Just a few months after coaching the USC Upstate women’s golf team to its lowest team stroke average in the history of the program, head coach Todd Lawton has announced the 2015 Fall Schedule with the start of the 2015-16 season seven weeks away.
Upstate will play four tournaments in the fall. The Spartans will make three return appearances at the Jacksonville Classic, Terrier Intercollegiate and Winthrop Invitational, while playing the F&M Bank APSU Intercollegiate for the first time.
“I feel very good about our fall schedule. We play on very good courses against strong competition,” said Lawton. “I think having so many payers with collegiate experience will make us stronger and competitive. It’s very exciting.”
Upstate will begin the season Sept. 27-29 at the Jacksonville Classic in Jacksonville, Fla. The tournament is being hosted by A-Sun rival Jacksonville at Marsh Landing Country Club. It marks the fourth appearance in the tournament for the Spartans, including the third with the event being held in the fall. Upstate has played in the tournament in each of the last two seasons.
Upstate will take a short break from competition before heading to Tennessee to make its first appearance in the F&M Bank APSU Intercollegiate. The tournament is being hosted by Austin Peay Oct. 12-13 at the Clarksville Country Club. The event will begin a busy stretch that will see the Spartans play three tournaments in 14 days.
The Spartans will be back in action a week later when they stay in Spartanburg for the Terrier Intercollegiate hosted by Wofford at the Country Club of Spartanburg. Upstate will make its fifth start in the tournament after having played in the event in each of the last four years. The Spartans finished sixth last year and fifth in 2013 behind the effort of then-freshman Allea Hawkins. Hawkins finished 16th in the tournament and made women’s college golf history after making a hole-in-one in her second straight tournament, which also came in the first two tournaments of her college career. That fete did not appear to have ever been done before, according to national research performed by the A-Sun and the Upstate Athletic Communications office.
Upstate will end the fall season Oct. 24-25 at the Winthrop Invitational in Rock Hill, S.C. The tournament will be hosted by Winthrop at the Rock Hill Country Club. It will be the sixth appearance in the tournament for Upstate and fourth since the event was moved to the fall. The Spartans finished third in the tournament last year behind Hawkins’ third-place effort and Payton Culler’s 12th-place finish. Upstate also finished sixth in 2011 and fifth in 2010 after playing in the spring in 2009 and 2010.
Upstate is coming off a solid season that saw it break the program’s team season stroke average record for the second time in the last three seasons. The Spartans finished the year with a 321.4 average to top the 322.0 turned in by the 2012-13 squad. Lawton returns six of the eight players from last year’s team, but will have to replace the 79.8 stroke average and leadership from Rachel Reiling, who graduated in May. The Spartans return senior Malika Allie, juniors Allea Hawkins, Allie Gennaula and Kinsey Soniat and sophomores Payton Culler and Sidney Dermody.