Lone Star Invitational Live Scoring
MARTIN, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin’s first step towards repeating as Ohio Valley Conference golf champions begins when the Skyhawks open the 2021-22 campaign at the Lone Star Invitational on Sept. 20-21.
The Skyhawks are one of 13 teams to take part in the Lone Star Invitational, joining Houston Baptist, Incarnate Word, Lamar, Louisiana, New Mexico State, Oral Roberts, Stephen F. Austin, Southeastern Louisiana, Texas State, UT Arlington, UTRGV and UTSA (who is hosting the event). The two-day, 54-hole event takes place at the pristine TPC San Antonio Oaks course, which was designed by Greg Norman and plays at 7,435 yards.
“That golf course will test every area of our game,” said head coach Austin Swafford, who enters his second season at the helm of the UT Martin golf program. “It’s a PGA Tour venue and is very demanding – we are excited to start the year in San Antonio and see how we handle the challenges of this course. We can look back at our experiences at this tournament not only for the remainder of the fall but throughout the whole year.”
The Lone Star Invitational is the first of five fall events and 11 overall tournaments during the regular season. The Skyhawks will host a pair of events this season, starting with the Grover Page Classic on Oct. 4-5 at the Jackson Country Club in Jackson, Tenn.
“The Jackson Country Club course is beautiful and in excellent condition during the fall,” Swafford said. “The interest has grown as 17 teams are in the field. The staff at Jackson Country Club are great hosts for our tournament and we look forward to growing the event for years to come.”
UT Martin will also co-host the inaugural Carpenter/Chaney Classic with Morehead State at Tunica National in Tunica, Miss. Named after legendary head coaches Jerry Carpenter (UT Martin) and Dr. Rex Chaney (Morehead State), the Carpenter/Chaney Classic will be an eight-team match-play event on April 4-5.
“With the OVC Championships moving to a match-play format to decide the champion, Coach (Matthew) Martin from Morehead State and I came up with this plan to honor our past coaches and mentors,” Swafford said. “We are going to have eight of the nine OVC teams in the field so it will be neat to get a sneak peek at how the OVC Championships could potentially unfold three weeks before we head to the actual league tournament.”
Not only is the OVC Championships changing its team format but the location is also different this spring. After seven straight tournaments in Muscle Shoals, Ala., the 2022 OVC Championships will be hosted by the Dalhousie Golf Course in Cape Girardeau, Mo. on April 24-27. The first three days will be the traditional stroke-play format before the top-four teams in the standings battle in morning/afternoon match play sessions to determine the league’s automatic entrant into the NCAA Tournament.
Of course, the NCAA Tournament is the last time the Skyhawks were officially in action as UT Martin capped off a historical campaign in 2020-21. Swafford helped navigate a veteran Skyhawk squad to the program’s second-ever OVC title as UT Martin dominated for five tournament wins – marking the second-most victories in a head coach’s debut season in the history of NCAA Division I golf (trailing only seven by Oklahoma State’s Mike Holder in 1973-74).
The Skyhawks return six players from last season’s championship squad but after senior Tate Chumley, the five returners have combined for just 64 collegiate rounds and 13 appearances in the starting lineup. Overall, six of the nine members of the roster have yet to play in a college tournament.
“We have a younger team this season but we also have a very high ceiling,” Swafford said. “We have a ton of experience at the junior golf level and a lot of our guys are coming off successful amateur events throughout the summer. We are excited to get going and gain some collegiate tournament experience under our belts for our younger players.”
A 2020-21 All-OVC honoree, Chumley (73.3 career scoring average) tops UT Martin’s lineup for the season-opening Lone Star Invitational. Junior Bryson Morrell (74.7 career scoring average) will occupy the No. 2 spot and will be followed by three players making their Skyhawk debuts in redshirt freshman Jonathan Xoinis (No. 3), freshman Garrett Chumley (No. 4) and freshman Cayden Chambers (No. 5).
Jacob Uehlein (74.5 career scoring average) returns for his junior season after making 10 career starts. He is joined by the returning duo of Ethan Ray and Jackson Twerdahl, who each will look to contribute after redshirting as freshmen in 2020-21. True freshman Ben McMillan was a late addition to the roster as the walk-on will redshirt this season.
To follow along with live scoring from the Lone Star Invitational, click on the link above.