Big-Time Incentive

Individual winner of upcoming Mark Simpson Colorado Invitational that CU is hosting will earn a spot in 2023 Korn Ferry Tour event at TPC Colorado

By Gary Baines – 9/22/2022

Winning an individual title at a full-field NCAA Division I golf tournament is a big deal — and it isn’t easy. It takes a lot of talent, perhaps a little luck, and maybe some good timing.

Earning one of those trophies brings plenty of prestige. But in the case of the 2022 Mark Simpson Colorado Invitational, set for Oct. 3-4 at Boulder Country Club, there will be something extra special on the line.

CU announced Thursday that the individual champion of the 12th annual event will land a spot in the field for next year’s Colorado-based Korn Ferry Tour event. The Ascendant presented by Blue is set for July 13-16 in 2023 at TPC Colorado in Berthoud, according to a tournament Tweet sent out late last month. It’ll be the fifth straight year TPC Colorado has hosted the Korn Ferry Tour, which is considered one of the top golf circuits in the world. 

“We are very excited” regarding the news, CU head coach Roy Edwards said in a text. “Thank you to Anthony Knight (chief revenue officer of Ascendant National Title and a member at Boulder Country Club) and (TPC Colorado co-owner) Jon Turner for their commitment to college golf and for granting this exemption. The champion will be a fantastic player who will have an amazing opportunity to test his game against the best professional golfers in the world at TPC Colorado next summer.”

Among the Colorado-based golf programs scheduled to be in the 16-school field for the Simpson Invitational are CU, the University of Denver and the University of Northern Colorado.

The picturesque 16th hole at TPC Colorado, home of The Ascendant presented by Blue.

Over the years, several Coloradans have claimed the individual title at the Simpson Invite, including Mark Hubbard (2010), Beau Schoolcraft (2011), David Oraee (2014), Coby Welch (2016) , Kyler Dunkle twice (2017 and ’18) and Trevor Olkowski (2018 tied with Dunkle but lost in a playoff). In addition, CU’s Daniel O’Loughlin (2019) and Colorado State’s Kirby Pettitt (2012) have won the event. 

Hubbard has now played in 163 events on the PGA Tour and 91 on the Korn Ferry Tour.

Former CU golfer Jeremy Paul tied for third in this year’s Ascendant at TPC Colorado.

Mark Hubbard, who grew up in Colorado, won the individual title at the inaugural Mark Simpson Colorado Invitational in 2010.