Pioneers to host 26th annual Tusculum Men's Golf Invitational this weekend

Pioneers to host 26th annual Tusculum Men's Golf Invitational this weekend

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- Tusculum will host 10 collegiate men's golf teams at the 26th annual Tusculum Invitational this weekend at Link Hills Country Club.  The two-day, 36-hole event will be conducted on the par-71, 6,733-yard layout.

The opening round will begin on Saturday with a 9:00 a.m. with groups teeing off both the first and 10th holes.  Sunday's final round will also begin at 9 a.m.

The Pioneers won their home spring tournament on nine occasions including: 1995, 1997, 1998, 2006, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

This year's tournament field will have teams from eight states including Tennessee, Georgia, Indiana, New Jersey, Michigan, North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.  Team competing this week include:  Tusculum, Bluefield State College (W.Va.), Brevard College (N.C.), Concord University (W.Va.), Davenport University (Mich.), Felician University (N.J.), Franklin College (Ind.), Milligan College, Shorter University (Ga.), UVa-Wise, and Walters State College.  Walters State has won the TU Invitational on two occasions including last year's event.  Shorter also won this event in 2008.

Sophomore Liam Sweeney (Palos, Park, Ill.) leads the Pioneers in scoring averaging at 76.2 strokes per round. Sweeney has garnered four top-20 finishes including twice in the top-10.  He finished runner-up at the Mars Hill Fall Invitational and tied for fourth place at the Bob Dibble Classic in September.  Sweeney placed 13th at last spring's Tusculum Invitational.

Rookie Noah Jones (Maryville, Tenn.) is second on the squad with his 76.6 stroke average but has been on fire of late accounting for back-to-back top-10 performances at The Battle at Hilton Head and this week's Buccaneer Spring Classic.  At Hilton Head, Jones tied for seventh place with 76-71=147.  He followed with an even par 140 at the Buccaneer Spring Classic, including a career-best 66 (-4) on Tuesday, which is tied for the third-lowest round in program history.

Tusculum junior Matt DiBella is third on the roster with his 77.0 stroke average where he has accounted for three top-20 finishes including a season-best third place finish at the Dibble Classic in his Tusculum debut. The Greeneville junior finished even par 142 including a one-under par 70 on his home course at Link Hills to garner All-Tournament honors.

Freshman Kyle Engelbert has played in all but one event in his rookie campaign.  He has a 77.2 scoring average with three finishes in the top-20 which includes a sixth-place performance (74-72=146) at the Dibble Classic in his first collegiate outing.  The Fort Worth, Texas native also finished 18th at the Mars Hill Invitational and 19th at the Walters State Fall Classic.

Jeffrey Perez has played in all three tournaments this spring including last week where he tied for 19th place at the Buccaneer Spring Classic.  The Rock Island, Illinois junior has shown improvement in each event this spring including Tuesday's final round 71 to record the top-20 finish.

Also playing in this weekend's tournament for the Pioneers are Bennett Noe (So., Knoxville, Tenn.), Hunter Chandley (Jr., Johnson City, Tenn.), Jordan Williams (Fr., Greeneville, Tenn.), John Bennett (Jr., Forest City, N.C.) and Sheikh Razak (Fr., Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia).

Admission to the Tusculum Invitational is free and open to the public.