BLACKBURG, Va. – The Virginia Tech men’s golf team opens the spring portion of the 2013-14 schedule this Sunday, Monday and Tuesday at the Puerto Rico Classic, to be played at the Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa’s River Course in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico. The event, hosted by Purdue, annually boasts one of the strongest fields in collegiate golf.
The Hokies look to continue the momentum from their outstanding fall season. Tech had a first, two seconds, a third and a fourth-place finish in its five events in the fall.
The field for this year’s event boasts five of the nation’s top ten teams, as ranked by Golfstat.com. Top-ranked and three-time defending champion Alabama, No. 3 Georgia Tech, No. 7 Georgia and No. 10 Oklahoma join the ninth-ranked Hokies on the par 72, 6,945-yard Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa’s River Course. Five more teams ranked in the top 50 are also in the 15-team tournament. The Hokies are one of five ACC teams competing in Puerto Rico.
Four of the nation’s top individuals are also in the event; No. 2 Trey Mullinax of Alabama, No. 4 Joey Garber of Georgia and No. 9 Ollie Schniederjans of Georgia Tech, along with the Hokies’ Scott Vincent, who is ranked fifth in the Golfstat.com rankings. In all, 11 of the top 50 players in the nation will tee it up at Rio Mar, including No. 22 Bryce Chalkley of Virginia Tech.
Vincent, winner of the three events in the fall season, will play in the first position for Tech. The junior from Harare, Zimbabwe enters the tournament ranked No. 5 nationally by Golfstat.com and No. 17 nationally by Golfweek/Sagarin. The ACC Player of the Month for September, Vincent won the Golfweek Conference Challenge, the VCU Shootout and the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate during the fall.
Chalkley, a senior from Richmond, Va., will play in the second spot for the Hokies. Chalkley, currently ranked 33rd nationally by Golfweek/Sagarin, finished second to Vincent at the VCU Shootout and followed that with a tie for ninth at Brickyard. At the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate, Chalkley finished fifth individually. Trevor Cone, a junior from Concord, N.C., will play third for Tech. He is ranked 96th nationally by Golfstat.com and 107th by Golfweek/Sagarin.
Sophomore Maclain Huge (Lovettesville, Va.) will play in the fourth position for the Hokies. Huge has finished in the top 25 in three of the five events in the fall. Freshman Drew Johnson (Oak Ridge, N.C.) will play fifth for Tech. He played in three of the five fall events.
The Hokies finished seventh last year in this event and Vincent and teammate Mikey Moyers tied for fifth individually. The teams will play a practice round on Saturday morning. The tournament will be played with 18 holes per day on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Live stats will be available on golfstat.com and hokiesports.com.
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