UVA Men’s Golf sets challenging schedule for spring season
The Virginia men’s golf team opens its season in two weeks when the Cavaliers play the first of seven regular-season tournaments in the spring.
Following protocols established by the Atlantic Coast Conference, UVA and the other ACC programs did not compete in team events during the traditional fall period.
“It would be an understatement to say our team and staff are excited for the return of competitive golf after 10 months of being sidelined,” said UVA head coach Bowen Sargent. “This spring we have a very strong schedule coupled with a few world-class venues in Pinehurst No. 2, Timaquana, Shoal Creek, and Crabapple.
“The strength of schedule and quality of courses should not only test our team but develop our guys for postseason play.
Virginia opens the schedule with a trio of tournaments in Florida: the St. Joe Collegiate in Watersound, Fla. on Jan. 17-19, the Timaquana Invitational in Jacksonville on Jan. 25-26 and and Florida State’s Seminole Intercollegiate in Tallahassee from Feb. 19-21.
The Cavaliers will play additional spring events at the Wake Forest Invitational (March 1-2), the Linger Longer Invitational (March 12-14), the Shoal Creek Invitational (April 5-7) and the Liberty Classic (May 3-4).
The 2021 ACC Championships are set for the Crabapple Golf Club in Alpharetta, Ga., on April 23-26.
NCAA Regional play is set for May 17-19 at six different sites and the NCAA Championships will take place May 28 to June 2 at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz.
“Interestingly enough, given the .500 rule was waved for the 2021 season, every school was afforded a unique opportunity to design a more challenging schedule, and we certainly took advantage of the NCAA’s one-year reprieve,” Sargent said. “At the end of the year, I feel certain our strength of schedule will be among the top 15 in the country. But at the end of the day, this is what we as a coaching staff strive to accomplish – a challenging schedule on championship venues.”
Virginia, which did not complete its 2020 spring schedule after the NCAA canceled spring sports due to the COVID-19 pandemic, returns seven veterans from last year’s team and welcomes three freshmen and one transfer for the 2021 season.
At the time the season was suspended, senior Andrew Orischak led UVA with a 71.48 stroke average after leading the team in scoring in four of seven tournaments. He was the runner-up at the Georgia Southern Individual Collegiate.
“Based on the results of fall practice, we saw a really competitive team top to bottom,” Sargent said. “But we’ve never started this early in the year, so it is my hope we can get a couple good weeks of practice and qualifying before heading to Florida to face an all ACC field.
“There is no doubt we will rely heavily on Andrew Orischak to be our leader both on and off the course. Andrew led the team last year in scoring and after a lot of work this fall, his game has developed even more. We had several others who stood out in the fall inter-squad matches and individual tournaments, so I’m excited to see if the standouts continue their good play this spring, dominate qualifying, and tee it up in Watersound.
“When play was halted last spring we had two strong showings in Hawaii and South Carolina. I felt the team had matured and turned a corner. You could really sense a new-found confidence within the team. Momentum was certainly on our side.”
2021 Virginia Men’s Golf Schedule
Jan. 17-19 St. Joe Collegiate Watersound, Fla,
Jan. 25-26 Timaquna Invitational Jacksonville, Fla.
Feb. 19-21 Seminole Intercollegiate Tallahassee, Fla.
March 1-2 Wake Forest Invitational Pinehurst, N.C.
March 12-14 Linger Longer Intercollegiate Greensboro, Ga.
April 5-7 Shoal Creek Invitational Birmingham, Ala.
April 23-26 ACC Championships Alpharetta, Ga.
May 3-4 Liberty Classic Amherst, Va.
May 17-19 NCAA Regional TBD
May 28-June 2 NCAA Championships Scottsdale, Ariz.