Reynolds Lake Oconee Begins Second Decade Hosting Colleges for 11th Linger Longer Invitational
Written by Karen Moraghan
Entering its second decade as one of the premier men’s collegiate golf events in the nation, the 11th annual Linger Longer Invitational at Reynolds Lake Oconee resumes its illustrious legacy of championship competition March 20-22, 2016 at the Jack Nicklaus-designed Great Waters course.
The four-time team champion Georgia and three-time winner Alabama return as the leading contenders in the lineup of 13 prestigious college programs that includes Purdue, Virginia, Augusta State, Baylor and Louisville – all Top-50 ranked NCAA Division I teams.
The 54-hole stroke-play tournament, which crowns both team and individual winners, is co-hosted by Mercer University and Kennesaw State University. Georgia finished second last year to first-time Linger Longer Invitational champion Texas, with Kennesaw State tied for third, Mercer sixth and Alabama seventh.
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 that together make the Reynolds Lake Oconee event one of the most respected in college golf.
Among the special experiences of the tournament is the housing, provided by families throughout Reynolds Lake Oconee, which is one of the “25 Best Golf Communities in North America,” as ranked by GOLF Magazine. Each year teams and their host families create a connection that lasts a lifetime, truly setting this event apart from others.
Also joining the field for the 2016 Linger Longer Invitational are Charlotte, Missouri, North Carolina-Greensboro, South Alabama.
Individually, defending champion Lee McCoy of Georgia and Alabama’s Robbie Shelton, No. 3 in the recent Golfweek college player rankings, head the list of talented players. McCoy, No. 15 on the Golfweek list, won last year with a score of 202, 14-under-par.
This year’s field features a host of players recently ranked among the Top 50 players in the nation. McCoy and Greyson Sigg (36) lead the Bulldogs, while Shelton and Davis Riley (47) are the top two players for the Crimson Tide. Also leading their teams are Robin Petersson (16) of Augusta State, Austin Eoff (18) of Purdue and Derek Bard (41) of Virginia.
Numerous future PGA Tour winners who have played in the Linger Longer Invitational include Rickie Fowler (Oklahoma State), Chris Kirk, Harris English, Russell Henley, Brian Harmon and Kevin Kisner (Georgia), Brooks Koepka and Jonas Blixt (Florida State) and 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 left little room for anyone to break his record of three consecutive victories, capturing the individual title as a freshman in 2011, sophomore in 2012 and junior in 2013, finishing tied for 10th as a senior in 2014.
Throughout the years, the Linger Longer Invitational has been held at three of the Reynolds Lake Oconee courses – Oconee, Landing and Great Waters.
For updated scoring at the Linger Longer Invitational, visit www.golfstat.com