March 17, 2006
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State men's golf team travels to Statesboro, Ga., for Georgia Southern's Schenkel E-Z-GO Invitational this weekend (March 18-19). Held at the 7,000-yard, par-72 Forest Heights Golf Course, the 54-hole tournament features six teams in the Golfweek/Sagarin top 25, and 12 teams in the top 50.
As one of the country's most competitive tournaments, seven SEC teams headline the 15-team field. No. 3 Florida is the top-ranked team in the tournament, while No. 8 Tennessee, No. 20 Alabama, No. 21 Minnesota, No. 24 Kentucky, and No. 25 South Carolina follow close behind. Auburn (33), Augusta State (49) Georgia Southern (56), LSU (47), Michigan State (45), North Carolina (32), NC State (29), Ohio State (88), and Toledo (81) complete the field.
"We just want to compete this week. We're going to worry less about us personally, and just get out there and take it as a challenge," said head coach Mark Hankins. "Some teams probably don't respect us as a golf university, so we're fighting for respect this week."
Junior Matt Harmon (Grand Rapids, Mich.) and sophomore Ryan Brehm (Mt. Pleasant, Mich.) lead the Spartans and are the only two players to compete in each of the team's six tournaments this season. Brehm leads the team with a 73.67 scoring average, while Harmon boasts a 74.22 scoring average and a team-leading two top-five finishes.
MSU's trio of freshmen will be featured for the second consecutive tournament. Grant Tungate (East Lansing, Mich.) posted the highest finish of his career at last week's General Jim Hackler Invitational, finishing in a tie for 29th. Steve Cuzzort (Grosse Ile, Mich.) and Randy Hutchison (Traverse City, Mich.) round out the Spartan lineup and will be playing in their third tournaments of the season.
"Our confidence is struggling a bit right now as a team, so we're trying to go out and play good golf tournament and not worry about results," Hankins said. "If we can finish in top half of this great field, it would be a positive we can take to our next tournament."
The tournament begins with 36 holes of play on Saturday, while the final round will be played on Sunday. Visit golfstat.com for live scoring, and msuspartans.com for complete results.