College golf: Men’s field set for inaugural National Golf Invitational at Ak-Chin Southern Dunes

The 12-team men’s field is set for the inaugural National Golf Invitational, a new postseason collegiate event scheduled May 18-21 at Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club in Maricopa, Arizona.

Presented in partnership with Golfweek, the 2023 Men’s National Golf Invitational will feature 12 college teams competing in a 54-hole stroke-play tournament.

The teams in the field are: Arkansas State, Ball State, George Washington, Oral Roberts, Penn State, Santa Clara, Stetson, Texas State, Troy, Utah Valley, Valparaiso, Washington State and Wyoming.

“I can’t even begin to explain how excited I am for this and how long I have been dreaming of hosting this event. To have a host in Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club and a staff that shares that same energy is going to take this event to the next level,” Ringler said. “Growing up a big basketball fan, combined with my passion for college golf, helped bring to life the NIT of college golf in the NGI. It is going to be something I look forward to each May.

“Most importantly, college golf is more than ready for this type of postseason event. So many schools put so many resources into their college golf programs and having this opportunity to play in a postseason event is something a lot more teams can realistically aim for.”

In May 2022, the NCAA announced it would allow schools to play in one season-ending event, similar to college basketball’s NIT. By July 2022, the inaugural National Golf Invitational was created in a partnership between Golfweek and Ak-Chin Southern Dunes, with Golfweek’s Lance Ringler serving as the Invitational’s tournament director. A committee determined the invitation-only field using both the Golfweek/Sagarin and Golfstat rankings, while also considering teams who had strong regular seasons.

“Over five years ago, some great friends and I were sitting around brainstorming about how this tournament could be a game changer. Partnering with Lance and Golfweek has made this dream a reality,” Ak-Chin Southern Dunes general manager Brady Wilson said in a release. “As a former basketball coach, I can’t wait to make Ak-Chin Southern Dunes Golf Club the Madison Square Garden of college golf. We look forward to creating lifelong memories and experiences for all these student-athletes.”

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek