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Saint Mary's To Host Saint Mary's/Merrill Lynch Invitational on Monday

April 5, 2006

Moraga, CA - Saint Mary's College is set to host the Saint Mary's/Merrill Lynch Invitational at Poppy Hills Golf Course in Pebble Beach, CA on Monday and Tuesday, April 10-11. The tournament, which is being played at the home of the Northern California Golf Association (NCGA), will be 54 holes, 36 on the first day and 18 on day two.

The Saint Mary's/Merrill Lynch Invitational is being played at Poppy Hills Golf Course for the first time ever. When the tournament tee's off on Monday, it will mark the end of a nine-year drought for the SMC Invitational. The last time SMC hosted a tournament was in 1997 when the SMC Invitational was played at the Oakhurst Country Club in Clayton, CA.

In addition to Saint Mary's, the tournament field will include West Coast Conference rivals Gonzaga, Santa Clara, Loyola Marymount, Portland, and San Francisco. The remainder of the 19-team field includes four programs from the Big West (CSU Northridge, Cal Poly, UC Santa Barbara, and UC Riverside), three teams from the Western Athletic Conference (Fresno State, Boise State, and Idaho), and two from the Big Sky (Sacramento State and Weber State), Atlantic 10 (Saint Joseph's and Xavier), and Southland (UT-Arlington and Lamar) conferences.

Following a practice round on Sunday, April 9, the 36 holes on Monday, April 10 will have an 8:00 a.m. shotgun start and the final 18 holes on Tuesday, April 11 will have a split tee start from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. The par 72 Poppy Hills Golf Course is a 6,833-yard design with a rating of 74.2 and a slope of 144 from the back tees. The course record is 62 by Matt Gogel.

Tournament Facts
Tournament Name: Saint Mary's Invitational presentedby Merrill LynchCourse: Poppy Hills Golf CourseYardage: 6,833 yardsPar: 72Rating/Slope: 74.1/144Number of Holes in Tournament: 54  36 on the first dayand 18 on day two.Number of Teams/Players: 19/100 players

Schools in Tournament (Golfweek Ranking):Lamar (31)Xavier (44)Texas-Arlington (48)Santa Clara (56)Fresno State (81)Boise State (101)Saint Mary's College (89)Cal Poly (95)Weber State (100)UC Santa Barbara (130)Loyola Marymount (138)San Francisco (157)Idaho (161)Cal State Northridge (173)Saint Joseph's (180)UC Riverside (203)Gonzaga (216)Portland (225)Sacramento State (242)