CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - The University of North Carolina women's golf team will host the 37th annual Tar Heel Invitational Oct. 12-14 at the UNC Finley Golf Course, which boasts a par 72, 6,379-yard layout. On Friday and Saturday, golfers will tee off at 8:51 a.m. from both the first and 10th tees. There will be a shotgun start at 9:15 a.m. on Sunday for the final round.
Of 18 teams slated to compete, eight are in the top 25 according to the latest Golfstat rankings. The host Tar Heels are ranked 21st, 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 Florida (No. 4), Duke (No. 5), Michigan State (No. 8), Auburn (No. 11), NC State (No. 13), Virginia (No. 24), Kentucky (No. 25), Arkansas, Baylor, Central Florida, Colorado, LSU, Louisville, Michigan, Mississippi, South Carolina and Wake Forest.
"We are excited to be hosting the Ruth's Chris Tar Heel Invitational this weekend," said Tar Heel head coach Jan Mann. "Finley Golf Course is in excellent condition and it looks like the weather is going to be perfect. There will be 18 top Division I programs participating in our three-day tournament so I encourage folks to come out and watch some great golf."
The Tar Heels are coming off a big win at the Liz Murphey Fall Preview where they posted a four-stroke win over Alabama. The 54-hole event, a precursor to the 2013 NCAA Championships, was played at the University of Georgia Golf Course, the site of next spring's NCAA Championships, and featured the top teams in the country. Tar Heel junior Casey Grice led the Tar Heels and was the runner-up at the Fall Preview, firing a 2-under-par 214 total with rounds of 73-70-71. The native of College Station, Texas, finished just one stroke behind the individual champion. Another Tar Heel junior, Jackie Chang, tied for 14th place at 2-over 218 while freshman Elizabeth Mallet tied for 26th at 222.
In the Tar Heels' other two fall tournaments, they tied for ninth place at the Cougar Classic and placed 10th at the Mason Rudolph Championship. Grice was the low Tar Heel in both of those events, tying for 13th place at Mason Rudolph and tying for 14th at the Cougar Classic, along with junior Chang.
LSU is the defending champion after winning the 2011 Tar Heel Invitational with an 8-under-par 856 total. Marta Sanz of Auburn was the individual champion last year, posting a 9-under 207 total. Carolina has won the event five times, 1992, 1991, 1985, 1979 and 1976.