Hilton Head Island, S.C. – Western Carolina women’s golf heads to coastal South Carolina this weekend for the 2019 Southern Conference Women’s Golf Championship scheduled for Sunday through Tuesday at the par-72, 5,980-yard South Course at the Moss Creek Golf Club. The 54-hole tournament will be played over three days with 18 holes scheduled for each day.

The winner of the 26th edition of the SoCon Women’s Golf Championship will earn the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA regionals. The NCAA field will be announced live on the Golf Channel at 5:30 pm on Wednesday, April 24.

Paired with golfers from Wofford and The Citadel, WCU’s scoring five will tee off on the back nine beginning at 9:00 am. Sophomore Maya White leads the Catatmount lineup with junior Brianna Plummer playing as the No. 2. The remainder of the scoring side includes sophomores Hazel Martin and Harper Gilreath as well as senior Shannon Heerey.

Three Catamounts – White, Plummer, and Martin – each played in the SoCon Championship a season ago with Plummer finishing 40th, the best among the trio. White is WCU’s leader in stroke average entering the conference championship, leading WCU at the Edisto Island Invitational at the beginning of April. Plummer paced the Catamounts in the most recent tournament at Mimosa Hills, with Martin as WCU’s top finisher at the Palmetto Intercollegiate back in late October in the fall semester.

“This group is very excited to compete in the Southern Conference Championship this weekend,” said first-year head coach Courtney Gunter. “We’ve had some really good practices this past week and feel prepared to play on the coast once more this season. We’re definitely looking for some redemption this year at Moss Creek.”

Western Carolina won its first-ever SoCon title in 2003, dethroning nine-time defending champion, Furman, by six strokes in an event hosted at the Waynesville Inn, Golf Resort & Spa. Three players -- Brandy AndersenLine Cordes and Rebecca Twiner – each earned all-conference plaudits after the ground-breaking championship for the WCU squad, which was inducted into the WCU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2014.

After a runner-up finish in 2006, WCU claimed its second conference championship in a rain-shortened, 36-hole event held at Patriot's Point in Mt. Pleasant, S.C., in 2007. The Catamounts rallied from down five strokes after the opening round to edge Furman and former league foe, College of Charleston, by four strokes.

Regular season favorite, Furman, has captured 17 of the 25 SoCon women’s golf titles all-time including entering this year’s event as the defending tournament championship. The Lady Paladins are led by Natalie Srinivasan, the 2018 Player of the Year and tournament runner-up who ranks 56th as an individual this year. The Paladins have produced a league-best 15 individual medalist while Chattanooga has five with former members Appalachian State and College of Charleston joined by WCU and UNCG with one apiece.

Mercer, ranked No. 63 by GolfStat, and ETSU at No. 73 are ranked second and third in the conference rankings and are both in the hunt for their first-ever women’s golf championship. Chattanooga, which came in second at last year’s championship, is slotted fourth in the SoCon team stroke average and national rank at No. 91.

Also in contention for the 2019 title are UNCG, Samford, Wofford, WCU, and The Citadel.

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