Cullowhee, N.C. – The Western Carolina men’s golf team opens its 2019-20 season on Monday and Tuesday at the Crusader Collegiate, hosted by Valparaiso University at the par-72, 6,972-yard Sand Creek Country Club in Chesterton, Ind.
Monday includes 36 holes of continuous play with a shotgun start at 8:00 am CT / 9:00 am ET with the final 18 holes scheduled for tee times beginning at 7:30 am CT / 8:30 am ET. Live scoring of the three-round tournament is available online through BirdieFire.com.
An event that began with just a four-team field in each of its first two seasons before expanding to 13 teams a year ago, the Crusader Collegiate features the largest contingent of competitors in tournament history this year. A combined 15 teams and a total of 89 players are slated to compete in the field this fall. In addition to the Catamounts and tournament host Valpo Crusaders, the field includes defending champion Bradley, Butler, DePaul, Detroit Mercy, IUPUI, Loyola, North Dakota, North Dakota State, Purdue Fort Wayne, Robert Morris, UW Green Bay, Western Illinois, and Wright State.
Six Catamount men’s golfers including the scoring five and one individual are slated to be in the season-opening field. Of the six, only two – junior Zach Caudill playing as the individual and sophomore Tumi Kúld – are returning from last year’s squad. Kúld paced the Catamounts last year with a stroke average of 76.10 as a true freshman. The remainder of the Catamount scoring five for head coach Tim Eckberg coming out of preseason qualifying are newcomers including redshirt freshman Iowa transfer Tyler Bussert and true freshmen Quinton Metz (Wilkesboro, N.C.), Magnus Pedersen (Moss, Norway), and Pierre Viallaneix (Apopka, Fla.)
“With a fairly young team – and nearly half being new faces – the battle within the team to make events is going to be the best it has been in years. It will be a heavy competition year, and I have no doubt the line-up will change constantly throughout the year. But I feel we needed that within this team and it will work to make us better overall,” said Eckberg upon the release of his squad’s 2019-20 schedule.
Following this week’s 54-holes of scheduled golf, the Catamounts will host their home event – renamed the JT Poston Invitational Sept. 30-Oct. 1 at the beautiful Country Club of Sapphire Valley.