The quest for the BIG EAST title begins on Monday for the pirates
PINE MOUNTAIN, GA. – The Seton Hall men’s golf team will wrap up the 2021-22 regular season with the showpiece event of its schedule, the BIG EAST Championship, April 25-27 at Callaway Resort and Gardens.
Seton Hall had one of its best years in program history in 2021-22. Hall’s current average of 288.50 points is a program record. The previous low mark was 290.68 in the 2016-17 campaign. The Pirates have won three tournament titles, the Daniel Island Invitational, the Ross Collegiate Classic and the Big Texan, which is tied for second in a year. Despite large fields, in six tournaments this spring, the Pirates have not placed lower than fourth place.
Seton Hall has already won two BIG EAST tag team titles, but hasn’t lifted the trophy since 2000. Pirates legend Lloyd Jefferson Go became the third BIG EAST individual champion with a program record for the 6-under-par conference championship in 2016. Current graduate students Andres Acevedo (San Antonio, TX) and Gregor Tait (Martlesham Heath, England) received all-tournament honors last spring when they tied for fifth.
With an impressive Golfstat ranking of 95, the Pirates are highly regarded as title contenders and will be the No. 2 seed entering the tournament. This year they will compete on a new championship course as BIG EAST’s former home, Callawassie Resort, undergoes renovations. This year’s competition will be held at the Callaway Resort & Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia.
GRAND EAST CHAMPIONSHIP 2022
Host: GRAND EAST Conference
Location: Pine Mountain, Ga.
Resort: Callaway Resort and Gardens
Course: mountain view
Vital elements of the course: Par-72, 7,057 yards
Appointment: April 25-27, 2022
Callaway Resort & Gardens’ golfing pedigree dates back more than six decades to 1949, when architect JB McGovern, with considerable input from Cason Callaway, designed the first nine holes of the Lake View course. Completed and opened in 1951, Lake View perfectly captured Mr. Callaway’s vision that “golf should be an enjoyable experience in beautiful surroundings”.
The Callaways understood the beauty and importance of golf. Mr. Callaway served on the founding board of the Georgia State Golf Association. Almost from the start, the gardens served as a venue for competition, with Jack Key of Columbus, Georgia winning Callaway’s first-ever tournament, the 1951 Men’s One-Day Golf Tournament.
This challenging but playable layout on the Mountain View course will test your shooting and strategic skills, just as it did for the PGA Tour pros when it hosted the Buick Challenge from 1991-2002. The list of winners is a who’s-who of Tour stars, with champions like Davis Love III, David Duval, Steve Elkington, David Toms and Jonathan Byrd.
The field will be limited to only the 10 member schools of the BIG EAST conference. Below are the teams in order of their Golfstat ranking.
- SETON ROOM – 95
- Marquette – 99
- Creighton – 134
- Georgetown – 191
- St. John – 211
- Villanova = 214
- Butler – 237
- Xavier- 238
- From Paul – 251
Teams will compete against five golfers and count the four lowest scores per round.
Seton Hall will bring the following programming to Georgia:
- Andres AcevedoGraduate student
Acevedo is making his third trip to the BIG EAST Championship and has played well in the past. Last year, he tied for fifth All-Tournament Team qualification with an even par, 70-74-72-216, at Streamsong. He tied for 17and at Callawassie in 2019. Acevedo currently ranks sixth in the BIG EAST averaging 72.57 and has four top-10 finishes and eight rounds below average this year.
- Wen Liang XieYouth
Xie’s remarkable junior campaign featured the Toop-10 team’s top five placings and an average of 72.68, which ranks seventh in the BIG EAST conference. He is coming off a third-place tie at Rutherford Intercollegiate last week where he shot 1-under, 68-71-73-212. This will be Xie’s first-ever BIG EAST Championship.
- Gregor TaitGraduate student
Tait saved his best year for his fifth, averaging 72.25 strokes per round, which ranks fourth in the BIG EAST conference. This will be his fourth trip to lead the team at the BIG EAST Championship, having finished tied for fifth with an even 73-73-69-216 at Streamsong last year. Tait has four top-10 finishes this year and a team lead of 12 under. Tait enters this tournament with 26 rounds below career average, which ranks third in Pirate history and fifth with a 73.94 average.
- Angus O’BrienFirst-year student
O’Brien was a revelation for the Pirates in his first year at South Orange. Freshman has four top-10 finishes and averages 73.40 strokes per round, which ranks him 16thand in the BIG EAST. His score average is currently the second lowest for a freshman in Pirate history.
- Deven RamachandranSenior
This will be Ramachandran’s third trip to the BIG EAST Championship. He tied for 26and place in last year’s event and 22n/a in 2019. The senior has recorded six rounds below average this year and is averaging 73.59 strokes per round, which ranks him 18and in the BIG EAST.
LAST TIME OUT
Tait shot 1 under par, 70, to propel the Pirates to a fourth-place team finish at Rutherford Intercollegiate on Easter Sunday. Tait used four birdies and 11 pars to power a solid final round. For the tournament, he placed fifth with par, 74-70-213.
As a team, the Pirates shot a 12-over-par, 296, on Sunday. For the tournament, they were 19 over par with a 285-290-296-871. Host Penn State rallied to win the team title at 12 over par, followed by Michigan State at 14 over par and St. Mary’s at 17 over par. Two other BIG EAST competitors were also in the field, with Georgetown finishing in eighth place at 35 over par and Connecticut tied for 10th at 44 over par.
The best pirate golfer of the tournament was junior Wen Liang Xie (Zhaoqing, China). He had two birdies and 12 pars to shoot a 2-over-par, 73, in the third round. For the event, he finished tied for third place, just two strokes off the lead, with a 1-under, 68-71-73-212.
LAST YEAR AT THE BIG EAST CHAMPIONSHIP
Tait shot a 3-under, 69, in the final round to lift the Pirates to a third-place finish in the 2021 BIG EAST Championship at Streamsong Resort in Bowling Green, Fla.
Tait was brilliant in round three, using five birdies to record the tournament’s fastest Pirate round. Tait was tied for fifth among all individual golfers, which qualified him for BIG EAST All-Tournament Team honors. For the tournament, he shot an even par, 74-73-69-216.
Collectively, Seton Hall put in another strong third-round performance, throwing a 7-over-par, 295, the second-best third-rounder in the field. The performance helped the Pirates skip Butler and finish in third place among the nine teams. For the three-day event, The Hall was 18 over par with a 296-291-295-882. Connecticut won the tag team title at 5 over par. Marquette finished second at 11 over par.
The BIG EAST will crown a team champion, who automatically earns a spot for the 2022 NCAA Championship. The individual champion also receives an invite to the NCAA Championship.
The course will play one round (18 holes) each day for three days. Each day’s competition will begin at 8:20 a.m. Seton Hall will pair up with golfers from Marquette in the first round and start the first hole. The pirate schedule looks like this for Monday…
RAMACHANDRAN (ROOM) and Josh Robinson (MU) – 8:20 a.m.
O’BRIEN (ROOM) and Nicolas Evangelio (MU) – 8:29
TAIT (ROOM) and Max Lyons (MU) – 8:37
XIE (ROOM) and Tyler Leach (MU) – 8:46
ACEVEDO (ROOM) and Hunter Eichorn (MU) – 8:54
Live scoring will be available on GolfStat.com. Full day results will also be available on SHUPirates.com.