2012 BIG EAST Men's Golf Championship Preview

Providence, R.I. - The BIG EAST Men's Golf Championship will take place April 29 - May 1 at Reunion Resort, hosted by Reunion and USF. The 33rd men's championship will be held at the Watson Course for the first time in championship history. Last year Notre Dame won its first BIG EAST title since 2006 and seventh as a member of the BIG EAST Conference.
 
Notre Dame is ranked first in the BIG EAST with a national Golfstat ranking of No. 68. The team enters the championship coming off a first place finish at the "Battle At The Warren" on April 22. The Irish are led by Max Scodro, the 2011 BIG EAST individual champion, who has moved into first on the all-time career stroke average leaders in Notre Dame program history with his 73.46 mark. Scodro also has set the standard for stroke average in a season to this point, holding a 71.80 average thus far. Scodro has posted six individual top-25 finishes with his high mark coming at The Fighting Irish Gridiron Golf Classic where he finished fourth with a 213 (+3).
 
USF is the No. 2-ranked team in the BIG EAST entering the championship. The Bulls had six top-10 team finishes during the 2011-12 season, with its best finish a tie for second place at the Golfweek Program Challenge in September. Freshman Trey Valentine has had five top-10 individual performances this season, with his highest finish a tie for third at the Seminole Intercollegiate on Mar. 9-11. Valentine owns the team's lowest average at 71.5 as well as the most rounds of par or better at 13. The Bulls team stoke average is 74.8.
 
Louisville enters the championship at No. 3 in the BIG EAST while ranked No. 108 by Golfstat. Junior Chris Malec earned BIG EAST Player of the Week honors after leading Louisville to a first-place finish at the Earl Yestingsmeier Invitational at Delaware Country Club in Muncie, Ind., last weekend. The Cardinals posted scores of 362-355-373-1090 (+40) to finish 10 shots ahead of second place Austin Peay. Malec won his first tournament at even-par by posting rounds of 70-68-72-210 to pace the Cardinals. It was the first tournament win of his career and also helped the Cardinals win their first tournament since the 2008 season. Senior Justin Dorward won the USF Invitational for the first medalist honor of the season. He leads the team with a 72.7 stroke average and has played four rounds in the 60s. The Cardinals have finished in the top six of five tournaments this year.
 
St. John's, the No. 4-ranked team in the conference, and has won BIG EAST titles. St. John's has played in 10 events, with eight top-five finishes over the course of the year.  Last weekend the Red Storm finished second at the Anteater Invitational in Irvine, Calif. Each of the six members of the team has recorded at least one top-10 finish on the year. Junior Pat Wilson collected his first career win with a victory at the Caribbean Collegiate Invitational, joining former St. John's star and 2011 PGA Champion Keegan Bradley as a champion of the event. Wilson was named the BIG EAST Player of the Week on March 14.
 
Villanova comes in at No. 5 in the conference. Villanova's best team finish of the season was at the Wildcat Invitational, where it was fourth of 14 teams. Junior Michael Kania won the Pinehurst Invitational with a 210. Senior Brian Colbert has two top-10 finishes and four top-20s. Last weekend the Wildcats finished fifth at the Navy Spring Invitational.  The team also finished in fifth place at the Pinehurst Invitational and Adams Cup of Newport.
 
Georgetown ranks No. 6 in the BIG EAST. The Hoyas have enjoyed a strong 2011-12 season, with four top-five finishes and six among the top-10, including a second-place finish at the Princeton Invitational on April 3. Seton Hall enters the championship at No. 7 in the BIG EAST. The Pirates won three events this season, taking first at the Lehigh University Invitational on Oct. 22-23. The Pirates also placed first in a field of 22 teams at the Fireline Towson Invitational Mar. 30-Apr. 1. On April 14 the team captured the Manor Intercollegiate title. DePaul ranks No. 8 in the BIG EAST.The Blue Demons had back-to-back fourth-place finishes in the fall at the Cardinal Intercollegiate and the John Dallio. Ben Westley leads the team with a 74.74 scoring average.
 
Connecticut, Marquette, Rutgers and Cincinnati round out the championship field.
 
The first round of the BIG EAST Championship will begin on April 29 with the first tee time at 8 a.m. The pairings are based on a blind draw. Please find the full schedule below:
 
SUNDAY, APRIL 29
ROUND ONE - WATSON COURSE:
NOTE: Based on blind draw
 
#5    Connecticut, Marquette, DePaul                                               8:00 a.m.      Tee #1
#4    Connecticut, Marquette, DePaul                                               8:10 a.m.      Tee #1
#3    Connecticut, Marquette, DePaul                                              8:20 a.m.      Tee #1
#2    Connecticut, Marquette, DePaul                                               8:30 a.m.      Tee #1
#1    Connecticut, Marquette, DePaul                                               8:40 a.m.      Tee #1
 
#5    St. John's, Cincinnati, Villanova                                               8:50 a.m.      Tee #1
#4    St. John's, Cincinnati, Villanova                                               9:00 a.m.      Tee #1
#3    St. John's, Cincinnati, Villanova                                              9:10 a.m.      Tee #1
#2    St. John's, Cincinnati, Villanova                                               9:20 a.m.      Tee #1
#1    St. John's, Cincinnati, Villanova                                               9:30 a.m.      Tee #1
 
#5    Georgetown, Louisville, Rutgers                                              9:40 a.m.     Tee #1
#4    Georgetown, Louisville, Rutgers                                              9:50 a.m.     Tee #1
#3    Georgetown, Louisville, Rutgers                                              10:00 a.m.    Tee #1
#2    Georgetown, Louisville, Rutgers                                              10:10 a.m.    Tee #1
#1    Georgetown, Louisville, Rutgers                                              10:20 a.m.    Tee #1
 
#5    USF, Seton Hall, Notre Dame                                                  10:30 a.m.   Tee #1
#4    USF, Seton Hall, Notre Dame                                                  10:40 a.m.   Tee #1
#3    USF, Seton Hall, Notre Dame                                                  10:50 a.m.    Tee #1
#2    USF, Seton Hall, Notre Dame                                                  11:00 a.m.    Tee #1
#1    USF, Seton Hall, Notre Dame                                                  11:10 a.m.    Tee #1
 
MONDAY, APRIL 30
ROUND TWO - WATSON 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, MAY 1
ROUND THREE - WATSON 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
 
-BIG EAST-