Spartans Make Third Start in A-Sun Women's Golf Championship
Spartanburg, S.C. - The USC Upstate women's golf team will make its third appearance in the A-Sun Women's Golf Championship when it steps to the tee box at 8:00 a.m. Monday morning at Victoria Hills Golf Club in DeLand, Fla. In addition, the Spartans are playing their sixth tournament in the state of Florida and the second of the year at Victoria Hills.
Upstate is one of 10 A-Sun teams vying for the conference championship. The Spartans are joined in the field by Belmont, Campbell, East Tennessee State, Florida Gulf Coast, Jacksonville, Kennesaw State, Lipscomb, Mercer and Stetson. The A-Sun boasts several strong teams with four squads in the top 100 in the latest GolfWeek.com ranking and another in the top 150.
Stetson, which calls Victoria Hills home, has won the last two A-Sun Championships. The Hatters are a solid team and return the last two individual runner-ups in Lauren Cate (2009) and Alexandria Buelow (2010). They are ranked No. 93 in the GolfWeek.com ranking. Kennesaw State is the top-ranked team in the tournament, coming in at No. 74. Campbell (82), East Tennessee State (84) and Florida Gulf Coast (140) are also ranked in the top 150.
Upstate will look to continue its move up the leaderboard in its third appearance in the A-Sun Championship. The Spartans finished ninth in the 2009 tournament, totaling 947 at Victoria Hills. Richelle Wedzik was the low Spartan in the tournament, finishing tied for 18th. Last year, the Spartans finished eighth with a 953 total at The Venetian Golf Club in New Smyrna Beach, Fla. Jennifer Judge finished as the low Spartan in a tie for 17th.
Upstate will send the lineup of Rachel Lewis, Amanda Hall, Taylor Pleier, Johanna Ebenhag and Marissa Clontz into action at the A-Sun Championship. Lewis and Hall have emerged as team leaders, despite being freshmen. Lewis tops the squad with an 80.7 stroke average and has finished as the low Spartan in seven of 11 tournaments this season. She has two top 10 finishes this season. Hall has finished as the low Spartan three times and is second on the team with an 81.8 stroke average. She has two top 10 finishes on the season and owns the Spartans' only top five finish this year. Pleier, another freshman, ranks third on the team with an 83.5 stroke average and claimed Upstate's other top 10 finish on the year. Lewis, Hall and Pleier have played in every round this season for Upstate. Ebenhag is the lone senior and upperclassman in the lineup for the Spartans. She has turned in some solid rounds this spring, including a 77 in the Spring Fling Invitational. She has played in all but two tournaments for the Spartans this season. Clontz has played in just eight rounds this season, her second with the team.
Looking Back at the World Golf Village Intercollegiate
In Upstate's final tune-up before the 2011 A-Sun Women's Golf Championship, Upstate did not burn up the course, finishing ninth in the nine-team World Golf Village Intercollegiate on the Slammer & Squire Course in St. Augustine, Fla. The Spartans turned in rounds of 339 and 335 before the final round was rained out, shortening the tournament to 36 holes. Rachel Lewis was the low Spartan in the tournament, finishing tied for 35th with rounds of 83 and 82.
Lewis and Hall Pace Spartans
A young Upstate team continues to be paced by freshmen Rachel Lewis and Amanda Hall. Lewis has finished as the low Spartan in seven tournaments, while Hall has finished in the top position on three occasions. While a third freshman, Taylor Pleier, has also finished as the low player in a tournament, it is Lewis and Hall who have emerged as consistent performers in the lineup. Lewis traditionally plays out of the No. 1 position, while Hall typically plays out the of the No. 2 spot. Their stroke averages are just 1.1 away from each other.
Lewis Battling Painful Knee Injury
Though it is not an injury that would prevent her from playing in tournaments, freshman Rachel Lewis nonetheless has had to battle a nagging knee injury that causes her to walk with a noticeable limp, especially late in rounds. Despite her injury, she continues to battle and leads the team with an 80.7 stroke average and has finished as the low Spartan in six of the 10 tournaments this season.
Lewis, Hall Earn Top 10 Finishes
Last year, Upstate relied heavily on the game of Jennifer Judge. She claimed one top 10 finish on the year and was the only Spartan to finish in the top 10 in any tournament. This season, freshmen Rachel Lewis and Amanda Hall have each recorded two top 10 finishes to lead the Spartans, and Hall has secured the first top five finish this season, a tie for fourth at the Spring Fling Invitational.
Tweet, Tweet - Birdies on the Island Green
Whether you are a professional golfer, part of a collegiate team, or an everyday duffer, playing the famed par-3 island green 17th at the TPC Sawgrass is exhilarating. It is also more than a challenge. However, Spartans Johanna Ebenhag and Summer Wall, both seniors, birdied the famed hole in the JU Labor Day Shootout.