Sept. 20, 2012
The Rice golf team is back in action this weekend (Sept. 21-23) at the Mason Rudolph Championship in Franklin, Tenn. The Owls face a host of ranked teams at the annual three-day, 54-hole tournament hosted by Vanderbilt University.
Joining Rice at Vanderbilt's 7100-yard, par-71, Legends South Course are Top 30 ranked foes Oklahoma and Virginia. Teams that took the top three spots at the same tournament the Owls competed in two weeks ago at the Sam Hall Intercollegiate (Mississippi, Mississippi State and South Alabama, respectively) are also at the Mason Rudolph.
Arkansas State, East Tennessee State, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Middle Tennessee and Tennessee Tech are in the tourney field. Rice will be paired with the College of Charleston and Davidson as the first teams off the tenth tee at 8:05 am Friday morning. Fans have the opportunity to follow the scoring live on the Internet at the above link.
Second-year Rice head coach Justin Emil is familiar with the Mason Rudolph Championship and the Legends South Course. Prior to joining Rice, Emil served five seasons as the Vanderbilt assistant golf coach. He's anxious to bring his young Owl squad to the tournament, but even more anxious to have the team to face a tough test against an elite tournament field.
"It's great to get right back into competition this weekend in Tennessee," coach Emil said. "I think it's going to be a putting contest on this course, so we are going to channel our focus mainly on putting in the practice round and throughout the weekend. As long as we stick to our game plan and take care of what we can control, the results will come."
Emil has a slight change to the Owl lineup from the season-opening tournament two weeks ago. Four of the five Owls who played at the Sam Hall Intercollegiate, Joe Beck III, James Lee, Landon Michelson and Brock Wilson, are back to represent Rice. Lee and Beck III were the team's top finishers in the season-opener with identical rounds of four-over par 217. Sophomore Tommy Economou is appearing in his first tournament this weekend for the Blue & Gray.