STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA/MSU Athletics) – Focused on leading his team to postseason play for the third straight season, Mississippi State men’s golf coach Dusty Smith announced the squad’s 2019-20 schedule on Monday.
The new slate includes seven events from the previous campaign and two new challenges early in the season. Once again, MSU’s regular season concludes at its beautiful home on Old Waverly Golf Club.
“I am very pleased with our schedule for this season,” MSU men’s golf coach Dusty Smith said. “I believe it will get us out of our comfort zone and ultimately have us ready for championship season.
“When you put together your schedule each year you want to be tested on difficult, championship golf courses against elite fields. I can say that this year’s schedule will do just that.”
For the second straight season, the Golf Dawgs will open the season at the legendary Pebble Beach Golf Links. MSU competes in the Carmel Cup against some of college golf’s best teams from August 30-September 1. In the 2018 edition, Bulldogs Peng Pichaikool and Garrett Johnson played their way to top-15 finishes.
“Opening up at Pebble Beach in the best college golf tournament in the country is a special way to start the year,” Smith said.
State’s two new events will highlight the middle of the fall schedule. The team will head to Dallas, Texas to play in the Trinity Forest Invitational, hosted by SMU on September 22-24. Two weeks later, the Golf Dawgs are set to tee off the Fighting Irish Classic, October 7-8, in Notre Dame, Indiana.
“Both of these tournaments are hosted on PGA Tour courses and will be a true challenge,” Smith said.
On October 21-22, a group of Golf Dawgs will play in the TVA Community Credit Union Invitational as individuals. Four MSU student-athletes played in the event last fall, highlighted by Griffin Agent’s first-career top-10 placement.
Echoing 2018, State’s fall slate concludes at the Steelwood Collegiate Invitational in Loxley, Alabama. State plays in the South Alabama-hosted tournament on October 26-27. Last year’s squad took home a runner-up finish at the event, led on by three top-15 performances by Bulldog student-athletes.
The Golf Dawgs open the spring at a familiar location as they tee off at the Florida Gators Invitational for the 21st time in program history. The two-day tournament is scheduled for February 15-16 on the Mark Bostick Golf Course in Gainesville, Florida. Three MSU student-athletes placed top 20 in the 2019 edition of the tournament.
MSU will defend its Desert Mountain Intercollegiate title from March 7-8 in Scottsdale, Arizona. In 2019, the Golf Dawgs won their first team event since 2014 with an outstanding performance on the Desert Mountain Outlaw Course, as Garrett Johnson captured the individual medalist honors to lead the team to victory.
Less than a week later, State heads to Statesboro, Georgia for the third consecutive season to play in the Schenkel Invitaitonal. The Bulldogs have placed fourth in back-to-back seasons at Forest Heights Golf Course. A three-day tournament, teams will compete on March 13-15.
From April 3-5, the Bulldogs are set to compete at the challenging Mason Rudolph Championship, hosted by Vanderbilt in Franklin, Tennessee.
To close the regular season, MSU welcomes opponents to the eighth annual Old Waverly Collegiate Championship. The 2020 event is set to take place during April 13-14 at MSU’s home course, Old Waverly Golf Club in West Point, Mississippi.
In May, Golf Digest ranked Old Waverly No. 60 in its list of America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses. MSU’s other home, Mossy Oak Golf Club, came in at No. 63.
The 2019 Old Waverly Collegiate Championship was decided on the final putt, as ULM pulled out the victory over Ole Miss by one stroke. MSU finished in the top five for the second straight season and fifth time in seven years of the event. Garrett Johnson pulled out his third-career top-15 and second top-5 finish at Old Waverly.
The SEC Championship returns to St. Simons Island Golf Club in Sea Island, Georgia, April 22-26.
After reaching an NCAA Regional in each of head coach Dusty Smith’s first two seasons, the Bulldogs aim to make their third straight postseason appearance set for May 18-20. State finished seventh in 2019 regional play, just missing the top-5 cut, but improving on its eighth-place effort the year before.
Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Arizona will host the 2020 NCAA Championship from May 29-June 3. An MSU appearance would mark the team’s first since 2008.
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