FAYETTEVILLE – A men’s and women’s collegiate tournament will make its debut at Blessings Golf Club October 5-7, announced today by tournament officials. Unveiled as the Blessings Collegiate Invitational sponsored by Tyson Foods, the event is expected to feature all 14 Southeastern Conferences men’s and women’s golf programs. The tournament will be broadcast live on the Golf Channel each day from 3:30-6:30 pm (CT) each day.
“We are committed to the support of college athletics, one of the many ways we contribute to our communities and celebrate NW Arkansas as a great place to live and work,” stated John Tyson, Chairman of Tyson Foods, Inc. “The inauguration of the Blessings Collegiate Invitational allows us to showcase the vibrant and growing NW Arkansas community while allowing student golf athletes to compete at a world-class venue.”
The Blessings Collegiate Invitational is a 54-hole stroke play competition, with the men’s and women’s teams competing on the same course and in the same conditions throughout the week. There will be awards for men’s and women’s team and individual competitions, as well as awards for the school with the best overall combined men’s and women’s individual and team scores.
“I couldn’t be more excited to kickstart the 2020-21 season here at home at the Blessings Collegiate Invitational,” Arkansas head women’s coach Shauna Taylor said. “After this six-month layoff from college golf due to COVID-19, it is going to be amazing to compete at home and to share it with Razorback Nation via the Golf Channel. Mr. Tyson has been extremely supportive of both our men’s and women’s golf teams, and this is just another example of his love for the game and his passion for the Razorbacks. October can’t get here fast enough, and when it does, we will be poised and ready to finally get going.”
Razorback head men’s golf coach Brad McMakin added, “First, we want to thank Mr. Tyson and the Blessings for their support of our programs, college golf and amateur golf in general. Also, we are grateful for the commitment the Golf Channel has made to make this event a reality. We cannot wait to open this season and play it at home at one of the finest venues in America with the best programs in the country. We didn’t get to defend out SEC title this past spring so it is fitting that the BCI, with a field of just league teams, will be our first event of 2020-21. Our guys, and I’m sure everyone in the field, have been waiting a long time to return to competition with their teammates and they will be ready to showcase their games before a national television audience.”
In partnership with the University of Arkansas, Blessings Golf Club hosted the Men’s and Women’s NCAA Championships in May 2019 as well as 2012 SEC Women’s Championship and 2013 NCAA Men’s Golf Regional.
“We are proud to showcase NW Arkansas and Blessings Golf Club to a global audience through the Blessings Collegiate Invitational,” said Richard Cromwell, Blessings Golf Club General Manager. “We are confident this men’s and women’s event will provide an exciting television viewing experience while also highlighting the incredible quality of young talent within the sport. We look forward to welcoming the SEC teams to Blessings Golf Club in October for this premier collegiate event.”
Event officials are working closely with the University of Arkansas and will follow health department guidelines to protect the well-being of participants and staff. Spectators will not be permitted to attend the tournament but are encouraged to view the event’s Golf Channel television broadcast. Organizers plan to implement protective health and sanitation procedures onsite, in efforts to safeguard participants and volunteers throughout the tournament in October.
Volunteer opportunities for the tournament will be announced in the coming weeks. To stay up to date with event information and news, please visit www.BlessingsCollegiate.com or follow the event on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.