WINTER PARK, Fla. (October 27, 2018) – In what has become an annual highlight to the fall season, the Rollins men's golf team is set to host the 2018 McDonough Cup, October 29-30.
The seven-year old event replaced the long-running Rollins Invitational to honor former player James McDonough, who passed away at the age of 24 on Feb. 26, 2011 after a tragic accident in Charleston, S.C. Since 2012, the tournament has become one of the fall season's premier events.
Historic Rio Pinar Golf Club in Orlando is the setting for the McDonough Cup for the seventh year. The field of 18 schools will play 54-holes over the two days; grinding out 36 holes on Oct. 29 followed by a final 18 holes on Halloween-eve to decide a champion.
The course will play 6955 yards, par-72 for the McDonough Cup.
Newberry returns as the defending champion, posting a 16-under 880 (290-288-302) to beat the host Tars by two strokes (295-290-297). Carson-Newman's Jake Headrick took medalist honors among a packed leaderboard, going five-under (71-73-67) to beat Newberry's Harry Bolton by a stroke (68-72-72).
The 2018 Field consists of:
Palm Beach Atlantic
USC-Aiken is ranked No. 21 in the latest Bushnell Golfweek Coaches poll while the Tars checked in at No. 24. Missouri-St. Louis, Newberry, Wingate, Queens, Columbus State, Flagler, Erskine, Palm Beach Atlantic, and Barton each received votes.
McDonough was born in Boston, raised in Milton, Mass. and started his college career at Rhode Island before transferring to Rollins in 2007. He played three seasons for the Tars, competing in 14 total events. McDonough's top performance came at the 2008 Birmingham Southern Invitational where he tied for second. From the minute McDonough arrived at Rollins, he was a team leader, both on and off the course. His charismatic attitude influenced the entire program and directly led to the Tars' success.
"James loved Rollins and always felt privileged to play under the direction of Coach Kyle Frakes," said James' parents Peggy and Jim. "We are thrilled and honored that Rollins keeps James's spirit, passion, and dedication to Rollins and golf alive by holding this tournament in his memory."
The McDonough's have also established an endowed scholarship in James name to benefit the Tars men's golf program.
Boasting over 50 years of tradition, Rio Pinar was first designed in 1957 by Mark Mahanna and features a competitive tree-lined course showcasing several large Florida oaks. With 43 bunkers and a winding canal which runs through five holes, Rio Pinar provides 6,955 yards of challenging championship golf.
From 1966-78, Rio Pinar staged 17 PGA and LPGA championship events, including the annual Florida Citrus Open. Golf icons such as Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Hale Irwin and Gary Koch are former winners of the event. Following the 1978 event, the course hosted the Ladies Citrus Classic from 1978-81, an LPGA Tour event. Arnold Palmer won the Florida Citrus Open in 1971. Other notable winners of the tournament include Julius Boros in 1967, Lee Trevino in 1975 and Gary Koch in 1977. The tournament moved to Palmer's Bay Hill in 1979 and was initially named the Bay Hill Citrus Classic and eventually evolved into the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
The course was redesigned in 1995 by Lloyd Clifton and provides challenge with medium-sized greens, strategic bunkering and sometimes-narrow fairways framed by mature pine and oak trees.