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Match Play Championship Awaits Flames in Florida
Callaway Collegiate Match Play Championship bracket
Attention to bracket play extends beyond the college basketball world, when Liberty's golf program heads to Bradenton, Fla., to participate in the 2012 Callaway Collegiate Match Play Championship, next week.
This year's 16-team field includes 11 Top 50 programs, including defending Callaway Collegiate Match Play Champion Duke, who is currently ranked No. 16 by Golfweek and No. 17 by Golfstat.
Other team champions in the tournament's nine year history include: New Mexico (2010), Middle Tennessee State (2009), UCLA (2007), Oklahoma State (2004 and 2006), Georgia (2005), Florida (2003) and Augusta State (2002).
Each team will open bracket play with a pair of match play matchups on Sunday, with semifinal competition set for Monday morning. The best two teams in the field will meet for one final 18 hole match on Tuesday where this year's tournament champion will be crowned.
Following a loss, teams will drop into a consolation bracket, giving each team four total match play events during the three-day tournament.
The venue for the 2012 Callaway Collegiate Match Play Championship will be The Concession Golf Club, a Jack Nicklaus signature golf course designed in association with Tony Jacklin.
The pair worked together to design the par-72, 7,474-yard trek following their epic match in the 1969 Ryder Cup. With the 1969 title hanging in the balance, Nicklaus and Jacklin played in the final singles match at the Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport, England.
The match came down to the final hole where Nicklaus conceded a two-foot putt to Jacklin. The golf gesture, known as the concession, left the overall match tied, 17-17, the first of two ties in Ryder Cup history.
The United States retained the Ryder Cup trophy after winning the title in 1967. The moment marked one of the greatest gestures of sportsmanship in professional golf history and was the beginning of a lasting friendship between Nicklaus and Jacklin that eventually led to The Concession Golf Club course design.
The course has one of the highest Course and Slope Ratings in Florida (77.6/155), with the slope ranking being the highest allowed by the USGA.
Liberty, who is currently ranked No. 33 by Golfweek and No. 34 by Golfstat, will open the three-day event against No. 10 seed Tennessee on Sunday morning.
The winner will face the victor of the No. 2 seed California vs. No. 15 seed UNC Wilmington match on Sunday afternoon with a spot in the semifinal round on the line.
The Vols' top golfer is senior Garrick Porteous, one of three golfers on Tennessee's roster that hail from England. Porteous has four Top 25 finishes to his credit this season and leads Tennessee with a 73.62 stroke average.
Jay Vandeventer (74.33) and Danny Keddie (76.62) are two other Tennessee golfers who have participated in all 21 rounds of golf this season for the Vols.
No. 2 seed California has the highest Golfweek/Golfstat ranking in the 16-team field at No. 5/5, bolstered by four golfers individually ranked inside the last Golfweek Top 100.
The Golden Bears are paced by Max Homa, a junior from Valencia, Calif., who is having the best year of his career at California. He leads the squad with a 71.1 stroke average and has finished Top 10 in five out of seven events this season.
The Flames are familiar with No. 15 seed UNC Wilmington, having just squared off against the Seahawks at their own tournament two weeks ago. Liberty tied with UNC Wilmington for sixth place at the Seahawk Intercollegiate, with both programs posting a 17-over par 593.
UNC Wilmington's top two golfers are Payne McLeod and Thomas Bass, who have posted a 73.2 and 73.5 stroke average, respectively.
Live bracket scoring will be provided by Golfstat.com, while LibertyFlames.com will be providing its first live Twitter blog coverage of a Liberty golf event of the season. Hole-by-hole updates on Liberty's golfers will be available by following Liberty Athletics official Twitter account (@LibertyFlames).
2012 Callaway Collegiate Match Play Championship
(Golfweek/Golfstat Team Rankings)
No. 1 seed Arkansas (No. 11/8)
No. 2 seed California (No. 5/5)
No. 3 seed Duke (No. 16/17)
No. 4 seed Oklahoma State (No. 23/22)
No. 5 seed Chattanooga (No. 31/28)
No. 6 seed Indiana (No. 34/32)
No. 7 seed Liberty (No. 33/34)
No. 8 seed Iowa (No. 32/30)
No. 9 seed East Carolina (No. 42/33)
No. 10 seed Tennessee (No. 38/49)
No. 11 seed Kennesaw State (No. 40/45)
No. 12 seed South Florida (No. 76/73)
No. 13 seed Colorado State (No. 57/57)
No. 14 seed Arizona State (No. 78/79)
No. 15 seed UNC Wilmington (No. 93/97)
No. 16 seed Washington State (No. 107/121)
First Round Matchups:
No. 1 seed Arkansas vs. No. 16 seed Washington State
No. 8 seed Iowa vs. No. 9 East Carolina
No. 4 seed Oklahoma State vs. No. 13 seed Colorado State
No. 5 seed Chattanooga vs. No. 12 seed South Florida
No. 3 seed Duke vs. No. 14 seed Arizona State
No. 6 seed Indiana vs. No. 11 seed Kennesaw State
No. 7 seed Liberty vs. No. 10 seed Tennessee
No. 2 seed California vs. No. 15 seed UNC Wilmington
The Concession Golf Club (Bradenton, Fla.)
Par 72, 7,474 yards