GOLF Channel today announced that it will televise the Southwestern Invitational presented by Topgolf, a signature event on the college golf calendar that (in 2021) will be contested Monday-Wednesday, Jan. 25-27. Taking place at North Ranch Country Club in Westlake Village, Calif., and hosted by Pepperdine University, the competition will feature a 54-hole stroke play team and individual championship, with live coverage airing across all three days.
Notable past winners (medalists) of the event include: Tiger Woods, Patrick Cantlay, Paul Casey, Corey Pavin, Billy Mayfair and Anthony Kim. Pepperdine’s Sahith Theegala won medalist honors at the 2020 event in January, his second individual Southwestern win (2017). In total, medalists over the years at the Southwestern Invitational account for nearly 120 PGA TOUR victories.
"The Southwestern Invitational is a storied event that kicks off college golf's spring schedule, as teams look to gain momentum in advance of the NCAA Championships," said Tom Knapp, executive vice president, programming, NBC Sports Group. "In partnership with Topgolf and Pepperdine, we look forward to showcasing the Southwestern's elite field, and continuing the tradition of recognizing individual champions who have gone on to achieve prolific success on the PGA TOUR."
"Pepperdine is looking forward to hosting the Southwestern once again, and we're eager to be able to show off North Ranch Country Club on GOLF Channel in partnership with Topgolf,” said Michael Beard, head coach of Pepperdine’s men’s golf team. “This event has so much history and an incredible list of champions over the years, and we’ve put together an exceptional field for the end of January.”
“We are excited to be a part of the Southwestern Invitational and showcase the incredible skills of these athletes using our industry-leading technology,” said Toptracer President Ben Sharpe. “These collegiate players are the future of golf, and we’re excited to provide new audiences the same engaging viewing experience as the pros.”
The Southwestern Invitational will welcome 12 elite men’s golf programs, highlighted by tournament host (and defending champion) Pepperdine, along with reigning national champion (2019) Stanford University.
2021 Southwestern Invitational presented by Topgolf field:
Arizona State University, Augusta University, University of California (Berkeley), East Tennessee State University, Georgia Tech, Pepperdine University, San Diego State University, San José State University, Stanford University, Southern Methodist University, University of Southern California (USC), University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
First staged in 1978 as the Southwestern Intercollegiate, the event was established by C.W. Johnson, who served as tournament director for more than 25 years. Pepperdine fully assumed the role of tournament host in 2016.
Past individual champions of the event include: Corey Pavin (1978, ’81), Dan Forsman (1980), Billy Mayfair (1987), Tiger Woods (1996), Jason Gore (1997), Paul Casey (1998), Anthony Kim (2006), Patrick Cantlay (2011), Maverick McNealy (2014), Sahith Theegala (2017, ‘20) and Justin Suh (2019).
The 2021 Southwestern Invitational is being contested at North Ranch Country Club (Lakes & Oaks courses) in Westlake Village, Calif., which is known for its signature oak trees and picturesque mountain views. Designed by Ted Robinson, the Oaks course originated in 1976, while the Lakes course opened for play in 1988. The 2021 Southwestern Invitational will mark the ninth consecutive year that the event will be hosted by Pepperdine at North Ranch Country Club. Previously, North Ranch Country Club also hosted the 1988 NCAA (men’s Division I) Golf Championship.
The Southwestern Invitational becomes one of seven college golf championships televised on GOLF Channel, which includes the NCAA Women’s and Men’s Division I Golf National Championships, taking place in May 2021 at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz. GOLF Channel is the television home for college golf. Following its announcement in 2013 as the exclusive television provider of the NCAA Golf Championships, GOLF Channel has provided live coverage of the men's NCAA championships since 2014 and the women's NCAA championships since 2015, which now are hosted at the same venue in consecutive weeks.
Throughout the collegiate golf season, GOLF Channel deploys its comprehensive portfolio of news, digital and social media platforms in covering collegiate golf, including specials for regional and national qualifying, on-site and wraparound news from college golf’s biggest events, and year-end award shows for the Haskins and ANNIKA Awards presented by Stifel.