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by: Stetson University
Golf Teams Set for Fall Tournaments
Courtesy: Stetson University  
Release:  11/01/2013
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Stetson men and women’s golf teams host their annual fall tournaments the first week in November, with both events taking place Nov. 4-5, at Victoria Hills Golf Club in DeLand.

Both tournaments are being hosted with the Central Florida Sports Commission. Participating teams in the men’s Stetson Invitational include Bethune-Cookman, Embry-Riddle, Florida A&M, Florida Atlantic, Palm Beach Atlantic, and Savannah State.

The event, which has been staged every year since beginning in 2002, was won by UCF in 2012. The Hatters finished eighth in the nine-team field last season, but head coach Larry Watson vows that won’t be the case this year.

“Last year we finished next-to-last in our own tournament. We aren’t going to let that happen again,” said Watson. “We also want to build this tournament back up and turn it back into one of the better tournaments in the state.”

The 2013 fall season has been one full of promise for a young Hatter squad which features two freshmen and two sophomores among its top five players. Despite their youth Stetson earned two top 10 finishes in its first three tournaments of the fall. Sophomore Dustin Dingus (72.8) and freshman Dirk Kuehler (73.7) own the top strokes averages for the Hatters.

“The fall has been part of a stepping stone process for us,” said Watson. “When the season began we knew what our goals were, and we planned on each event to be a step on the ladder towards us achieving those goals. Part of our goal is to be ready for the A-Sun championship in April. We want to go from last to first.”

On the women’s side, head coach Floyd Kerr and the Hatters are looking for the seventh consecutive tournament win in the Hatter Classic. Stetson has won the tournament each year since 2007.

“This year’s field isn’t very big but we have an outstanding local flavor,” said Kerr. “I guess you could call this the Battle of Volusia County.”

The five-team field includes Bethune-Cookman, junior college power Daytona State, Florida Atlantic and fellow Atlantic Sun Conference member USC-Upstate. The Hatters will likely field a pair of teams at the tournament, bringing the total to six squads.

Stetson senior Sammi Smith is the defending champion. Smith fired an 8-over par 224, winning by five strokes.

Despite the small field, Kerr expects a competitive tournament.

“Daytona State is probably the best junior college program in the country, and we’ve won the thing seven straight years,” said Kerr. “Bethune-Cookman can be ignored either, and FAU has some outstanding individual players, too. Plus, USC-Upstate is a conference opponent and you know they’ll give you their best.”

The Hatters have enjoyed a strong fall season, earning three top-five finishes in four tournaments. Stetson finished third at the JU Classic in mid-October, with Giulia Vandenberg (t-4th) and Alessandra Kutz (t-8th) earning top 10 finishes.

Both tournaments are free and open to the public. Tournament times are set for a shotgun start each day at 7:30 a.m.


Stetson Men's Golf