Jonesboro (ASU) - The 11th annual Rachel Stewart Memorial, a two-day golf tournament benefitting the Arkansas State men's and women's golf programs, is set to begin Saturday morning at Sage Meadows Country Club.
Held each year in honor of the late Stewart, who was a four-time All-Sun Belt Conference player at ASU from 1994-97, the three-player scramble will include a record 74 competing teams. The event, which has over 70 individual sponsors, raises funds that go into the Rachel Stewart Memorial Foundation supporting the A-State golf programs.
"This is a tremendous event, and we need to thank the Rachel Stewart Memorial Foundation, sponsors and community that have really stepped up to make this an outstanding tournament year-in and year-out," said ASU head men's golf coach Steve Johnson. "This tournament is truly a first-class event that not only honors the memory of Rachel Stewart, but also assists the golf programs at ASU throughout the year."
Steve Tricarico, president of the board that operates the Rachel Stewart Memorial Foundation, said that in addition to the record number of participants, the tournament could have a record fundraising year as well at over $14,000.
"We're proud that we've received the kind of participation that we have, particularly with the heat this summer," said Tricarico. "This tournament has turned into a big event, probably the biggest participation wise in Northeast Arkansas with over 220 people competing."
Tricarico added that the tournament has a lot of value for the players as well because for $100 a person, they get breakfast and lunch for two days, there are $50 gift certificates or prizes on every hole the first day (18 different winners) and there are gift certificates for over $600 given to first place in each of the tournament's six flights.
Stewart, named to the Sun Belt Conference's all-time team in 2006, was an assistant golf pro at Sage Meadows from 1997-2000. She helped open the course when it had nine holes and there is a waterfall on the second hole of the course dedicated to her memory.
The tournament's first round will kickoff Saturday with 8:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. shotgun starts, and will conclude Sunday with the second and final round also set to begin at 8:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.