The UT women's golf team started hosting the three-day Mercedes-Benz Collegiate Championships Sunday at Fox Den Country Club.
The men's team is playing host starting today.
Tennessee's 16th-annual Coca-Cola Tournament of Champions is a two-day event set for Holston Hills Country Club. The Vols, a two-time tournament champion, are looking to claim their first tournament title since winning in 2001.
They aren't the only past tournament champion to make an appearance, though.
Southeastern Conference rival Auburn, who is ranked No. 25 in the nation, won in 1991, while intrastate rival East Tennessee State won back-to-back championships in 1995 and 1996.
The tournament features seven teams that participated in postseason play in 2003. Tennessee, Auburn and Vanderbilt competed in the NCAA Championships, while East Tennessee State, James Madison and defending Southern Conference Champion and 24th-ranked Georgia Southern advanced to the NCAA East Regional. Pepperdine, the defending West Coast Champion, competed in the NCAA West Regional.
Virginia is making its first tournament appearance since 2000. The Cavaliers have finished runner up at the TOC three times, in 1996, 1999 and 2000.
Other teams competing include Memphis, Rice, South Alabama, Southern Mississippi, Tulane and the Swedish National Team. The Swedish National Team's appearance marks the first time a foreign team has competed in the tournament.
"We are looking forward to hosting the event again at Holston Hills," Kelson said. "The course is in the best shape that we have ever seen. The rough is extremely high and is quite demanding. Fortunately for us, everyone of our players are going to have the chance to compete."
Tennessee features two teams in this year's event, an orange team and a white team. The orange team, which will count towards NCAA scoring, features two local golfers.
Freshmen Ross Cox of Knoxville is coming off a 17th-place finish at the Carpet Capital Collegiate and has a scoring average of 72.83, while Kingston's Jonathan Mount of Kingston will be making his first appearance of the season.
Other competitors on the orange squad include juniors John Scott Rattan (72.17), David Skinns (74.67) and Ross McGowan (74.17).
Members of the white squad include juniors Ricky Honeycutt (76.33) and Brandon Skeen (75.67), sophomore Lloyd Campbell (77.67) and freshmen John Brannen and Tino Weiss (77.33).
Sophomores Clint Cromwell and Chris Robinson are set to compete as individuals. Brannen, Cromwell and Robinson are each making their first appearances of the year.
The Vols finished second to SEC rival Georgia during last season's Tournament of Champions. UT and UGA shared the lead after the first two rounds of play, before Georgia took control and held off a late Volunteer rally during the final nine holes.
Skinns finished second in the individual portion of the tournament to Vanderbilt's Brandt Snedeker.
UT golfers play role of host
Published: Mon Oct 20, 2003 | Modified: Sat Aug 06, 2005 05:29 p.m.