Spartanburg, S.C. – Coming off a tournament title at the Rutgers Invitational and a strong showing in the fall season finale at Stetson, the USC Upstate men's golf program and head coach Todd Lawton announce a six-tournament spring schedule that will feature another challenging slate leading up to the A-Sun Championships in April.
"It is an exciting schedule against great competition on very good courses throughout the spring," said Lawton. "The Stadium course will present its challenges, but it will set a good tone for the rest of the spring. We are looking forward to that tournament as we start the spring season and the remainder of the year."
Upstate will open the spring season on one of the world's most renowned courses when it travels to Jacksonville, Fla., to play in the Sea Best Invitational at the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass Feb. 4-5. The tournament is being hosted by Jacksonville and will have a strong field attracted by the ability to play one of the world's toughest and most well-known courses. It will be the second time the Spartans have played a tournament at the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass, the first time since the 2009-10 season. The course is the site of the Player's Championship on the PGA Tour, thought by many to be the unofficial fifth major in professional golf.
Upstate will return to action in a one-day event at the Augusta State One-Day Invitational on Feb. 23. The 36-hole event will be played at Forest Hills Golf Club. Forest Hills is the home of Augusta State's golf teams and was designed by Donald Ross and redesigned by Arnold Palmer. It was the site of the Southeastern Open where Bobby Jones began his run to the 1930 Grand Slam of Golf and has also hosted college tournaments with the likes of future greats Phil Mickelson and Davis Love III competing on the links. It will be the Spartans' first appearance in the tournament.
Upstate will play two tournaments in March, beginning with the Charleston Shootout March 4-5. The tournament is being hosted by College of Charleston at the Links at Stono Ferry. The Spartans' will make their fourth appearance in the tournament dating back to the 2009-10 season.
A week after beginning play in the Charleston Shootout, Upstate will make the cross-country journey to California to participate in the Sacramento State Collegiate March 11-12. The tournament is being played at Valley Hi Country Club just outside of the state capitol. It will be the Spartans' first appearance in the tournament and its second trip to the Golden Bear State (Lamkin Grips/Cal Poly Intercollegiate in 2007-08).
Upstate will return to Spartanburg for its final tune-up prior to the start of the A-Sun Championships when it plays in the Coca-Cola Wofford Invitational April 15-16. The Spartans are making their fifth appearance in the tournament and hopes to use the event to build for the A-Sun Championships the following week.
Upstate will gather with the other A-Sun teams in Braselton, Ga., for the A-Sun Championships April 21-23. The tournament will be played at the Chateau Elan Resort, the home of the tournament each of the last three years. It marks the second year that the team is eligible to advance beyond the A-Sun Championships and into NCAA Regional play.
Upstate is coming off what could be described as a roller coaster fall season. The Spartans hit highs in winning the team championship at the Rutgers Invitational behind the individual title run of Adam Goins and a strong finish to the semester at the Stetson/CFSC Classic. However, the Spartans also struggled at times playing in the tough Invitational at the Ocean Course played on the same venue as the PGA Championship completed just a few weeks prior to the college tournament. Upstate also had a tough time at the Wendy's Kiawah Classic.
Still, there were plenty of highlights. Goins claimed his third individual title at Rutgers, moving him into sole possession of second place on Upstate's all-time tournament wins list. Despite his strong fall, he was overshadowed at times by the play of freshman Ryan Cornfield. Cornfield led the team with a 74.3 stroke average and matched Goins with two Top 10 individual finishes.