Following team pre-tournament practice rounds on Super Bowl Sunday, Boca Lago Golf & Country Club (BLG&CC) will host the two-day 2021 FAU Paradise Invitational Golf Tournament featuring NCAA women golf team powerhouses from the C-USA, Big Ten, SEC, ASUN, Big East, Missouri Valley, Sun Belt and American conferences. With only 54 out of 260 Division I golf teams able to compete this fall due to Covid-19, several of the FAU Paradise Invitational teams will be teeing it up at BLG&CC for the first time this season on Monday and Tuesday, February 8 and 9.
According to FAU Head Women’s Golf Coach Aimee Neff who is directing and managing the tournament, the full field features women golfer teams from FAU, Arkansas State, Ohio State, Southern Miss, UAB, Loyola Chicago, Xavier, USF, Iowa, UNF, Vanderbilt, Michigan State and Maryland. Vanderbilt enters the tournament as the highest-ranked team in the field, currently No.13 in the nation.
Neff reported that in the past two years FAU women’s golf program has improved over 75 spots in the national rankings and is eager to tee it up at BLG&CC for their home event. Sophomore Justine Fournand leads the way for the Owls as she was named C-USA “Freshman of the Year” and broke nearly every record at FAU in her first year averaging 72.5 strokes.
“At FAU we pride ourselves in showing others throughout the country that we live, work and ‘play golf’ in paradise, and by holding our invitational tournament at Boca Lago Golf & Country Club we are able to showcase the best South Florida has to offer,” shared Neff. For tournament format planning and operations, Neff has been working with onsite BLG&CC Head Professionals Billy Ashford and Ed Segala, who also run PGA Honda Classic Pre-Qualifiers and PGA Junior Tour stops as well as the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour in addition to a full schedule of member and private corporate and charity tournaments at the Club.
The FAU Paradise Invitational tournament format is 54 holes (36 on opening day and 18 on concluding day); the low four of five scores for each round will count toward the team score. There will be a team champion and an individual champion.
Prior to tournament play, FAU Paradise Invitational competing teams will warm-up at BLG&CC’s Golf Academy-level practice facility that has full-swing space on the driving range to accommodate a field of 20 golfers at the same time, three practice putting greens, a dedicated short-game area, and two practice holes that can be played in multiple ways.
Tee times are from 7:30 a.m. to 8:42 a.m. off BLG&CC’s South and East nines that are set amidst 225 acres of vibrant fairways, 50 acres of lakes and 21 nature preserves. To adhere to COVID safety measures, teams will be playing in fivesomes with their own team, and observers are strictly limited to BLG&CC members. The general public, however, can follow the tournament with access to live scoring online at http://golfstat.com/.
“We are thrilled that FAU chose Boca Lago Golf & Country Club to host its 2021 Paradise Invitational Golf Tournament featuring the athletic talents of high-ranking collegiate women’s golf teams from around the country,” shared BLG&CC Managing Director of Membership & Golf Operations John Stampfl. “Since our Club has an active Women’s League and supports and encourages junior golfer practice and play, members of all ages are looking forward to privately viewing the Invitational.”
Stampfl added that BLG&CC’s onsite Head Golf Professionals Billy Ashford and Ed Segala coach and train many of the Club’s junior golf members, some as young as 7 years of age, who aspire to or have qualified to compete in NCAA conference and PGA junior and adult tournament play.
Next BLG&CC will host the PGA Honda Classic Pre-Qualifier on Wednesday, March 10 with a PGA Junior Tour stop on August 22. On June 6 and 7, the Hurricane Junior Golf Tour tees up for competition.
About the BLG&CC Course
The privately-owned, non-equity BLG&CC is fresh off an $8 million redesign of its three nine-hole courses under the direction of award-winning golf course architect Jan Bel Jan.
Elevating the course grounds experience to now be among the premier golf clubs in Palm Beach County, the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) recognized Boca Lago Golf & Country Club with its “Best New Course Design” Award (2018). Continuing to enhance the golfer experience, the Club is now focusing on the conservation and restoration of the 21 natural preserve habitats that line 27 holes of championship golf.
The redesign incorporated the best elements of the original course design with a revitalized approach to strategy and playability from each tee. There are now multiple choices of how to play each hole, with the lakes and tree-lined fairways still playing a pivotal role in the character of all three nines.
The redevelopment of the South, East, and West Courses included redesigned greens, repositioned and recontoured bunkers in the fairways and around greens, as well as reshaped and rearranged teeing grounds amidst more than 50 acres of shimmering lakes.
The golf course offers five sets of tees, with slope ratings from 110 to 142 to ensure a fun experience for players of all ages and abilities. Headed by award-winning PGA teaching pros, BLG&CC offers full-service instructional programming and custom golf club fitting.
BLG&CC and its members are committed to maintenance practices that are friendly to the environment. The grounds are abundant with flora, fauna, wildlife and kept in top condition under the continued expertise and guidance of Golf Course Superintendent Aaron Seaman, a long-standing member of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America.
Distinguished as “The New Way to Club” and “Celebration Central” for weddings, private events and corporate golf tournaments, Boca Lago Golf & Country Club is located at 8665 Juego Way, Boca Raton, FL 33433. For more information on its robust golf membership options and active tournament play, visit www.bocalago.com or contact Managing Director of Membership & Golf Operations John Stampfl, at (561) 869-8880 or [email protected].
About Florida Atlantic University Athletics:
FAU Athletics is comprised of 21 intercollegiate teams involving 450 student-athletes that compete in baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, indoor and outdoor track, volleyball, beach volleyball, cheer and dance. The Owls are an NCAA Division I-A (FBS) institution and compete in Conference USA and the Coastal Collegiate Sports Association (CCSA) (beach volleyball, men’s swimming). The Owls have been playing football since 2001 and are 4-1 in bowl games, the most recent victory being a 52-28 victory over SMU in the 2019 Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl. The dance team finished its 2014 season No. 8, nationally. FAU cheer won a national championship in 2016.
About Florida Atlantic University:
Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University, with an annual economic impact of $6.3 billion, serves more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students at sites throughout its six-county service region in southeast Florida. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serve students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University is placing special focus on the rapid development of critical areas that form the basis of its strategic plan: Healthy aging, biotech, coastal and marine issues, neuroscience, regenerative medicine, informatics, lifespan and the environment. These areas provide opportunities for faculty and students to build upon FAU’s existing strengths in research and scholarship. For more information, visit www.fau.edu.