KINGSTON, R.I. - The Rhode Island golf team opens the spring portion of its schedule on Monday, March 11 at the Palmetto Intercollegiate, hosted by USC Aiken. The tournament will take place at the Palmetto Golf Club, on a par-70, 6,617-yard course. Golfers will play 36 holes on Monday and 18 holes on Tuesday.
"The Palmetto Intercollegiate is recognized as one of the very best collegiate golf events in the nation," head coach Gregg Burke said. "It is played on the historic Palmetto Golf Club, which is recognized as the second-oldest club in America.
The 22nd annual event will also feature teams from Akron, Army West Point, Charleston Southern, Clemson, Francis Marion, Furman, Memphis, Presbyterian College, South Carolina, Temple, UAB, VCU, Virginia, William & Mary, Winthrop and Wofford.
"This will be the best field we have played in at least a decade," Burke added.
The Rams will then compete at the Cape Fear National Intercollegiate (March 17-18) in Leland, N.C.
"The Cape Fear Invitational is played on one of the best courses in North Carolina, and one we have used during spring training the last three years," Burke said. "Like Palmetto, it is a very tough golf course. We plan to play all six of the guys who competed in fall semester tournaments with the hope of seeing who is ready for the remainder of the spring slate."
Rhode Island travels further south to close out the month of March, heading to Boca Raton, Fla. for the FAU Spring Championship at Osprey Point Golf Club (March 29-31).
"We are excited to be playing in Boca Raton in FAU's tournament," Burke said. "Obviously it is nice to be able to play in three southern tournaments in March."
From there, URI will visit White Manor Country Club (Malvern, Pa.) for the Villanova Wildcat Invitational. Last year at that tournament, Dawson Jones (t-4th) and Chris Francoeur (t-14th) both turned in top-15 finishes while Jason Short and Brody King tied for 16th overall.
"We're excited to return to the Wildcat as we hope to play in this tournament every year," Burke said. "White Manor is among our favorite golf courses and we have had terrific success in many rounds there. We just need to put together three great rounds to win. We have two second place finishes in the past few years there, and want the trophy at that one."
The Rams will then return to Quidnessett Country Club to host the annual Rhode Island Invitational (April 15-16) before traveling back to Florida for the Atlantic 10 Championship at Grand Cypress Golf Club (April 26-28). Rhody placed third at last year's conference tournament, the program's best finish at A-10s since 2008.
"The coaches had us in the bottom five of the league in the preseason poll, so it is up to us to go out and play as well as we did a year ago," Burke said. "We are rock solid with Dawson, Chris and Brody at the top of the lineup. Who steps up into the other two slots, and how well they play in competition, will determine how well we do as a team."