CHARLESTON, S.C. – Charleston Southern begins its fall season at The Ocean Course Invitational this Sunday-Tuesday. Hosted by College of Charleston, the tournament features Ole Miss and SMU, along with Big South Conference rival High Point.
Field (14 Teams): Akron, College of Charleston, Charleston Southern, Elon, Francis Marion, George Mason, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, High Point, James Madison, Maryland, Ole Miss, SMU and Western Carolina
Course: The Ocean Course – Kiawah Island, S.C. – Par 72 – 7,324 yards
Live Scoring: www.Golfstat.com
Tee Times: Sunday's First Round – 11 a.m. – 1:20 p.m. off No.'s 1 & 10
Monday's Second Round – 8-10:20 a.m. off No.'s 1 & 10
Tuesday's Final Round – 8 a.m. Shotgun Start
CSU's new-look roster has shown excellent promise over the course of eight qualifying rounds. Transfers Brandon Smith and Parker Jones, along with freshmen Alan Smith and Brandon McBride, earned spots in the lineup alongside sophomore Connor Moore.
Moore, who earned a spot on the Big South All-Freshman Team after enrolling a semester early last spring, is the only returner in the Bucs' starting five. Second-year head coach Jason Payne believes the competition among a number of talented newcomers will serve CSU well.
"It's obviously exciting to get going any time you have one or two new faces in the lineup but with us having four, it's really exciting," Payne said. "Hopefully, we'll see some of the play that we've seen through qualifying. We had some low rounds and the competition was really strong."
Brandon Smith shined in qualifying to earn the lineup's top spot. The Odessa College transfer capped a terrific summer by taking low amateur status at the Arizona Open Championship, and has carried that momentum forward.
"Brandon's been impressive and has really turned in some good golf," Payne said. "Really, most of the guys have had multiple rounds that show the type of team we can be as we improve. Obviously, they come out of the summer playing a lot of golf and are still pretty sharp but getting lots of competition under our belt this fall is huge."
Moore will help lead CSU as it tees off in the first of five fall events. The Bluffton native also enjoyed a strong summer, collecting three top-ten finishes and two top five's.
"I think Connor's confidence is in a really good spot," Payne said. "Going from home to living on campus and boom, you're in college and in the lineup for a Division I golf team is a lot of change. I think he's had some time to kind of settle in and experience success this summer. Continuing on that path, I expect he can be one our top performers."
Last year's Ocean Course Invitational was cancelled due to Hurricane Irma. CSU finished 13th at the event in 2016, and was eighth in 2015.