rio_verde1.jpgThe 2012 Rio Verde Invitational a 54-hole golf tournament featuring 16 collegiate women's teams from across the country, will be held at Rio Verde Country Club, March 8-11.

Practice rounds will take place on Thursday, Mar. 8, while tournament play will run from Friday, Mar. 9 through Sunday, Mar. 11.  Competition will take place on Rio Verde's Quail Run Golf Course, with shotgun starts set for 1 p.m. on Friday and 8 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

This is the 10th edition of the Rio Verde Invitational, and once again will be hosted by Western Michigan University, the host team for all 10 of these tournaments.

"The Rio Verde Invitational is one of the best events we put on all year, and certainly one of the events that club members and the entire Rio Verde community mark on their calendars," said Jay Critcher, General Manager of Rio Verde Country Club.  "We get to watch some fantastic collegiate golf, but it's the bond that has been created between the community and the players and coaches that really make this a special event."

One of the unique aspects of this tournament is the interaction between the teams and the community.  The community opens up their homes to the more than 125 players, coaches and team staff and houses them for the week, and they have a special cookout dinner party at the Rio Verde Ranch over the weekend.

"It is pretty special to watch how the community really gets behind these players, and how they almost feel like a second family to the players that they are hosting," Critcher said.  "We have a lot of the same teams play here year after year; so many times you will see a family host the same player for four years."

"This tournament has taken on a life of its own and I am so happy that it is consistently rated as a favorite by players and coaches alike," said Western Michigan University head coach Cindy Trout. "When Jay and I first talked in 2001 about hosting a tournament together, I had no idea it would be embraced as an annual highlight for everyone involved. It certainly would not be the success that it is without the warm hospitality of the Rio Verde community, and the hard work of everyone on their golf shop staff. Head PGA Professional Darryl Janisse does an excellent job and makes it fun for me to act as host - from 1,800 miles away.

Along with Western Michigan, the other teams participating include Akron, Ball State, Bradley, Eastern Michigan, Kansas, Missouri State, Northern Arizona, Ohio, Penn State, Texas A&M Corpus Christi, Toledo, Wichita State, Xavier, Yale and University of Arkansas-Little Rock.  Eastern Michigan took the team title in 2011, while Catherine Dolan of Missouri State took individual honors.

Rio Verde is one of Arizona's premier active adult golf communities. Nestled in the heart of the high Sonoran Desert just a few miles outside the city of Scottsdale, Rio Verde features two traditional, parkland-style championship golf courses which were recently redesigned by the Tom Lehman Design Group.  It also features a spacious clubhouse, three dining areas and a wealth of social and recreational amenities designed for active adults, living up to its motto "Golf... and a whole lot more".  The 735-acre low density community features custom homes and charming villas overlooking manicured fairways and majestic mountains. For more information on Rio Verde Country Club visit www.rioverdecc.com. 



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