (Florida State); Kyle Stanley (Clemson); as well as European Tour winner Peter Uihlein (Oklahoma State). But only one member of that talented group was able to win at Reynolds Lake Oconee – Kirk, in 2007 on the Oconee course.
Former Alabama star Cory Whitsett set a record with three consecutive victories, capturing the individual title as a freshman in 2011, sophomore in 2012, and junior in 2013. He tied for 10th as a senior in 2014 and this year is a rookie on the PGA Tour.
Georgia has won the team title four times (2006, 2007, 2009, 2014), while Alabama won three straight (2011-2013). Alabama went on to win the NCAA Championship in 2013.
Throughout the years, the Linger Longer Invitational has been held at three of the Reynolds Lake Oconee courses: twice at the Oconee (2006-07), followed by three years at The Landing (2008-10), and now Great Waters (since 2011). Collegiate golf competition at Reynolds Lake Oconee got its formal start in the fall of 2005, when the Reynolds Lake Oconee Classic was played at The Landing.
For detailed information about this event, including scoring, please visit www.lingerlongerinvitational.com.