The most successful player in Alabama golf history, Jerry Pate, has remained close to his alma mater through his playing career and now through a critically acclaimed profession as a golf course designer. One of his fine designs is Old Overton Club in Vestavia Hills on the outskirts of Birmingham, and beginning Monday the Crimson Tide men’s golf team will host the 31st Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate, one of the nation’s most prominent fall tournaments.
The Alabama team of Coach Jay Seawell is the defending champion in the tournament, which is played over the 7,204-yard, par-70 Old Overton course. The 54-hole tournament has two rounds beginning at 7:30 a.m. CDT Monday and a final 18 holes beginning at 8 a.m. Tuesday.
The Crimson Tide, ranked 24th, will have a difficult challenge. The field of 12 teams includes seven nationally ranked. In addition to Bama, the field includes No. 3 Auburn, No. 17 Florida State, No. 21 Baylor, No. 28 Arkansas, No. 42 UNLV and No. 44 Michigan, along with Charlotte, Mississippi State, South Alabama, Texas-San Antonio and UAB.
Alabama's starting lineup is led by sophomore Davis Riley. Joining Riley will be juniors Lee Hodges, Tyler Hitchner, and Steven Setterstrom, and senior Robby Prater. The Crimson Tide will begin its round at 7:30 Monday on Hole No. 1. The second round will begin at approximately 12:30 with Alabama teeing off on the 10th hole.
The Tide has captured four straight Jerry Pate Intercollegiate titles and has claimed the team title in eight of the last 10 years (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015).
The Jerry Pate Intercollegiate began in 1986, and Pate, who now plays on the PGA Champions Tour, has always taken an active role in team selection.
Since its inception, the JPNI has seen some powerful names in the world of golf win its individual title. Current PGA Tour golfers Michael Thompson, Bud Cauley, Hunter Mahan, Jordan Spieth, Rory Sabbatini, and D.J. Trahan have all won medalist honors at the Pate, and one of the greatest golfers of all-time, Tiger Woods, won the JPNI in 1994 while competing for Stanford. David Kirkpatrick (1991), Joseph Sykora (2006), Mark Harrell (2007), Hunter Hamrick (2009), Justin Thomas (2012), and Robby Shelton (2015) have been individual champions from Alabama.
There is no charge for admission to the tournament.