Highly Ranked NCAA Golf Teams Return to Reynolds Lake Oconee
Written by Jennifer Fernandez & Karen Moraghan
Recognized as one of the country’s premier collegiate golf events, the 12th annual Linger Longer Invitational at Reynolds Lake Oconee is set to take place March 18-21, 2017 on the award-winning Great Waters course, designed by Jack Nicklaus.
Defending team champion Alabama is headed back to Reynolds Lake Oconee for 2017 to challenge a field that includes four of Golfweek magazine’s most recent Top 25 teams: No. 5 Virginia, No. 10 Georgia, No. 14 Baylor and No. 25 Kennesaw State, which co-hosts the event with Mercer University. Also competing in this year’s Linger Longer Invitational are Augusta, Charlotte, Maryland, Michigan, Middle Tennessee, Ohio State, Troy, Virginia Commonwealth University and North Carolina-Greensboro.
The 54-hole stroke-play tournament, which crowns both team and individual winners each year, annually welcomes top collegiate programs and players from around the country. Alabama is going for a fourth Linger Longer Invitational team title, having strung together previous team wins from 2011-2013. Georgia already has four LLI team championships (2006, 2007, 2009, 2014).
Georgia’s Lee McCoy, who earned the individual title in 2016 for the second year in a row, is now playing professionally, meaning there will be a new winner at Reynolds. Top-ranked collegians in the 2017 lineup include No. 12 Jimmy Stanger of Virginia, No. 15 Greyson Sigg and No. 30 Spencer Ralston of Georgia, as well as No. 22 Wyatt Larkin of Kennesaw State, No. 26 Braden Bailey of Baylor,
Numerous future PGA TOUR winners who have played in the Linger Longer Invitational include Rickie Fowler (Oklahoma State), Chris Kirk, Harris English and Russell Henley (Georgia), 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.
The Linger Longer Invitational has been held at three of the Reynolds Lake Oconee courses – twice at the Oconee (2006, 2007), followed by three years at The Landing (2008-2010) 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 Classic was played at The Landing.
Among the special experiences of the tournament is the housing, 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.
The Reynolds Lake Oconee community was recently one of only 11 properties to be selected for the Platinum Medal by GOLF Magazine. Derived from the ranking of GOLF’s “Top 100” Golf Resorts, those awarded are chosen based on their golf, lodging, food and drink, services, and Golfer’s Choice Awards votes.