This weekend, April 13-14, it is college golf's "…tradition unlike any other" when top players take their best shots at the Mackenzie-designed Pasatiempo Golf Club in high hopes of earning the Blue Jacket at the Transamerica-World Financial Group (WFG) 67th Western Intercollegiate men's golf tournament.
Hosted by San Jose State University Men's Golf, the tournament will crown the winning collegiate team and bestow the individual champion with the coveted Western Intercollegiate Blue Jacket, a tradition started by Tournament Director John Kennaday, San José State University's men's golf coach. "Late in 2009, we thought it would be fun to create our own tradition at the Western," said Coach Kennaday, "so we created a Blue Jacket ceremony that resembles in some ways, the Green Jacket honor at the Masters. The jacket is presented to the low-scoring athlete at the Western Intercollegiate award ceremony, and the players have taken a great liking to this tradition."
According to Kennaday, four of the 14 teams competing in the 54-hole tournament rank in the nation's top-10 by GolfStat. The field includes California (#1), Washington (#3), UCLA (#5) and Stanford (#7). In addition to host San Jose State, Arizona State, Denver, Hawaii, Fresno State, Oregon, San Diego State, UC Irvine, USC and UTEP will round out a highly competitive field.
Nine of the top-25 players in the GolfStat rankings (as of April 9, 2013) are on teams entered in the Transamerica-WFG Western Intercollegiate. They include standout players such as Cal sophomore Michael Kim (#1); Cal junior Joel Stalter (#6); Stanford sophomore Patrick Rodgers (#9), Washington sophomore Cheng-Tseng Pan (#11); Stanford junior Cameron Wilson (#16); Washington senior Chris Williams (#20) and #1 in the R&A World Amateur Golf rankings; Stanford senior Andrew Yun (#21); UCLA senior Pontus Widegren (#22); and California junior Brandon Hagy (#24).
"The Western Intercollegiate golf tournament is one of the most highly-regarded competitions in all of men's collegiate golf," said Mike Mathies, SVP Marketing for Transamerica Capital, Inc., "and we're extremely pleased to sponsor of an event with such great history and tradition."
Golf enthusiasts are welcome to join the gallery, April 13-14. On Fri. April 12, (College-Am and practice round) Sun SafeTee in cooperation with the Santa Cruz Cancer Benefit Group, will be at "The Western" sharing material on the importance of sun skin safety while dermatologists provide free skin cancer screening for the players, coaches, and guests. "This will be our third year at The Western at the historic Pasatiempo Golf Club," said Wishner, the Sun SafeTee founder. "Our program, which is endorsed by the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA), increases awareness about sun skin protection and encourages better health for golfers, and ultimately, helps extend the lives of collegiate players and their coaches."
In addition to premiere Title Sponsor Transamerica-World Financial Group (WFG), the Western Intercollegiate golf tournament has the support of Platinum Sponsors Frys.com Open, Cooper-Challen Realty, Brandenburg Family Foundation, and Don & Sally Lucas.
To learn more about the Western Intercollegiate, visit http://www.westernintercollegiate.net/ and the Sun Safe Tee Program, visit http://www.sunsafetee.org/. To discover the history and charm of Pasatiempo Golf Club, visit http://www.pasatiempo.com/web/.