The West Virginia University golf team is set to begin its 2021 spring season from Friday, Feb. 12 to Sunday, Feb. 14 at the Gators Invitational presented by VyStar, hosted by the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida.
Twenty-one teams are scheduled to compete, including nine teams ranked in the Top 25. The ranked teams competing are No. 2 Vanderbilt, No. 5, Tennessee, No. 6 Georgia, No. 12 Arkansas, No. 16 Auburn, No. 18 Alabama, No. 21 South Carolina, No. 23 Florida and No. 25 North Florida.
“We try to play in the best tournaments that we can against the best competition that we can,” golf coach Sean Covich said. “At the end of the year, we are going to have to tee it up against the best teams in college golf in the Big 12. We have to use our regular season to play against the best so we are ready when we head to postseason.”
The Mountaineers will tee off at 8:20 a.m. Friday on the par-70, 6,701-yard Mark Bostick Golf Course. On Saturday, WVU begins competition at 12:20 p.m. Tee times will be assigned off holes No. 1 and No. 10 for the third and final round of play on Sunday. The Mountaineers are paired with USF and Jacksonville for the first and second rounds.
“We are excited about the opportunity,” Covich said. “The Gators Invitational has been going on for years and years. The Mark Bostick Golf Course is an old-school course, originally designed by renowned architect Donald Ross.”
Seniors Mark Goetz and Logan Perkins, along with junior Kurtis Grant, sophomore Trent Tipton and freshman Jackson Davenport will represent the Mountaineers at the event. The top four scores will count towards West Virginia’s overall team score.
Last season in Gainesville, the Mountaineers finished sixth as a team after posting a 6-over par 286 in the final round to finish the tournament at 289-281-286=856 and 16-over after three rounds of play in two days. Perkins finished in second place on the individual leaderboard after notching a program record-low round of 62 during the second round. He finished the tournament at 5-under-par.
The Mountaineers competed in two events last fall, the Colonial Collegiate Invitational and the Big 12 Match Play Tournament.
“It was very important to get in those two matches last fall, especially for the freshmen,” Covich added. “It was a great learning opportunity for not only the freshmen, but all of our guys. We basically started the season with the Big 12 championship. It was really motivating for the guys to play in that and see where they need to get better. I know everyone is excited and ready to get the spring season underway.”