Oct. 16, 2007
EVANSTON, Ill. -- The 2007 Big Ten/Pac-10 Challenge, one of the premier men's collegiate golf tournaments, will make its fourth run this Sunday and Monday, Oct. 21 and 22 at the newly opened Chambers Bay golf course in western Washington.
Golfweek just named Chambers Bay the second-best new course in the nation, behind Bandon Trails, another course that is used for the Big Ten/Pac-10 Challenge.
This weekend's Challenge pits four teams from the Big Ten Conference -- Northwestern, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan State -- against four from the Pac-10 Conference -- Washington, Oregon, UCLA and Oregon State. Northwestern and Washington will serve as co-hosts. Individual, team and conference winners will be crowned.
The tournament also features some of the nation's top programs. Six of the eight teams are ranked in the Golfweek/Sagarin top 50: UCLA (No. 3 in the GCAA poll, they have not competed yet so they do not have a Sagarin index), Michigan State (No. 15), Oregon State (No. 22), Washington (No. 28), Wisconsin (No. 31) and Minnesota (No. 47). Northwestern, which is presently not in the top-50, is coming off its best performance of the fall, winning the 11th Windon Memorial Classic earlier this month.
The Big Ten/Pac-10 Challenge is the brainchild of Northwestern University, the University of Oregon and KemperSports, a Northbrook, Ill.-based golf management and development company. The trio joined forces in 2004 to create a tournament showcasing the talents of teams and players from both conferences on a rotation of prestigious golf venues. The inaugural event took place in 2004 at the internationally acclaimed Bandon Dunes in Oregon, then moved to The Glen Club, a heralded Tom Fazio design on Chicago's North Shore, in 2005. The Big Ten/Pac-10 Challenge headed back to Oregon's southern coast in 2006 for play at the world-renowned Pacific Dunes, the reigning No. 1 on GOLF Magazine's "Top 100 Courses You Can Play."
"We could not be more excited to take this tournament to Chambers Bay," said Northwestern University men's head golf coach Pat Goss
on behalf of the Big Ten and Pac-10 golf coaches. "There is not a college tournament in the country that has been played at such revered venues. We look forward to testing our squads on Chambers Bay's links-style layout next month."
"We're proud that Chambers Bay will be the latest addition to a distinguished list of golf courses on which this tournament has been contested," added KemperSports President Josh Lesnik.
Situated just outside of Tacoma and less than an hour south of Seattle, Chambers Bay is destined to be one of the most unique recreational opportunities on the West Coast, offering panoramic views of Puget Sound, neighboring islands and the Olympic Mountains. Designed by Robert Trent Jones II, LLC, the 18-hole links course is highlighted by dramatic elevation changes, windswept dunes and native grasses. Chambers Bay, owned and developed by Pierce County, Wash., opened in June.
"We are very excited to have the Big Ten/Pac-10 Challenge in our own backyard," said Washington golf coach Matt Thurmond. "At Washington, we love to host great collegiate golf events, and being a part of this conference showcase at such a unique venue like Chambers Bay is a thrill for us. My team and community are really looking forward to the event."
At last year's Big Ten/Pac-10 Challenge, which was held at Pacific Dunes, UCLA held off USC for a five-stroke victory. USC's Jamie Lovemark fired a 4-under 67 (three strokes off the course record held by PGA golfer Scott Simpson) and won the event by eight strokes. Minnesota (2004) and Northwestern (2005) won the first two Big Ten/Pac-10 Challenge team titles.
The trophy showcasing each year's winners is permanently housed in the clubhouse of Bandon Dunes Golf Resort.
The newly launched Big Ten Network will provide tournament coverage and air a recap show on a tape-delayed basis. Airtimes are 4 p.m. on Nov. 4 (debut), 11 a.m. on Nov. 6 (repeat) and 10 a.m. on Nov. 9 (repeat).
For more information, visit NUsports.com, gohuskies.com, bigtennetwork.com or chambersbaygolf.com.
Northbrook, Ill.-based KemperSports operates golf facilities as well as athletic clubs, lodging venues and major sporting events, including nationally ranked courses and tournament venues such as Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, Dorado Beach Resort & Club, The Glen Club, Gillette Ridge, Harding Park, Chambers Bay and Desert Willow Golf Resort. Affiliate KemperSports Marketing & Communications, a sports marketing, events and public relations agency, has produced and managed major national and international events and communications programs, including the EA SPORTS Maui Invitational college basketball tournament and numerous PGA TOUR events. For more information, visit http://www.kempersports.com.