Cullowhee, N.C. – Western Carolina women’s golf opens its 2018-19 season under first-year head coach Courtney Gunter as the Catamounts travel to the Starmount Fall Classic on Monday and Tuesday at the par-72, 6,186-yard Starmount Forest Country Club in Greensboro.
The 54-hole event gets underway Monday with an 8:30 am shotgun start with 36 holes of continuous play. The tournament concludes Tuesday with the third and final round. Live scoring of the tournament is available online at BirdieFire.com.
In addition to the event host UNCG Spartans and the Catamounts, the 15-team field includes Appalachian State, Elon, High Point, Longwood, North Carolina A&T, Tennessee, Tennessee Tech, Towson, Troy, UAB, William & Mary, Winthrop and Wofford.
The start to Western Carolina’s 2018 season was delayed after their season-opening tournament at East Carolina was cancelled due to Hurricane Florence. As a result, the Starmount Fall Classic marks the debut of the Catamounts under first-year head coach Courtney Gunter. WCU has added the Wofford Intercollegiate in late October to its 2018-19 schedule to compensate for the lost event.
“With the cancelation of our first scheduled event due to the hurricane, the entire team has been patiently waiting to finally compete this season. I think we are all eager to show off the hard work we have put in over the past several weeks,” said Gunter.
Representing the Catamounts at the first tournament of the year are four underclassmen – two sophomores and a pair of freshmen – with one junior. Freshman Amy Wooten will tee off as the No. 1 in the WCU lineup in her collegiate debut, flanked by classmate Cassidy Chambers in the No. 5 position. Sophomores Maya White (No. 2) and the team’s returning scoring leader Hazel Martin (No. 3) are joined by junior Brianna Plummer in the No. 4 slot to comprise the Catamount scoring five.
Paired with golfers from Big South-member Longwood and Elon out of the CAA, Western Carolina’s golfers hit the course between holes 10 and 13 in Monday’s 8:30 am shotgun start.
“The traveling squad for this event is very young. My hope for this event, as well as the rest of our fall season, is for them to gain experience competing against some very good teams and quality collegiate players. This should prepare us well for the spring and post season,” Gunter added.
All told, WCU returns six golfers from a season ago including last year’s leading scorer in Martin. The Australian-born, second-year striker paced the Catamounts four times in 2017-18. Her classmate, Fletcher, N.C., native Maya White, finished fourth on the team in overall seasonal stroke average.
The remainder of the returnees including the squad’s lone senior in Shannon Heerey (Meath, Ireland) and junior Brianna Plummer (Shelby, N.C.), saw action in at least four events a season ago. Sophomores Cameron Wood (Waxhaw, N.C.) and Harper Gilreath (Anderson, S.C.) as well as the two incoming freshmen Chambers and Wooten round out the team’s seasonal lineup.
The Starmount Fall Classis is the first of four fall tournaments for the Catamounts, three coming in the month of October. WCU will play three-consecutive weeks to close the fall portion of the schedule, traveling to the Palmetto Intercollegiate (Oct. 21-23) in Kiawah Island, S.C., Wofford’s Terrier Intercollegiate (Oct. 29-30) in Spartanburg, S.C., and Mercer’s Idle Hour Collegiate Championship (Nov. 5-6) in Macon, Ga., before the winter break. The spring slate features five tournaments including the Southern Conference Women’s Golf Championship in Hilton Head in mid-April.