The Stetson women’s golf team will be back on the course Monday and Tuesday as they head to Greensboro, N.C. for the annual Starmount Fall Classic.
The tournament is played at the Starmount Forest Country Club which used to regularly host the PGA Tour’s greater Greensboro Open, an event won there four times by Sam Snead and once by Byron Nelson, amongst others. For this tournament, it will set up as a 6,265-yard, par-71 course. The 16 teams will play 36 holes on Monday and 18 more on Tuesday.
The Hatter lineup in the piedmont will feature a trio of seniors in Mallory Viera, Jenna Hoecker and Ryan Ashburn, plus a pair of freshmen in Alessandra Kutz and Giulia Vandenberg. Stetson head coach Floyd Kerr hopes this unit will represent the school well in a good field.
"This will be a stronger field and a more demanding golf course than the GolfWeek tournament where we finished fourth,” Kerr said. “Starmount Country Club is hilly and you have to play every club in your bag. We must identify key shots on certain holes to be successful. Every hole is different and has challenges unique to that hole. To play well there you need to be very tuned in mentally and have very good decision making for the entire 18 holes.”
A pair of Top 50 teams, Campbell and Chattanooga, await in Greensboro along with solid clubs from James Madison, Elon and Richmond. Stetson will get a look at fellow Atlantic Sun Conference members Jacksonville and North Florida. A pair of ACC teams, Clemson and Maryland, will also be at the Starmount Fall Classic. Charleston Southern, Gardner-Webb, High Point, Western Carolina, Wofford and UNC Greensboro complete the 16-team field.
“To be a contender there we will have to play some of our best golf,” Kerr said. “I think, currently, we are in a position to do that. I believe from top to bottom our team is hitting the ball very well. If we can stay focused, we can have a nice finish there.”
The Hatters started the season in solid fashion, placing fourth out of 12 teams at the season-opening Golfweek Program Challenge in Pawley’s Island, S.C. Individually, Viera (+5, T7th), Hoecker (+7, T9th) and Kutz (+7, T9th) all placed in the event’s Top 10.
Vandenberg played in the Golfweek event, and also saw action last week at the Lady Falcon Invitation at LPGA International in Daytona Beach where she was 19th overall. Ashburn made her season debut at the Lady Falcon, tying for 31st overall. Sammi Smith was the top Hatter in Daytona Beach, tying for seventh, and earning a place on the team’s roster for its next event, the LPGA Xavier Invitational, which will also be held in Daytona Beach, October 4-6.