UHV takes over Claud Jacobs tournament from Texas State

  • Claud Jacobs/Victoria Country Club Collegiate Invitational

  • • Hosted by UHV; Feb. 16-18

    • Field will be all NAIA schools

    • Men play 54-holes at Victoria Country Club

    • Women would play 36-holes at Colony Creek Country Club

    • Event features a Feb. 16 college-am

For two years, the University of Houston-Victoria women's golf team has been a visitor on its own home course while competing at the Claud Jacobs Intercollegiate Golf Tournament.

That will all change in February thanks to a new format announced during an on campus news conference on Tuesday.

The Jaguars will now host the all-NAIA Claude Jacobs/Victoria Country Club Collegiate Invitational Golf Tournament.

"It needs to be here," Jacobs said. "The University of Houston-Victoria is our school, it's here in Victoria so that tournament really needed to raise funds and to benefit Victoria rather than other schools."

The tournament, previously an all-women's event, will feature NAIA men's and women's programs with the men playing 54 holes at the Victoria Country Club, and the women would play 36 holes at Colony Creek Country Club.

The tournament will still feature an opening day College-Am round prior to the two-day collegiate rounds.

The announcement was made at a news conference where university president Phil Castille, Athletic Director Ashley Walyuchow, Golf Coach Brian Williamson and Jacobs spoke.

Texas State previously hosted the event held at the Victoria Country Club.

Jacobs said the exposure and revenue generated from the tournament was necessary to help the two-year-old UHV golf program grow and compete.

"We want a national championship and we're well on our way to do that," Jacobs said. "But to do that, we have to have scholarships, we have to have money that will help to fund the programs to get some of the better players here."

The announcement was made eight months before the tournament, but the changes were almost year in the making.

Jacobs said he and Victoria Country Club General Manager and Golf Professional Breene Cantwell decided to make the changes in the tournament last July.

"We didn't let the cat out of the bag, but Claud and I had already begun discussion on the direction we wanted to move," Cantwell said.

Williamson said he sent out invitations for the tournament to each Top 25 NAIA men's and women's team and he's gotten firm or tentative responses from 12 schools.

Among the teams that have confirmed are defending A.I.I. men's conference champions University of Victoria (British Columbia), Waylond Baptist and Grand View.

In years past, the Jacobs Intercollegiate gave UHV golfers a chance to play and compete against NCAA schools.

Williamson said the program won't suffer because the teams aren't playing NCAA schools prior to the AII tournament since the schools at the top of the NAIA are strong at golf.

"There's not very much of a drop off there," Williamson said. "The scores that it takes to win at that level shouldn't be too much different."

UHV is confident that the city will be the big winner in February.

Ideally, the tournament will field a total of 30 teams and Castille estimated the tournament will draw a total of 400 people to Victoria.

"They will have an important economic impact as our players and visitors dine in Victoria's restaurants, stay in our hotels, purchase gifts, include some sight seeing and do some shopping," Castille said.