Cullowhee, N.C. – Western Carolina first-year head coach Courtney Gunter today announced her squad's 2018-19 season schedule that features nine tournaments spread over the fall and spring semesters. The slate includes returning to three events from a season ago with a pair of first-time tournaments for the program.
Eight of WCU's nine scheduled tournaments will be played regionally including four in South Carolina, three in North Carolina, and one in Georgia. In the spring, WCU will make a trip to Arizona – the longest trip for the women's golf team since a 2013 trip to California.
Opening in tournament play in mid-September, WCU's schedule culminates in mid-April 2019 with the annual Southern Conference Women's Golf Championship which returns to the Moss Creek Plantation in Hilton Head Island, S.C. The team champion from the event garners the league's automatic berth into the NCAA postseason.
"I am very excited about our tournament schedule for the upcoming season. We will have the opportunity to play against a lot of different teams throughout the year, many of which are highly-ranked, and we will get a chance to see many of our conference foes prior to the SoCon Championship,” said Gunter. “We are playing several events near the coast of South Carolina which I believe will prepare us in the best way possible for the Southern Conference Championship. Overall, I feel this schedule will be a good test for our program while allowing our student-athletes to experience different parts of the country and golf courses."
Western Carolina's schedule opens Sept. 17-18 with a three-round tournament hosted by East Carolina at the Greenville Country Club in Greenville, N.C. The Catamounts return to the event after a one-year hiatus. WCU is among 17 teams vying for the team championship including defending champion – and host – ECU.
A pair of competitions in October begins with the Starmount Fall Classic, a tournament hosted by a conference affiliate in UNCG at the Starmount Forest Country Club. The event is scheduled Oct. 1-2, with the Catamounts returning to the field in back-to-back seasons. Later in the month, WCU travels to Kiawah Island for the first of four events in the South Carolina Lowcountry with the Palmetto Intercollegiate. WCU returns to the tournament hosted by the College of Charleston at the Turtle Point Golf Course Oct. 21-23, making the team's first appearance in the field since 2014-15.
Western Carolina concludes the fall portion of its 2018-19 schedule with another tournament hosted by a league-foe. The Catamounts head to Mercer's Idle Hour Collegiate Championship at the Idle Hour Club in Macon, Ga., Nov. 5-6.
Five spring tournaments for the Catamounts include one in February and two in both March and April, including the conference championship. WCU returns to spring competition at the golf haven that is Kiawah Island, S.C., for the Edwin Watts / Kiawah Island Classic, hosted by former SoCon member, the College of Charleston, Feb. 24-26. The event is among the largest collegiate women's golf tournaments in the nation.
A mid-March trip West is among the highlights of WCU's schedule. The Catamounts travel to the Clover Cup, hosted by Notre Dame at the Longbow Golf Club in Mesa, Ariz., for a three-day event March 15-17. The month concludes with a second, first-time event for WCU as the squad takes part in the Edisto Island Invitational. Co-hosted by the College of Charleston and Charleston Southern, the tournament will be played on the Plantation Course at Edisto.
In its final tune-up before the conference championship, Western Carolina heads to the Mimosa Hills Intercollegiate. Hosted by rival Appalachian State at the Mimosa Hills Golf & Country Club in Morganton, N.C., the event is slated for April 7-8. WCU and App State co-founded the tournament back in 2009 at the Donald Ross-designed course in the foothills.
The 2019 Southern Conference Women's Golf Championship again returns to the Moss Creek Golf Club in Hilton Head Island, S.C. The venue will host the conference champion-crowning event for a seventh-time dating back to 2009.
Western Carolina returns six golfers from its 2017-18 roster including leading scorer in sophomore Hazel Martin. She is flanked by classmates Harper Gilreath, Maya White, and Cameron Wood, each of who played in five-or-more tournaments as true freshmen. Irish-born golfer Shannon Heerey is the squad's lone senior with junior Brianna Plummer representing the most veteran collegiate golfer, having competed in 11 tournaments for the Purple & Gold to round out the returners.
"After being in Cullowhee for a couple months, I am eager for the team to arrive back on campus so that we can get started with the new season. This is a great group of student-athletes who I believe have a desire to work hard and have what it takes to be successful. I am looking forward to leading this team and watching them compete for WCU," said Gunter.
2018-19 Catamount Women's Golf Schedule:
Sept. 17-18 – Pirate Collegiate Classic (ECU) – Greenville Country Club (Greenville, N.C.)
Oct. 1-2 – Starmount Fall Classic (UNCG) – Starmount Forest Country Club (Greensboro, N.C.)
Oct. 21-23 – Palmetto Intercollegiate (CofC) – Turtle Point Golf Course (Kiawah Island, S.C.)
Nov. 5-6 – Idle Hour Collegiate Championship (Mercer) – Idle Hour Club (Macon, Ga.)
Feb. 24-26 – Edwin Watts / Kiawah Island Classic (CofC) – Kiawah Island, Osprey Point and Oak Point Courses (Kiawah Island, S.C.)
March 15-17 – Clover Cup (Notre Dame) – Longbow Golf Club (Mesa, Ariz.)
March 31-April 1 – Edisto Island Invitational (CofC/CSU) – Plantation Course at Edisto (Edisto Island, S.C.)
April 7-8 – Mimosa Hills Intercollegiate (App State) – Mimosa Hills Country Club (Morganton, N.C.)
April 14-16 – SoCon Women's Golf Championship – Moss Creek Plantation (Hilton Head Island, S.C.)