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Rizzo Announces 2021 Golf Slate

by Kevin Ivany

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – After a fall unlike any other, the University of Miami golf team is officially scheduled to tee off the 2021 spring season Jan. 31 in Orlando, Fla.

The Hurricanes’ schedule features five tournaments prior to the ACC Women’s Golf Championship in Greensboro, N.C.

“It’s great to have a schedule in place so the girls can mentally prepare for the courses and create positive thoughts,” Miami head coach Patti Rizzo said. “Our goals of course are to make it to the NCAA Championship, reach the match-play rounds and–if all goes well–win nationals. That would be a dream come true.”

For the first time since hosting the Hurricane Invitational at the Biltmore Hotel and Golf Course on March 3, prior to NCAA cancellations due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Miami will return to competition as a unit at the UCF Women’s Challenge (Jan. 31-Feb. 2).

As a team, the Hurricanes will look to secure a top-three finish at the Eagle Creek Golf Club for the fifth consecutive season, while individually, Miami will look to capture medalist honors for the third straight year.

In just her second collegiate tournament, Anna Backman paced the Canes in 2019 at the UCF Challenge registering 13 birdies and finishing with the program’s then-second-lowest individual score (205, -11). One year later Renate Grimstad won her first collegiate tournament, capping the weekend in Orlando with 51 par or better holes, 16 birdies and the second lowest relative to par score in UM history (202, -14).

“I’m very excited for the spring and I think I speak for all of us when I say that we’ve been waiting for this,” Grimstad said. “Obviously, it’s hard to imagine playing competitive golf in just a month when we’ve gone months without any consistency or tournaments scheduled, so it’ll definitely be a challenge to mentally transition to it. However, after chatting with the team, everyone seems excited to get back to Miami and start living a more normal life again. We miss each other and the atmosphere on the team a lot.”

Two weeks after they open the spring in Orlando, the Hurricanes will tee off at the Moon Golf Invitational in Viera, Fla., hosted by the University of Louisville (Feb. 14-16, Duran Golf Club). They will then head to Gainesville, Fla., a week later for the Florida Gators Women’s Invitational (Feb. 21-23, The Mark Bostick Golf Course).

After a three-week hiatus, Miami will return to competition March 15-16 as it leaves the state of Florida for the first time in 2021. Traveling to the Golf Club at Briar’s Creek in John Island, S.C., the Canes will tee off in the Briar’s Creek Collegiate Invitational hosted by the College of Charleston.

UM will close out the 2021 regular season in Lantana, Texas, March 28-29, at The Bruzzy Challenge hosted by the University of North Texas.

The ACC Championship is slated for April 15-18 at the Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C.

“In preparation for ACCs and potentially Regionals and Nationals, I know that the coaches have faith in us to do really well and I definitely agree with them,” Rizzo said. “The team has everything this year, from returning players with experience, to freshmen with incredible talent and an eagerness to learn and grow as players. I think that composition can make us a really dangerous team to play against this spring and hopefully we’ll be able to take advantage of the hunger for success to do great things as a group.”

NCAA Regional play falls on May 10-12, with the four host sites being LSU, Louisville, Ohio State and Stanford. The NCAA Championship will then be held May 21-26 in Scottsdale, Ariz., hosted by Arizona State and Grayhawk Golf Club.


Spring Schedule

Jan. 31-Feb. 2: UCF Women’s Challenge (Orlando, Fla.)

Feb. 14-16: Moon Golf Invitational (Viera, Fla.)

Feb. 21-23: Florida Gators Women’s Invitational (Gainesville, Fla.)

March 15-16: Briar’s Creek Collegiate Invitational (Johns Island, S.C.)

March 28-29: The Bruzzy Challenge (Lantana, Texas)

April 15-18: ACC Women’s Golf Championship (Greensboro, N.C.)

Postseason

May 10-12: NCAA Regionals (TBD)

May 21-26: NCAA Championship (Scottsdale, Ariz.)