The Augusta University women’s golf team hosts the 14th edition of its home tournament with the Valspar Augusta Invitational March 16-17 at Forest Hills Golf Club. Augusta’s annual stop at Forest Hills since 2004 is now branded after its new title sponsor, Valspar.
“We are very grateful for Valspar as the new title sponsor and looking forward to growing our relationship with such a great company,” head coach Caroline Hegg said. “We also want to recognize all the contributions 3M has made to our tournament and to all our sponsors.”
The Jaguars’ home tournament features 12 Division-I teams who will compete in the two-day event in Augusta, Ga. The 2019 field includes Augusta, Central Arkansas, Charlotte, Coastal Carolina, Daytona State, East Tennessee State, Memphis, Princeton, Purdue, South Florida, Texas Tech, and Toledo.
“Our field is strong and the golf course has undergone some fantastic improvements recently,” Hegg said. “I am confident that the team will embrace the challenge of competing on our home turf and we will put on a first class event.”
The tournament format has been updated this year and will consist of a two-day competition with a shotgun start each morning. The event begins on Saturday, March 16 with teams playing 36 holes for rounds one and two in a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m. On Sunday, March 17 teams will play the final round with a shotgun start at 9:00 a.m. The awards ceremony will take place following the conclusion of the final round.
Last season in 2018, Augusta tied Purdue 9-over-par to finish runner-up. Georgia took home the 2018 team and individual title. The Jaguars placed third in 2017 and won the 2016 tournament, besting the 16-team field at three-under par to win by 10 strokes. AU was the only team to finish under par in the event. Hegg has guided the Jags to a top-three finish every year at the home event.
The Jaguars have taken home the team title twice and individual medalist honors four times – highlighted by Jessica Haigwood’s win in 2017 where she posted the lowest score in tourney history. Casey Kennedy won the 2011 event, Amanda Smith won in 2006, and Lauren Smith in 2005. The Jaguars finished runner-up in 2006-07, 2007-08, 2009-10, 2010-11, and 2011-12. The tourney dates were moved from the fall to the spring for the 2009-10 season, where it has remained to this day.