CHARLESTON, SC September 7, 2013 – Seven of the nation’s top 30 women’s college golf teams will be among the competitive field at the 11th annual Cougar Classic hosted by the College of Charleston on Sept. 8-10 at the par-72 Yeamans Hall Club in Hanahan, S.C.
The yearly event enters its second decade with a tournament edition that embodies the tradition of excellence that tournament founders John Rivers and CofC Head Coach Jamie Futrell envisioned with its inception in 2003. Fifteen of the 20 teams in this year’s tournament field were represented at the 2013 NCAA Regionals.
The University of Florida, ranked No. 14 in the Golfweek Women’s Preseason Top 30 rankings released on Sept. 3, will look to become the second team in tournament history to win back-to-back titles when it defends its 2012 title. Meanwhile, No. 21-ranked Clemson University will compete in its first-ever tournament as the program embarks on its inaugural season.
Other ranked teams include No. 19 Baylor, No. 20 South Carolina, No. 24 LSU, No. 25 NC State and No. 30 Mississippi State. Auburn, Charleston Southern, Coastal Carolina, Furman, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, UNCG, Penn State, Tennessee, Wake Forest and Wisconsin round out the rest of the 20-team field.
Florida’s Camilla Hedberg returns to defend her individual crown after tying a Cougar Classic-record last season when she shot a 13-under par total of 203. LSU’s Austin Ernst also shot 203 on her way to victory in 2011.
CofC’s lineup for the tournament is headed by senior Kathryn Miranda (Lexington, S.C.), freshman Laura Fuenfstueck (Frankfurt, Germany), sophomore Mary Chandler Bryan (Chapin, S.C.), sophomore Morgan Webber (Moore, S.C.) and sophomore Julia Neumann (Berlin, Germany). Freshman Vici Dreschler (Olching, Germany), redshirt junior C.C. Buford (San Antonio, Texas), sophomore Stacey Tomlinson (Greeleyville, S.C.) and sophomore Louise Olsson (Uddeholm, Sweden) will compete individually.
Tournament play begins with Sunday’s first round at 7:51 a.m. (ET). The second round continues on Monday and a shot-gun start for the final round on Tuesday.
COFC’S WOMEN’S GOLF SEASON PREVIEW
CofC opens its inaugural year in the Colonial Athletic Association with a young, but talented group of golfers.
The Cougars return six players that saw time in the starting lineup last year. However, only two of the team’s Top 10 players are upperclassmen. The team will also be bolstered by two talented newcomers as they seek a CAA Championship and a bid into the NCAA Tournament.
“I am very pleased with the talent level we will put on the course this year,” Futrell said. “What we don’t have in collegiate experience, I believe we can make up for in talent and desire.”
The Cougars will rely greatly on their current sophomore class. All five sophomores saw action in the starting lineup as freshman last year. Julia Neumann leads the group earning All-Southern Conference honors and winning the Edwin Watts/Kiawah Island Classic a year ago. Mary Chandler Bryan “MC” also returns and tied for medalist honors at the SoCon Championship last season. Louise Olsson led the team in number of rounds at par-or-better in 2012-13. Stacey Tomlinson and Morgan Webber also contributed greatly to the success of last year’s squad and look to be a large part of the 2013-14 lineup.
CofC lost four players to graduation in Kathy Boehm and Vanessa Koechli. Boehm closed out her career as the fourth all-time leading scorer in school history, while Koechli ranks seventh on that list.
However, the Cougars have reloaded with their freshman recruiting class. The team welcomes two very talented newcomers in 2013 – Laura Fuenfstueck and Vici Drechsler.
Fuenfstueck is considered one of the top recruits in the 2013 recruiting class. The current French International Junior Champion is currently ranked No. 28 in the world among women’s amateur golfers according to the World Amateur Golf Rankings. Drechsler has also had great success in Germany helping her golf club to a runner-up finish in the 2012 German Team Championships.
The Cougars also have two upperclassmen very capable of breaking into the starting lineup this season. Senior Kathryn Miranda and redshirt junior CC Buford will vie for starting spots.
“While we don’t have many upperclassmen, we are very fortunate to have these two girls as our leaders for this year,” Futrell said. “They have been great members of the team during the past three years and will give us stability on-and-off the golf course.
Rounding out the 2013-14 team is redshirt sophomore Michelle Black (Asheville, N.C.) who looks to come back from a wrist injury that kept her out much of the 2012-13 campaign.