Nov. 23, 2008
MILWAUKEE--Marquette senior Mike Van Sickle is slated to begin play Monday in the 34th annual Western Refining College All-America Golf Classic. The tournament, which has previously been host to some of biggest names in golf, will be played at the El Paso Country Club in El Paso, Texas Nov. 24-25.
This year marks Van Sickle's second appearance in the event. Only the nation's top players are invited to play in the Classic, which has featured current PGA Tour players such as Tiger Woods (Stanford), Phil Mickelson (Arizona State), Jim Furyk (Arizona) and Davis Love III (North Carolina). Van Sickle finished 17th at last year's tournament.
The par-71, 6,837-yard course will not be the only challenge Van Sickle will face in El Paso. This year's competition includes six players who competed in the 2008 World Amateur Team Championship, five of the top 10 amateur golfers in the R&A World Amateur Golf rankings and 13 players from 10 of the top 12 schools in the nation.
Van Sickle, an All-American honorable mention during his junior and senior seasons, respectively, is currently the No. 13-ranked collegiate player in the country, according to the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index, and is fourth in the Golfstat Cup standings. During his time at Marquette he has recorded a school record nine collegiate wins.
A Golfweek 2008-09 Preseason All-American, Van Sickle currently ranks in the top-10 in a total of five statistical categories, including first in subpar strokes per round (5.33), third in scoring average (69.33), and sixth in greens in regulation percentage (77.3 percent).
This season, Van Sickle has three victories under his belt: the Gopher Invitational in September and The Xavier Invitational and Pacific Invitational in October.
Van Sickle was named a 2008 Academic All-American, a two-time All-BIG EAST and All-BIG EAST academic selection, and most recently was honored by Golfweek as the Men's Player of the Week for the week of November 10.