St. Mary’s Gaels Are Favored to Win This Week’s White Sands Bahamas NCAA Golf Invitational

St. Mary’s Gaels Are Favored To Win This Week’sWhite Sands Bahamas Ncaa Golf Invitational


October 16, 2023 (Paradise Island, Bahamas)  St. Mary’s College men’s golf team will travel farther than any other in the nine-team field for this week’s White Sands Bahamas NCAA Invitational at the Ocean Club Golf Course on Paradise Island, Bahamas. And among the things the California team will carry to the event is the label as the favorite in the field. The 54-hole invitational is scheduled from Friday through Sunday (Oct. 20-22).

The Gaels are the only team entered to be ranked in the top 100 by the latest Golfweek Sagarin Rankings, but they will likely get a stiff challenge from North Texas and Santa Clara, which is serving as the host school for the event. Jacksonville State could also make a run for the title, behind senior Erik Jansson, of Sweden, the top-ranked player in the field.

“Our players are looking forward to this week,” said St. Mary’s head coach Scott Hardy, who is in his 24th season at the helm. “It will be a challenge to play in different conditions than we are used to. It’s really too early to judge how good teams are, but if we play well, we’ll be hard to beat.”

The Gaels are led by juniors Kristian Bressum of Denmark, and Connor Reis of Claremont, Calif. “They both have turned the corner this year,” continued Hardy.

Santa Clara coach Andrew Larkin’s team is younger, but he thinks they are just as talented. His standouts are freshmen J.P. Odland of Tiburon, Calif., and Jeffrey Kwak of La Mirada, Calif.

“We are the host school, but it’s 75 percent coaching and 25 percent hosting,” said Larkin. “This is new for my team. Half of the team has never been out of the country. We even had three guys who needed to get passports for this trip.”

Other teams competing are Georgia State, North Alabama, Southern Illinois, Wichita State and Wofford. This is the fourth year for the annual golf tournament, which was previously played at the Ocean Club Golf Course in 2019, 2021 and 2022. Houston, Mississippi and Duke are the past men’s winners over the 7,159-yard layout designed by past major champion Tom Weiskopf.

For more coverage of the 2023 White Sands Bahamas NCAA Invitational, follow @WhiteSandsBah on social media and use the following hashtags: #WhiteSandsBahamas and #WhiteSandsNCAA or visit



With over 700 islands and cays and 16 unique island destinations, The Bahamas lies just 50 miles off the coast of Florida, offering an easy fly-away escape that transports travelers away from their everyday. The Islands of The Bahamas have world-class fishing, diving, boating and thousands of miles of the earth’s most spectacular water and beaches waiting for families, couples and adventurers. Explore all the islands have to offer at or on Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram to see why “It’s Better in The Bahamas.”


Atlantis Paradise Island’s Ocean Club Golf Course offers a challenging and beautiful course for golfers desiring championship play. Masterfully conceived, the Tom Weiskopf-designed 18-hole, par 72 championship course stretches over 7,100 yards on Atlantis’ peninsula. The course has hosted iconic sporting events such as the Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational (MJCI), the Michael Douglas & Friends Celebrity Golf Tournament and the Pure Silk-Bahamas LPGA Classic. For more information about Atlantis Paradise Island resort and the Ocean Club please visit


For White Sands Bahamas NCAA Invitational
Contact: Mike Harmon
[email protected]


Anita Johnson-Patty
[email protected]


Katie Longley                                                              
Atlantis Paradise Island                                             
[email protected]