Over 40 years ago, Rollins women's golf hosted the first Peggy Kirk Bell Invitational and in those four decades established the tournament as college's premier spring event. Starting in 2018, the Tars will host a fall tournament with the inaugural Rollins Legends Invitational, November 5-6 at Country Club of Orlando.
Rollins boasts one of the richest traditions in the nation for golf which will be on full display at the Legends Invitational. Along with its 13 national championships, including a record six at the NCAA Division II level, the list of Rollins women alumnae golfers could be its own "who's who" in the world of golf. Beginning with Peggy Kirk Bell '43 as a Charter member of the LPGA, through decades of multiple college, amateur and professional champions, to the Tars currently nationally ranked team, Rollins' success is truly in a class by itself.
The first Rollins Legends Invitational will honor Pete Dye '50 and Alice O'Neal Dye '48 '02H at the welcome dinner and throughout the event. After meeting on Rollins' campus in the late 1940's, the pair went on to design some of the nation's most iconic golf courses, including the TPC at Sawgrass, Whistling Straits and the Kiawah Island Ocean Course. Alice was voted the PGA's First Lady of Golf in 2004 and Pete was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2008.
"I believe the teams will really enjoy the experience, said Rollins Director of Golf and Head Women's Coach Julie Garner. "We will have a welcome dinner Sunday at the Barker House, home of Rollins College Presidents, and dinner at CCO after the 36-hole first day. We will take time to honor these two legends of Rollins Golf, Pete and Alice Dye whose contributions to the game are legendary. In future years we will honor other legends from Rollins Golf. We are beyond excited and hope to have spectators come watch some outstanding golf."
The 2018 Rollins Legends Invitational field puts the top Division II programs in the nation on the same course. Thirteen teams in the field mentioned in the latest WGCA Division II national rankings, including seven of the top-15 teams in the poll.
"There are many top-tier red carpet tournaments in women's Division I golf, including the Ruth's Chris Tar Heel Invitational, the Landfall Tradition, and the Bryan National among many others" added Garner. "I wanted to start a similar sort of event in Division II, and when the opportunity arose to host at the Country Club of Orlando I jumped at the chance. It is such a fantastic venue from the newly renovated Donald Ross layout to the outstanding staff and clubhouse amenities! The combination of a pristine venue and NCAA Division II top-ranked teams is unmatched."
Teams will play a practice round on Sunday, November 4 and get a first look at the Country Club of Orlando layout. Competition starts at 8 a.m. Monday, November 5 with teams playing a continuous 36 holes. The final round then gets underway with an 8 a.m. shotgun start on Tuesday, November 6.
2018 Rollins Legends Invitational Field (WGCA Ranking)