NEW YORK – After a long, cold winter in the northeast, the Columbia men’s golf team will head to Arizona this weekend to compete in the 2014 Desert Shootout at Palm Valley Country Club in Goodyear, Ariz.

Columbia will be part of a 15-team field that will participate in a 54-hole tournament to be played on the par-72, 7,015 yard course. The tournament begins Thursday, March 20 with an 11 a.m. ET shotgun start, and will continue with shotgun starts on Friday at 11 a.m. and Saturday at 10:30 a.m.

The tournament field includes: Bowling Green, BYU, Cal State Fullerton, Columbia, Creighton, Denver, Drake, Grand Canyon, Idaho, Kansas, Kansas State, Kansas City, Long Beach State, Nebraska, Northern Iowa and Southern Utah.

Columbia is coming off a successful fall campaign in which it finished in the top five of all four of the events it competed in. The Lions top finish came at the Patriot Invitational at Laurel Hill Golf Club in Virginia, placing second in the 11-team field.

Junior Brandon Jowers put together an impressive fall, posting a 69.44 18-hole average in nine rounds of action. His average was the 54th-lowest in NCAA Division I, playing a half stroke under par. Sophomore Harrison Shih also played well in the fall, shooting on average a 71.33. Both Jowers and Shih shot a low round of 66 at The Doc Gimmler on the Bethpage Red Course. Jowers, who shot a 66 twice at Bethpage, also record the low score at the Stars and Stripes Invitational at West Point.

First-years Christopher Chu and Arjuna Anday each started their collegiate careers off well, recording an average score of 72.67 and 73.22, respectively. Anday notched his first top-10 finish with a tie for seventh at the Stars and Stripes Invitational.

The Lions only senior, Andrew Kim averaged just under 74 strokes in the fall over nine rounds of action, while first-years Mert Selamet, J. Christian FitzGerald and Tharusyan Pillay all were just below 76 strokes per round.

The 2014 Desert Shootout is the first of four tournaments this spring for Columbia before the Ivy League Championship at Baltustrol Golf Club in Springfield Township, N.J. from April 25-27.