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Feb. 18, 2005

Deemed as the first collegiate major golf tournament of the year, the road to the NCAA Tournament begins in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., at the Mercedes-Benz Collegiate Championship Feb. 20-22.

Throughout the last 14 years, the MBCC, hosted by Sawgrass Country Club, has grown into one of the premier events in college golf and this year is no exception. The 2005 field features 10 teams that finished last season ranked in the top 30 of the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings.

UNF captured the 1994 MBCC title and has finished third in the event two of the last four years after finishing second in 2000. South Carolina is the tournament’s defending champion, shattering the record for largest margin of victory by finishing 27 strokes ahead of both Florida and Oklahoma State in 2004. Augusta State captured the team title two years ago, finishing with a winning score of 852, the third best winning score in team history.

“Year in and year out, there is an unbelievable field assembled for this event,” UNF Head Golf Coach John Sadie said.

Along with host UNF, the teams that round out the 2005 Mercedes-Benz Collegiate Championship are Alabama, Arkansas, Augusta State, Central Florida, Coastal Carolina, Duke, Florida, Florida State, Georgia State, Kentucky, LSU, Northwestern, South Carolina, Tennessee, UCLA and UAB.

With the top teams, also come the top golfers, giving fans an opportunity to get a look at the players they will see someday soon playing just across the street from the Sawgrass Country Club at THE PLAYERS Championship. This year’s field, which features six preseason All-Americas – is keeping with that tradition.

“Our own Mercedes-Benz Intercollegiate has become perhaps the premier tournament in the nation,” Sadie said. “It features 17 of the very best college golf teams in the country, on a championship golf course, with an emphasis on impeccable hospitality, and in one of the greatest golfing communities the game has to offer.”

Tee times for the Mercedes-Benz Collegiate Championship start Sunday morning at 8 a.m. when UCF, Georgia State and Alabama go off on the first hole along with UAB and Coastal Carolina on the 10th hole.

South Carolina, Florida and UCLA begin the next flight of tee times on the first hole at 8:45 a.m. with UNF, Arkansas and Tennessee teeing off on the back nine.

Augusta State, Kentucky and Duke get the final groups rolling off the first tee at 9:30 a.m., while LSU, Florida State and Northwestern will start their day at the same time on the back nine.

Tournament highlights and live scoring will be provided at