CHARLESTON, S.C. – Charleston Southern opens its first season under head coach Jason Payne this Monday and Tuesday at the Hummingbird Intercollegiate, hosted by Western Carolina. The 54-hole event begins with 36 holes Monday at The Country Club of Sapphire Valley.
Field (16 Teams): Austin Peay, Belmont, Central Arkansas, Charleston Southern, Clemson, Colgate, Duke, Elon, Gardner-Webb, Marshall, Morehead State, Presbyterian, Radford, Tennessee Tech, Wake Forest, Western Carolina
Course: Country Club of Sapphire – Sapphire, N.C. – Par 71 – 6,767 yards
Live Scoring: www.Golfstat.com
Tee Times: Monday's First Round – 8:00 a.m. (Off No.'s 1 & 10 – 36 holes of continuous play; CSU tee times slated for 9:30 – 10:06)
Tuesday's Final Round – 8:30 a.m. (Off No.'s 1 & 10)
CSU's season opener comes three weeks later than anticipated due to the cancellation of September's Kiawah Invitational in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. Payne believes that extra acclimation time has helped the Bucs as they enter their first of three tournaments this fall.
"It's been nice to have time, especially having two freshmen in the lineup, to get them accustomed to college life and have more time to prepare to make their debut in college golf," Payne said. "That's been a nice thing for us to have more practice and just get to know the other guys on the team and know what to expect."
Gothe set to make debut after strong fall
Elliot Gothe will make his collegiate debut in the number one spot in CSU's lineup this week. The Swede was the Bucs' top player in qualifying rounds, showing the promise that made him a top player in his home country.
"Elliot is coming off a good summer back home in Sweden," Payne said. "He's been playing very well and actually was our leader in qualifying so we're excited to see what he can do."
Griffin hoping to build off U.S. Amateur run
A month and a half after making a run to the Round of 32 at the United States Amateur, Art Griffin will tee off his senior season. Griffin racked up two top-20 finishes last fall in his first semester at CSU after transferring from Lafayette College. He missed time last spring with an injury before finishing strong at the Big South Championship. Griffin will now look to put it all together while also leading a young team this fall.
"Art has continued to play well in qualifying," Payne said. "I think sometimes there's a struggle when you're one of those guys who plays so well that you're playing from February straight on the summer – I don't want to say burn out but you've gotta fight that a little. For Art, he's kept his good play going and is feeling comfortable."
Patscot and pair of true freshmen ready to contribute
Redshirt junior Dylan Patscot has enjoyed a strong preseason and will fill the number three spot in CSU's lineup. Patscot played in two events last fall. Freshmen Alex Scott and Ky Matsumoto earn starts in their first collegiate event.
"Dylan's played well in qualifying and is focused on continuing to improve," Payne said. "Then you've got a couple of guys that are eager to seize on the opportunity of getting in the lineup. Any time you've got freshmen playing in their first month of being a student on campus, it's a great chance for them to prove themselves."