JONESBORO, Ark. (7/15/19) – The Arkansas State men’s golf team is set to begin its 2019-20 season Sept. 14-17 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, at the Golfweek Conference Challenge, which is one of nine regular-season tournaments on the Red Wolves’ schedule that will also feature its annual home tournament, the Bubba Barnett Intercollegiate, at RidgePointe Country Club.
A-State is set to begin its fifth season under head coach Mike Hagen, who has led the program to 15 tournament championships, 21 top-three finishes and a 463-134-10 combined head-to-head record for a .771 winning percentage. The Red Wolves ended last season ranked No. 35 in the nation after winning the Sun Belt Conference Championship and four regular-season tournament titles. The Red Wolves will play five fall tournaments and compete in five spring events, including the Sun Belt Conference Championships.
“I’m very excited about this schedule and the opportunities we have to compete at a high level,” said Hagen. “When I first got here, our schedule was fairly weak and I knew it was something that I wanted to work on and improve year-by-year. It’s gradually getting better over the years and we’ve learned some things about teams and weather, but also how to win tournaments and move up the computer rankings. This schedule, I feel we have nine really good events. I feel confident we are going to have a top-100 schedule, if not even higher. Knowing that we have that and the teams we are going to be playing, it’s going to keep making us and the program better.”
Following its season opener, the Red Wolves will compete Sept 22-24 in the Graeme McDowell Invitational hosted by UAB in Birmingham, Ala. A-State then travels to Carrolton, Texas, for the Maridoe Intercollegiate Oct. 5-8. The annual Bubba Barnett Intercollegiate moves to October and will take place Oct. 13-15 at RidgePointe Country Club. The Red Wolves close out the fall portion of the schedule Oct. 24-27 at the Steelwood Collegiate Invitational in Loxley, Ala.
“We moved the home tournament to the fall, obviously thinking about better weather,” said Hagen. “That first weekend of April and last weekend of March can be so hit or miss. We’ve had great weather, okay weather and really cold weather. We weren’t able to get many teams from the south or west to come here that early in the spring. We moved it to the fall knowing we would have better weather, the course be in better shape and it’s a beautiful time of year in the state of Arkansas. We thought we could draw more teams from across the country, and we have been able to do that. We’ll still need a year or two to really get it going, but people will be surprised of where the teams are coming from and the conferences they represent.”
A-State will resume play in the spring Feb. 23-25 at the Border Olympics in Laredo, Texas. The Red Wolves then return to Alabama for the Tiger Invitational March 7-10 at Grand National in Opelika, Ala. Two weeks later, A-State heads to Finley Golf Course for the Tar Heel Intercollegiate March 20-22 before closing out the regular season at the Old Waverly Collegiate April 12-14 in West Point, Miss. The Sun Belt Conference Championships date and site remains to be announced.
“I feel pretty good about our team coming into the new season,” said Hagen. “Obviously, I haven’t seen them play, but I’ve kept up with their results this summer. All eight guys that we will have, have played great golf this summer. I think they’re all excited to build on what we started four years ago and take another step in the right direction. We want to be the team where we show up at an event and people expect to play well and be there at the end of the year.”
2019-20 ARKANSAS STATE MEN’S GOLF SCHEDULE
Sept. 14-17 at Golf Week Conference Challenge (Cedar Rapids, Iowa)
Sept. 22-24 at Graeme McDowell Invitational (Birmingham, Ala.)
Oct. 5-8 at Maridoe Intercollegiate (Carrolton, Texas)
Oct. 13-15 hosts Bubba Barnett Intercollegiate (Jonesboro, Ark.)
Oct. 24-27 at Steelwood Collegiate Invitational (Loxley, Ala.)
Feb. 23-25 at Border Olympics (Laredo, Texas)
March 7-10 at Tiger Invitational (Opelika, Ala.)
March 20-22 at Tar Heel Intercollegiate (Chapel Hill, N.C.)
April 12-14 at Old Waverly Collegiate (West Point, Miss.)
TBD at Sun Belt Conference Championships (TBA)
May 16-20 at NCAA Regionals (TBD)
May 29 – June 3 at NCAA Championships (Scottsdale, Ariz.)