Nov. 21, 2009
EL PASO, Texas (Nov. 21, 2009) -- The field has been set for the 35th annual Western Refining College All-America Golf Classic, and USD sophomore Alex Ching (Honolulu, HI) has been invited based on his All-America play from his freshman year. Thus far this season the 2009 WCC Freshman of the Year is averaging 73.6 for 12 rounds and his best finish is a runner-up finish at the Kauai Collegiate where he shot a 10-under par 206. The tournament, which is hosted by the Sun Bowl Association, is slated for Nov. 22-24 at the par-71, 6,837-yard El Paso Country Club.
This year's tournament features last season's NCAA Division I Player of the Year Matt Hill (North Carolina State) and Freshman of the Year Morgan Hoffmann (Oklahoma State), as well as the Division III Player of the Year Mitchell Fedorka (La Verne). Also included in the field are six Golfweek preseason first team All-America selections - Hill, Hoffman, Nick Taylor (Washington), Russell Henley (Georgia), John Peterson (LSU) and Scott Langley (Illinois).
In all, the field includes 32 All-Americans from the previous year, making it the largest field in the 35-year existence of the event. In 2005, 31 players competed in the Western Refining College All-America Golf Classic.
Eight players will represent both the Pac-10 Conference and the Southeastern Conference to lead the way. Other conferences with multiple participants are the Big Ten Conference (four), Big 12 Conference (three), the West Coast Conference (two) and the Mountain West Conference (two).
"We have another strong field," said Bob Kimble, tournament director. "We could not be more excited, this is a quality collection of the top amateur golfers in the world."
Last season, the Western Refining College All-America Golf Classic ranked as the No. 1 tournament in the country for the fifth consecutive season, according to the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index.
"Western Refining has done a great deal to take the nation's No. 1 golf tournament to the next level," said Bernie Olivas, Sun Bowl Association Executive Director. "We could not put on a tournament of this magnitude without the support of Western Refining. It has become a true event that the nation's best want to attend."
Throughout the years, many Western Refining College All-America Golf Classic competitors have gone on to pursue successful careers in the Professional Golfers' Association of America and on the PGA Tour. Some of the past champions include Ricky Barnes (2000), Notah Begay (1994), David Duval (1991), Matt Kuchar (1999), Davis Love III (1984), Chris Nallen (2003), Jerry Pate (1974), Nicholas Thompson (2004) and Tiger Woods (1995).
Alumni of the Golf Classic have gone on to earn more than $1 billion on the PGA Tour. In all, 133 colleges and universities have participated in the tournament, raising more than $640,000 in scholarship money for the participating institutions.
Each university is awarded a $1,000 scholarship if a golfer from that school competes in the tournament.
Following is a schedule of events (times are PST):
Sunday, Nov. 22
Titleist Long Drive Contest (8 a.m.)
PING Putting Contest (9 a.m.)
College-Am (Practice round) (11 a.m.)
Monday, Nov. 23
First and second rounds, 36 holes (7 a.m.)
Tuesday, Nov. 24
Final round, 18 holes (7 a.m.)
Trophy presentation (following final round, approximately Noon)