2011 BIG EAST Men's Golf Championship Preview

Championship Central
Live Results

Providence
, R.I. - The BIG EAST Golf Championships will take place April 16-19 at Innisbrook Golf and Spa Resort, hosted by Innisbrook and USF. The men's championship will be held at the Copperhead Course for the second straight year. Georgetown claimed the 2010 crown, winning its first title since 1998. The team looks to repeat as champion for the first time in school history and become the first school to win back-to-back titles since Notre Dame won three-straight from 2004-2006.
 
The Hoyas enter the championship ranked sixth in the BIG EAST in the latest Golfstat rankings and are 177th in the country. GU posted its best score of the spring in the team's final tournament, finishing tied for third at the Princeton Invitational. The Hoyas shot a 289 in the final round, its best team-score of the spring season, and finished with a three-round score of 854. Last year, at the same event, the Hoyas fired a six-over par 290 - their best round of the season - and carried that momentum into the BIG EAST Championship. Sophomore Curtis Loop leads the Hoyas, ranking eighth in the BIG EAST with a scoring average of 73.58.
 
The biggest challengers to the Hoyas' repeat bid figure to be Notre Dame and Louisville, which are ranked first and second respectively in the conference entering the championship. The Irish are No. 1 team in the conference and stand 52nd overall in the Golfstat rankings. The squad is second in team scoring average at 292.30 and earned one tournament title, coming at the St. Mary's Invitational. Two Irish golfers sit in the top 10 in scoring average in the conference, with junior Max Scodro coming in as the team's best medalist hope. Scodro leads the way with a stroke average of 73.61 and three top-five finishes. Junior Chris Walker ranks sixth at 73.87, also with three top-five finishes. Notre Dame has not won a team title since 2006 and has not had an individual champion since Mark Baldwin in 2005.
 
Two-time BIG EAST champion Louisville ranks second in the conference with a No. 102 ranking in Golfstat. The Cardinals have a 294.90 scoring average through 10 tournaments this season. Louisville won the team title in 2007 and 2009 and has had three golfers win the individual title. Junior Justin Dorward will enter as the team's medalist favorite, as he ranks third in the Golfstat standings with a scoring average of 73.43. Dorward has six top-20 finishes in 10 tournaments this season.
 
St. John's is the only BIG EAST team with two tournament wins this season and ranks third in the conference in the latest Golfstat rankings. The Red Storm won both the Harford Hawk Invitational and the McDonald Cup in the fall. Senior Evan Beirne won the team's first individual title since 2008, taking first at the Mission Inn Intercollegiate after shooting a six-under 210. Sophomore Pat Wilson leads the team with a 73.39 scoring average, which ranks fifth in the BIG EAST. Senior Mike Costanza sits seventh in the conference at 73.43, with four top-20 finishes.
 
Villanova boasts the No. 1-ranked golfer in the conference in junior Brian Colbert. Colbert leads the BIG EAST with a 73.00 scoring average and has posted two top-five finishes, five top-10 finishes and six top-20 showings. He has led the Wildcats to a No. 4 ranking in the conference. Colbert will be the favorite to win the individual title, an accomplishment that has not been achieved by a Villanova golfer since Kevin Rogerson in 1989. The team has an average score of 296.48.
 
Kelly Kretz, the No. 2-ranked golfer in the conference, leads Marquette into the championship. Kretz has an average score of 73.30 and has posted the lowest single-round score in the BIG EAST this season, firing a 64 at the Pacific Invitational. He finished -12 for the tournament with a 201, the third lowest 54-hole score in school history.
 
Following Georgetown in the Golfstat rankings is Cincinnati in seventh. The Bearcats have an average score of 299.81 and are led by senior Joe Kastelic, who averages a 75.23 per round.
 
Connecticut ranks eighth in the conference entering the championship, with DePaul is ninth. Connecticut is led by junior Matthew Dziubina, who has a 74.79 stroke average. He leads five Huskies who have a scoring average below 76.0.
 
 The Blue Demons have been paced by junior Ben Westley, but have also received strong play of late from freshman Moritz Ackerhans. Ackerhans earned BIG EAST Golfer of the Week honors after posting DePaul's best individual finish (second), best single-round score (69) and best 54-hole score (211) this season at the Spring Break Championship.
 
Host USF ranks 10th in the conference with a 303.42 scoring average. The Bulls have turned to the strong play of sophomore Devin Hernandez. He leads USF with a 74.71 stroke average.
 
Other notables to watch include Seton Hall sophomore Brandon Park. The 2010 BIG EAST Freshman of the Year, Park ranks ninth in the BIG EAST with a 73.78 scoring average.  Rutgers rounds out the pack in 12th with a scoring average of 307.14. Senior captain Chris Frame had a pair of top 25 finishes this season, tying for 25th at the Rutgers Invitational and tying for 22nd at the Hartford Hawks Invitational.
 
The first round of the BIG EAST Championship will being on April 17 with the first tee time at 8:00 a.m. The pairings are done by a blind draw. Please find the full schedule below:
 
SUNDAY, APRIL 17
ROUND ONE - COPPERHEAD COURSE:
NOTE: Based on blind draw.
 
#5     Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Georgetown                                   8:00 a.m.            Tee #1
#4     Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Georgetown                                   8:10 a.m.            Tee #1
#3     Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Georgetown                                   8:20 a.m.            Tee #1
#2     Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Georgetown                                   8:30 a.m.            Tee #1
#1     Notre Dame, Cincinnati, Georgetown                                   8:40 a.m.            Tee #1
 
#5     Seton Hall, Louisville, St. John's                                            8:50 a.m.            Tee #1
#4     Seton Hall, Louisville, St. John's                                            9:00 a.m.            Tee #1
#3     Seton Hall, Louisville, St. John's                                            9:10 a.m.            Tee #1
#2     Seton Hall, Louisville, St. John's                                            9:20 a.m.            Tee #1
#1     Seton Hall, Louisville, St. John's                                            9:30 a.m.            Tee #1
 
#5     DePaul, Rutgers, Villanova                                                   9:40 a.m.            Tee #1
#4     DePaul, Rutgers, Villanova                                                   9:50 a.m.            Tee #1
#3     DePaul, Rutgers, Villanova                                                   10:00 a.m.          Tee #1
#2     DePaul, Rutgers, Villanova                                                    10:10 a.m.          Tee #1
#1     DePaul, Rutgers, Villanova                                                    10:20 a.m.          Tee #1
 
#5     Connecticut, USF, Marquette                                                10:30 a.m.          Tee #1
#4     Connecticut, USF, Marquette                                                10:40 a.m.          Tee #1
#3     Connecticut, USF, Marquette                                                10:50 a.m.          Tee #1
#2     Connecticut, USF, Marquette                                                11:00 a.m.          Tee #1
#1     Connecticut, USF, Marquette                                                11:10 a.m.          Tee #1
 
 

 
MONDAY, APRIL 18
ROUND TWO - COPPERHEAD COURSE:
 
#5     Team 10, Team 11, Team 12                                               8:00 a.m.            Tee #1
#4     Team 10, Team 11, Team 12                                               8:10 a.m.            Tee #1
#3     Team 10, Team 11, Team 12                                               8:20 a.m.            Tee #1
#2     Team 10, Team 11, Team 12                                               8:30 a.m.            Tee #1
#1     Team 10, Team 11, Team 12                                               8:40 a.m.            Tee #1
 
#5     Team 7, Team 8, Team 9                                                     8:50 a.m.            Tee #1
#4     Team 7, Team 8, Team 9                                                     9:00 a.m.            Tee #1
#3     Team 7, Team 8, Team 9                                                     9:10 a.m.            Tee #1
#2     Team 7, Team 8, Team 9                                                     9:20 a.m.            Tee #1
#1     Team 7, Team 8, Team 9                                                     9:30 a.m.            Tee #1
 
#5     Team 4, Team 5, Team 6                                                    9:40 a.m.            Tee #1
#4     Team 4, Team 5, Team 6                                                     9:50 a.m.            Tee #1
#3     Team 4, Team 5, Team 6                                                     10:00 a.m.          Tee #1
#2     Team 4, Team 5, Team 6                                                     10:10 a.m.          Tee #1
#1     Team 4, Team 5, Team 6                                                    10:20 a.m.          Tee #1
 
#5     Team 1, Team 2, Team 3                                                     10:30 a.m.          Tee #1
#4     Team 1, Team 2, Team 3                                                    10:40 a.m.          Tee #1
#3     Team 1, Team 2, Team 3                                                    10:50 a.m.          Tee #1
#2     Team 1, Team 2, Team 3                                                    11:00 a.m.          Tee #1
#1     Team 1, Team 2, Team 3                                                    11:10 a.m.          Tee #1
 
TUESDAY, APRIL 19
ROUND THREE - COPPERHEAD COURSE:
 
#5     Team 4, Team 5, Team 6                                 8:00 a.m.                      Tee #1
#4     Team 4, Team 5, Team 6                                 8:10 a.m.                      Tee #1
#3     Team 4, Team 5, Team 6                                 8:20 a.m.                      Tee #1
#2     Team 4, Team 5, Team 6                                 8:30 a.m.                      Tee #1
#1     Team 4, Team 5, Team 6                                 8:40 a.m.                      Tee #1
 
#5     Team 1, Team 2, Team 3                                 8:50 a.m.                      Tee #1
#4     Team 1, Team 2, Team 3                                 9:00 a.m.                      Tee #1
#3     Team 1, Team 2, Team 3                                 9:10 a.m.                      Tee #1
#2     Team 1, Team 2, Team 3                                 9:20 a.m.                      Tee #1
#1     Team 1, Team 2, Team 3                                 9:30 a.m.                      Tee #1
 
#5     Team 10, Team 11, Team 12                           8:00 a.m.                      Tee #10
#4     Team 10, Team 11, Team 12                           8:10 a.m.                      Tee #10          
#3     Team 10, Team 11, Team 12                           8:20 a.m.                      Tee #10
#2     Team 10, Team 11, Team 12                           8:30 a.m.                      Tee #10
#1     Team 10, Team 11, Team 12                           8:40 a.m.                      Tee #10
 
#5     Team 7, Team 8, Team 9                                 8:50 a.m.                      Tee #10
#4     Team 7, Team 8, Team 9                                 9:00 a.m.                      Tee #10
#3     Team 7, Team 8, Team 9                                 9:10 a.m.                      Tee #10
#2     Team 7, Team 8, Team 9                                 9:20 a.m.                      Tee #10
#1     Team 7, Team 8, Team 9                                 9:30 a.m.                      Tee #10