PINEHURST, N.C. (April 20, 2019) -- After playing four spring tournaments, which began two months ago at The Prestige, the ETSU men’s golf team will now turn its attention to capturing the 26th overall conference championship in program history as the Southern Conference Championship opens Sunday at Pinehurst No. 9 in Pinehurst, North Carolina.
ABOUT THE BUCS
The Bucs have registered one win and one runner-up finish this season with the Blue and Gold being led by sophomore Jack Rhea (Jonesborough, Tenn.) … Rhea, who has posted eight top-25 finishes in 10 starts this season, leads ETSU with a 71.60 stroke average, placing him third among SoCon players.
ETSU’s win came at its home tournament back in October at the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate where the Bucs claimed their first-ever win in the 21-year history of the tournament … The Bucs finished runner-up at the Schenkel Invitational back on March 17 in Statesboro, Ga.
The Bucs are only one of two SoCon teams (Furman) to have four players ranked in the top-15 in stroke average in the league standings … Joining Rhea in the top-15 are Shiso Go (Kanagawa, Japan), Geuntae Kim (Daegu, South Korea) and Trevor Hulbert (Orlando, Fla.) … Go (72.17) and Kim (72.23) rank eighth and ninth among SoCon golfers in stroke average, while Hulbert ranks 15th at 73.10.
ETSU’s five golfers in this week’s lineup have led the Blue and Gold in at least one tournament this season … Go led the Bucs at the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate (runner-up), Rod Myers Invitational (T17) and the Warrior Princeville Makai Invitational (T17) … Austin Carter (Kingsport, Tenn.) placed fifth at the Schenkel Invitational and tied for 29th at the General Hackler Championship … Hulbert led the Blue and Gold at The Prestige (T19) … Kim finished tied for 21st at the Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate and tied for 29th at the General Hackler Championship … Rhea led the Bucs at the Louisville Cardinal Challenge (T15), Old Town Club Collegiate (T20), Mason Rudolph Championship (T13).
ABOUT THE TOURNAMENT
The SoCon Championship is a three-day, 54-hole tournament that will be played at Pinehurst No. 9 … This marks the sixth straight year the tournament is played at the par-72, 7,122-yard Jack Nicklaus Signature course.
This year’s event will be the 12th SoCon Championship played in Pinehurst ... The event was also held in Pinehurst in 1937, 1939, 1948, 1969 and 1979-80, all on famed No. 2.
Teams will play 18 holes each day with the champion being crowned on Tuesday … Play begins Sunday at 8 a.m.
ETSU has won a SoCon-record 20 titles … Overall, the Bucs have won 25 conference championships in program history (20 SoCon, 3 OVC and 2 ASUN) ... Individually, ETSU has won 14 individual SoCon titles, which matches the conference record (Furman), while the Blue and Gold have had 22 individuals earn conference titles.
Head coach Fred Warren, who is guiding the Bucs at his final SoCon Championship, has won a SoCon-best 15 titles.
UNCG snapped ETSU’s run of three straight SoCon titles with a win last season, while the Spartans’ Nick Lyerly returns to defend his title … The Bucs finished third at last year’s championship.
The league’s eight teams – ETSU, Furman, Mercer, UNCG, Samford, Chattanooga, Western Carolina and Wofford – will be competing for the SoCon tournament title and an automatic bid to the NCAA regionals. The individual medalist will also earn an automatic regional qualification if he is not on the winning team.
UNCG ranks No. 60 in the Golfweek Rankings, while ETSU is No. 72, Furman No. 98, Mercer No. 107 (Golfstat), Chattanooga No. 120 (Golfstat), Samford No. 163, Wofford No. 164 and Western Carolina is ranked No. 257.
The Buccaneer lineup features: Jack Rhea (No. 1), Geuntae Kim (No. 2), Shiso Go (No. 3), Austin Carter (No. 4) and Trevor Hulbert (No. 5).
ETSU’s lineup consists of three sophomores, one junior and one senior.
The Bucs are paired with Furman in Sunday’s opening round and tee off at 9:30 a.m. from No. 1.
Golfstat will carry live scoring of all three rounds, while recaps each day will be provided on ETSUBucs.com.
Twitter updates will also be provided by following @ETSU_MGolf.
For more on ETSU men’s golf throughout the 2019 season, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s golf link.