Augusta University’s golf teams join Division I Southland Conference

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Forest Hills Golf Course will honor Augusta University Health workers with free golf through the summer.

The Southland Conference has added multiple affiliate members in men’s and women’s golf effective for the 2021-22 academic year, the league announced Thursday, including Augusta University’s men’s and women’s teams.

Also joining the Southland in multi-year agreements are Delaware State University (women’s team) and Francis Marion University (men’s team).

“We are very pleased to welcome our new affiliate golf members to the Southland,” league commissioner Tom Burnett said. “We look forward to a beneficial partnership with these institutions, providing outstanding championship experiences and NCAA access for the student-athletes of these programs.”

The lineup for Southland Conference men’s golf next season will be: AU, Francis Marion, Houston Baptist, Incarnate Word, New Orleans, Nicholls and Southeastern Louisiana. McNeese’s program will be paused for the 2021-22 academic year.

The men’s conference tournament will be held April 25-27, 2022, at the Dye Course at Stonebridge Country Club in McKinney, Texas, with the winner earning the league’s automatic berth into the NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship.

The women’s lineup will include AU, Delaware State, Houston Baptist, Incarnate Word and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. The women’s conference tournament will be held April 18-20, at a location to be determined, with the winner also earn the conference’s automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.

“Augusta University is both excited and honored in being granted affiliated membership in the Southland Conference in both Men’s and Women’s Golf,” Director of Athletics Clint Bryant stated. “We have a rich history in golf and look forward to competing against fellow member institutions in the Southland. I know that both our coaches and student-athletes look forward to the opportunity.”

The men’s team finished second at the Bash in the Boro and the Pinnacle Bank Intercollegiate, but a positive COVID-19 test within the program prevented the team from competing in the 2021 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Men’s Golf Championship. The Jaguars failed to compete in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2013.

The women’s team best finish was third at the ECU Easter Invitational.

Augusta and Francis Marion, both members of Division II Peach Belt Conference, sponsor golf at the D-I level. Augusta won back-to-back NCAA Division I men’s national championships in 2010 and 2011, and Broc Everett won the 2018 NCAA individual men’s national championship.

Current PGA Tour members Henrik Norlander and Patrick Reed were both members of the Jaguars’ national championship teams. Reed is a nine-team winner on the tour, including capturing the 2018 Masters Tournament. Norlander has finished runner-up twice in his career (once at the 2021 Farmer Insurance Open in January and the other back in November 2016 at The RSM Classic) and has two top-5 finishes this season.

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