JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (April 11, 2015) – With hopes of capturing a second straight conference title, the ETSU women’s golf team will open play in the Southern Conference Championships Sunday at Savannah Quarters in Pooler, Ga.
Returning to the SoCon for the first time since the 2005 season, the Buccaneers will feature a young, yet talented lineup with the potential of making a run at the top spot. This is the first year for the SoCon Championships at Savannah Quarters, a par-72, 6,043-yard course.
Following the team’s play in last week’s Rebel Intercollegiate hosted by Ole Miss, ETSU head coach Stefanie Shelton said her team is feeling more confident about its chances to win another championship.
“This was definitely the best performance this team has had all year,” Shelton said. “We have been patient and knew that it would take time to apply all the lessons learned this year and it happened (last week). This team believes it can accomplish great things now and what a great place to be as we head to the conference championships next weekend.”
For more on the tournament field, read the preview information provided below by the Southern Conference media relations office:
Chattanooga will be looking for its sixth straight championship after taking titles in each of the last five years at Moss Creek Club in Hilton Head Island, S.C. The Mocs also boast the last four individual medalists, with two of them – 2013 winner Agathe Sauzon and 2014 winner Emily McLennan – in the field again this season.
The 77th-ranked Mocs won their own Chattanooga Classic to finish the regular season but figure to face some stiff competition in their quest for a sixth consecutive SoCon crown, notably from No. 26 Furman, which has finished runner-up to the Mocs in each of the last two seasons. The Paladins, who have won three tournament titles in 2014-15 and finished runner-up in another, boast the best scoring average in the SoCon this season with a team stroke average of 293.25.
Furman is paced by SoCon scoring leader Taylor Totland, who owns a league-low 71.92 stroke average. Totland, last season’s SoCon Freshman of the Year and championship runner-up, is ranked No. 24 nationally. The Paladins also boast freshman Alice Chen (74.04 stroke average), junior Valentina Romero (74.60) and senior Laura DeMarco (75.06), giving Furman four of the top five active players in the conference in terms of stroke average this season. UTC’s Sauzon is just ahead of DeMarco at 75.00.
Furman has won the SoCon tournament 13 times, most recently in 2009, and won nine straight from 1994-2002. The Mocs own five titles, while Western Carolina has won the tournament twice (2003, 2007) and former SoCon member College of Charleston won in 2006.
The Paladins have produced a league-best 13 individual medalists, while Chattanooga has four and Appalachian State, College of Charleston, Western Carolina and UNCG own one each.
In addition to Furman at No. 26 and Chattanooga at No. 77, Samford is ranked 93rd and ETSU 94th in the latest Golfstat rankings to give the SoCon four top-100 teams. Totland is the lone SoCon golfer ranked inside the top 100 individually.
The winner of the 22nd edition of the SoCon Championship will earn the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA regionals. The NCAA field will be announced live on the Golf Channel during “Golf Central” from 6-7 p.m. EDT on Monday, April 27.
The tournament tees off at 8 a.m. Sunday. Live stats can be found at http://www.golfstatresults.com/public/leaderboards/gsnav.cfm?pg=participants&tid=7210.