The collegiate golf tournament, the Jackson T. Stephens Cup, announced its field Wednesday (Sept. 1) for the inaugural competition to be played Oct. 17-20 at the prestigious Alotian Club in Roland, Ark., near Little Rock. In addition, the Golf Channel will provide live television coverage.
The tournament is named in honor of the late Jackson T. Stephens, former chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and co-founder of Little Rock-based Stephens Inc.
The University of South Carolina Women and the Florida State University Men, both ranked fourth in men’s and women’s college golf, according to the most-recent Golfstat rankings, lead the field of 12 teams invited to play.
The women’s field is among the strongest ever assembled with all six teams ranked in the top 20 of the most-recent Golfstat NCAA Division 1 standings. Joining South Carolina in the women’s field is fifth-ranked Louisiana State University, sixth-ranked University of Mississippi, 15th-ranked Baylor University, 19th ranked University of Virginia and 20th ranked University of Arkansas.
In the men’s competition, 15th ranked University of Arkansas and 19th-ranked University of Arizona join Florida State University. Next is San Diego State University ranked 27th, with 31st-ranked University of Notre Dame and 52nd ranked University of Alabama rounding out the men’s team competition.
“We are excited to bring together some of the most dynamic teams in college golf today,” said Tournament Chairman Warren Stephens. “It is our hope that by assembling great amateur players at some of the greatest venues in golf, we will encourage the next generation and help to grow the game. My father truly believed that golf taught life lessons, and I am thrilled to honor him through this tournament.”
In addition to the 12 schools competing for the Jackson T. Stephens Cup team titles, 12 individual men and women collegiate players representing PGA Works, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and the United States Service Academies will also compete. These highly-ranked individuals will compete in the stroke play portion of the tournament.
Joining the women’s tournament are PGA Works Individual Champion Phu Khine from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington and PGA Works Women’s Team Champion Nattavadee Khunsri from Delaware State University.
Representing HBCU teams are Christyn Carr from North Carolina A&T State University and Kendall Jackson and Reese Wilson from Howard University. Tori Smith represents the United States Naval Academy women’s golf team, the only service academy to offer women’s golf.
Individual men from HBCUs playing in the individual competition are Lorenzo Elbert, Jr., from Prairie View A&M University, Joshua McCray from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and Xavier Williams from North Carolina A&T State University.
Players from the U.S. Service Academies include Nicholas Klock from the United States Naval Academy, Tom Katsenes from the United States Military Academy and Colter Baca representing the United States Air Force Academy.
Golf Channel will provide live broadcasts on each day of official tournament play: Monday, Oct. 18: 4-7 p.m. eastern time, Tuesday, Oct. 19: 3-6 p.m. eastern time and Wednesday, Oct. 20: 3-6 p.m. eastern time. The nightly encore broadcast schedule will be determined closer to the tournament.
“We are thrilled to showcase the inaugural Jackson T. Stephens Cup on the Golf Channel. Live coverage makes this tournament even more prestigious, and we certainly appreciate Golf Channel’s partnership,” said Mark Brazil, tournament director. “We look forward to highlighting the players in this outstanding field and the incredible course at the Alotian Club. We thank everyone at Golf Channel for their ongoing efforts in promoting collegiate golf.”
The first 54 holes of stroke play will seed the men’s and women’s fields for a final 18 holes of match play. Stroke-play medalists will be honored October 19 before match play begins.
2021 Tournament Schedule:
Sunday, Oct. 17, 2021 – Practice Rounds/Collegiate-Am Fundraiser
Monday, Oct. 18, 2021 – Stroke Play (27 holes)
Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021 – Stroke Play (27 holes)
Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021 – Match Play Final Round by seed (1 vs. 2, 3 vs. 4, etc.)
The Alotian Club is the home course for the Jackson T. Stephens Cup and will host the competition every four to five years. In 2022, the tournament will be contested at Seminole Golf Club in Juno Beach, Fla., followed by Trinity Forest Golf Club, in Dallas, Texas in 2023.