Upstate Looks to Begin Spring on Strong Note at Courtyard Classic
Spartanburg, S.C. - The USC Upstate women's golf team begins the spring season this weekend when it travels to Jacksonville, Fla., to participate in the Courtyard Classic hosted by Jacksonville University at Hidden Hills Country Club.
The 54-hole tournament will begin on Sunday and continue with 18 holes being played each day and the final round completed on Tuesday. Hidden Hills plays at 6,037 yards and is a par-72 layout. Upstate played in the tournament a year ago, finishing sixth out of seven teams. Rachel Lewis tied for 16th after turning in back-to-back rounds of 80 to lead the Spartans. Six teams will tee off on Sunday morning. Joining Upstate in the tournament will be three A-Sun rival schools with host Jacksonville welcoming Florida Gulf Coast and Mercer as well as non-conference foes Florida Atlantic and Daytona State.
Upstate head coach Todd Lawton will send the lineup of Brittany Lowe, Rachel Lewis, Taylor Pleier, Kristi Goodman and Amanda Hall into action to begin the spring. Lowe, Lewis, Pleier and Hall each played in all five tournaments in the fall, while Goodman competed in three events and looks to have a solid hold on a place in the lineup.
Upstate averages a score of 319.3 per round for the season. The Spartans would like to improve on that figure. The fact that the last two rounds of the fall season-ending Hatter Classic were below the average is something Lawton hopes the team can build upon to begin the spring. Consistency will be the key. In 12 rounds in the fall, the Spartans finished with a score below 319 five times, meaning seven of the rounds were above the average. The good thing is that when the squad did go under the average, it went far below the average, including a school record 297 in the first round of the Great Smokies Intercollegiate.
Lewis and Hall paced the Spartans in the fall. Both averaged lower than 80 for the fall with Lewis topping the team with a 78.9 stroke average and Hall coming in at 79.5. Pleier was third on the team with an 80.6 stroke average and Lowe was right behind at 80.8 while adjusting to the college game playing all five tournaments as a freshman.