March 1, 2012
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina women’s golf team is set to host the inaugural Darius Rucker Intercollegiate this weekend at Long Cove Club in Hilton Head Island, S.C.
The 54-hole tournament runs Friday through Sunday on the Pete Dye course at Long Cove. Carolina is committed to being the host for the next five years along with singer/songwriter Darius Rucker and Long Cove. South Carolina head coach Kalen Harris believes the tournament has the potential to be one of the best in women’s collegiate golf.
“We are really excited to be here,” Harris said. “This is the first event that we’ve hosted in quite some time. It’s an incredible venue. We are really excited to be at Long Cove. It’s a premier golf course and it has a lot of history. All the teams that have shown up are excited to be here. We are looking forward to it.”
The Gamecocks’ entire roster will get to experience the inaugural event. Carolina’s top five consists of senior Katie Burnett, junior Meredith Swanson, sophomores Suzie Lee and Samantha Swinehart and freshman Justine Dreher. Junior Amanda Strang and sophomore Katie Rose Higgins are also slated to play as individuals.
The tournament field is one of the strongest in collegiate golf this season, as 12 of the 15 teams are ranked in the Golfweek Top 50 and seven are in the Golf World/NGCA Top 25. Alabama, Vanderbilt, Georgia, Tennessee and Arkansas will represent the SEC, while North Carolina, Virginia and Wake Forest make up the ACC contingent. Texas, UCF, TCU, Coastal Carolina, USC Beaufort and Notre Dame round out the field.
The tournament will be played on the challenging par-71, 6,160-yard Pete Dye course at Long Cove. The course has been on Golf Digest’s Top 100 list for 30 years.
“It’s quite difficult,” Harris said. “It’s all dependent on how the weather is. You get some tough holes right on the water. If it gets windy, the course completely changes. There are some tough driving holes where you have to place the ball on the correct sides of the fairways, and you have to be in the right place on the greens. The course is just in perfect condition right now.
Play will begin on Friday at 8:30 a.m. on holes one and 10. South Carolina is paired with Texas and UCF. Live results will be available at golfstatresults.com.