CHARLESTON, S.C. – Charleston Southern opens its fall season Sunday through Tuesday at the Cougar Classic, hosted by College of Charleston at prestigious Yeamans Hall Club in Hanahan. The 54-hole event features 14 teams from Power Five conferences, including eight that finished last season ranked in the top-25.
Field (19 Teams): Arkansas, Baylor, Boston College, Charleston Southern, College of Charleston, Florida, Florida State, Furman, Georgetown, Indiana, LSU, Maryland, North Carolina, NC State, Penn State, Tennessee, UCF, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest.
Course: Yeamans Hall Club – Hanahan, S.C. – Par 72 – 6,261 yards
Live Scoring: www.Golfstat.com
Tee Times: Sunday's First Round – 8:30 a.m. off No. 1; 8:42 a.m. off No. 10
Monday's Second Round – 8:30 a.m. off No. 1; 8:42 a.m. off No. 10
Tuesday's Final Round – 9 a.m. shotgun start
Led by seventh-year head coach Matt Cram-Smith, CSU will look to develop a young team throughout the fall slate. The Bucs' roster features three returners entering their second year in the program, along with five newcomers.
Cram-Smith likes what he's seen from the group during qualifying rounds.
"The effort from all the girls has been great," said Cram-Smith, whose teams have set program single-season scoring records three of the last four years. "The attitudes have been fantastic and the camaraderie within the team is great as well. Everyone has been working hard in qualifying, and really getting the most out of practice. If we can continue to do that, I think we can use this fall as a steppingstone to have a very strong team."
Freshman Ellen Hume earned the number one spot in CSU's lineup by pacing the team in qualifying rounds. Hume is one of several new faces that will try to replace the production left behind by Hayley McNeill, Emelie Flink and Milleina Ohara, all of whom graduated last year.
"Ellen has been very impressive so far," Cram-Smith said. "She had three terrific scores in qualifying and was real steady and consistent. She's shown good power, a good short game and I'm looking forward to seeing what she can do in her first tournament."
Sarah Hameed locked down the fifth spot in the lineup and will also make her college debut. Returners Daniela Intriago, Andriel Aimua and Xuss Boira, meanwhile, will start in the 2-4 spots in the first of CSU's four fall tournaments.
"Dani, Andriel and Xuss got valuable experience last year and it's clear they've all worked on their games," Cram-Smith said. "I'm excited to see them use their talent and be more consistent this season."
CSU finished 16th at last season's Cougar Classic, which was played at The Ocean Course. The event now returns to its normal home of Yeamans Hall, giving the Bucs another chance to play one of the nation's top courses.
"Obviously the field is fantastic and the course is gonna be long," Cram-Smith said. "They've got some new tee boxes out there and have done a lot of work on the course. It'll be challenging but I'm looking forward to seeing the girls embrace it. I'm hoping to see everybody come to compete and steadily improve. We still have a lot to learn but I think we're off on the right track and can play some good golf this week."