CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - The University of North Carolina women's golf team will host the 38th annual Tar Heel Invitational this weekend, Oct. 11-13, at the UNC Finley Golf Course, which boasts a par 72, 6,285-yard layout. The Tar Heels are the defending champions and will be going after their seventh Ruth's Chris Tar Heel Invitational title. On Friday and Saturday, play will start at 9:09 a.m. off the #1 tee and at 8:51 a.m. off the 10th tee. There will be a shotgun start at 9:15 a.m. on Sunday for the final round.
Of the 18 teams slated to compete, 12 are in the top 25 according to the latest Golf World Coaches Poll. The host Tar Heels are ranked 15th, but they'll face tough competition as some of the top teams in the country are making the trip to Chapel Hill. The participating teams include Alabama (No. 2), Oklahoma (No. 3), Duke (No. 4), Florida (No. 5), Arkansas (No. 8), Clemson (No. 11), NC State (No. 14), Virginia (No. 16), Vanderbilt (No. 19), Michigan St. (No. 20), South Carolina (No. 24), Auburn, Baylor, LSU, Ole Miss, Notre Dame, and Wake Forest.
"This year's Ruth's Chris Tar Heel Invitational will undoubtedly be one of the best ever," says Tar Heel head coach Jan Mann. "Not only do we have an exceptionally strong field, but we also have Ruth's Chris Steak House as our sponsor. Finley Golf Course is in excellent condition. Teams will be treated to a great course and hospitality throughout the weekend by Ruth's Chris."
The Tar Heels are coming off a solid sixth place finish at the Mason Rudolph Classic where they competed against some of the same teams that they will compete against this weekend. Katherine Perry, a senior from Cary, N.C., finished in a tie for 24th place at 4-over-par 220 and the lowest scorer for the Tar Heels. Sophomore Elizabeth Mallet was one stroke behind Perry and finished tied for 29th.
The Tar Heels also competed at the Fall Preview, a precursor to the 2014 NCAA Championships. North Carolina ended the tournament in 11th after shooting a team score of 29-over-par 869. Mallet led all Tar Heels with a tournament score of 5-over-par 215 and shot a 69 in the final round. Mallet tied for 17th in the tournament.
The defending champion Tar Heels won the 2012 Ruth's Chris Tar Heel Invitational with an 8-over-par 872 total. All five Tar Heels knotted top-20 finishes. Maia Schechter led the way finishing sixth at 1-over 217. Casey Grice tied for seventh place at 2-over 218, Jackie Chang tied for ninth at 3-over 219, Elizabeth Mallett tied for 15th at 5-over 221 and Katherine Perry tied for 19th at 6-over 222. Isabelle Lendl of Florida was the individual champion last year posting a 6-under 210 total score. Carolina has won the even six times, 2012, 1992, 1991, 1985, 1979 and 1976.