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WILMINGTON, North Carolina - Purdue seeks to become the third school to successfully defend its title when The Landfall Tradition tees off Oct. 26-28 at the Country Club of Landfall's scenic Jack Nicklaus Course.

New Mexico (2003, 2004) and Wake Forest (2007, 2008) have both accomplished the feat in the national-caliber women's golf tournament. The three-day, 54-hole event enters its 11th year in 2012 and has raised more than $200,000 in scholarship funds for the UNCW golf programs.

The 17-team field includes UNCW, Arizona, Duke, Florida State, Iowa State, Michigan State, Mississippi, N.C. State, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Purdue, South Carolina, Texas Tech, Wake Forest and UNC Greensboro. Five individuals - one each from Duke, Mississippi, Ohio State, South Carolina and Wake Forest - will also be invited to play in the coveted event.

"I'm extremely excited about the strength of the tournament field," said Cindy Ho, UNCW's 11-year head coach. "Arizona joins us for the first time and Oklahoma State returns after playing here in the national championship in 2010.

"There are several strong teams from the power conferences and the quality of golf promises to be outstanding. It's always noteworthy to have outstanding teams throughout the country competing at The Tradition. It's recognized as one of the most prestigious collegiate women's tournaments in the country because of the tremendous support from the Country Club of Landfall's members and staff who do such a remarkable job with the entire tournament."

The Boilermakers, fashioning a 304-303-297=904 total, won last year's event comfortably by 14 strokes over second place Auburn. Purdue's Paula Reto captured medalist honors with a 71-77-70=218 scorecard, three shots better than Auburn's Victoria Trapani and Duke's Alejandra Cangrejo.

Since its debut in 2002 as a men's and women's event, The Tradition has played host to 35 different men's teams and 47 women's squads. More than 1,200 players from 31 states and 13 conferences have contested for the title.

The event annually showcases some of the best young golf talent in the world. Tradition alumni include PGA pros Dustin Johnson (Coastal Carolina) and Gary Woodland (Kansas), and 2011 Solheim Cup participant Caroline Hedwall (Oklahoma State).

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