UTC women’s golf team released its schedule on Tuesday, and as always, coach Colette Murray and her team will be tested.
“It’s challenging,” Murray said. “That’s important for our program. We want to be the best so playing a tough schedule is a necessity. It has a very good mix of events to prepare us for championship season.”
It starts with two tournaments in a week’s time. Chattanooga opens at Louisville’s Wild Eggs Cardinal Cup (Sept. 17-18), followed by the Mason Rudolph Women’s Championship (Sept. 21-23) in Nashville. That tournament is hosted by Vanderbilt.
The fall continues with a return to the Mercedes-Benz Women’s Championship (Oct. 12-14) in Knoxville before ending at Furman’s Lady Paladin Invitational (Oct. 26-28). The Mocs won the last time they visited Furman, by 14 shots in 2009.
“The Mason Rudolph and Mercedes-Benz tournaments always attract great fields,” Murray said. “Louisville and Furman will be good tests as well. We should have a good idea about ourselves and what we need to work on to prepare for the spring.
“Many people don’t realize that golf competes in both the fall and spring. Both are equally important; it’s just the championship is in the spring. You always want a strong start not only for rankings, but also to carry that momentum over to the second half of the season.”
Spring season comes early for UTC with the Central District Invitational on Feb. 18-19. The event is hosted by Michigan State in Parrish, Fla. In fact, four of the five UTC events in the new year will be played in Florida.
Two familiar sites will open the schedule in March. Chattanooga heads back to Orange Park, Fla., for the JMU Eagle Landing Invitational March 8-10 where it has won twice in the last four years. Then it’s on to Gainesville, Fla., and the SunTrust Gator Women’s Golf Invitational March 15-17.
The Mocs close out the spring in Charleston, S.C., and Jacksonville, Fla. The Briers Creek Invitational is March 25-26 at Briers Creek Golf Club and regular season wraps up April 8-9 with the Marsh Landing Invitational.
Moss Creek Golf Club in Hilton Head, S.C., remains the host of the Southern Conference Championship. It’s the fourth year the club has hosted the event, and UTC has won the previous three team titles and last two individual crowns (Emma de Groot & Jordan Britt).
“Moss Creek is a great venue,” Murray added. “Obviously we like it. But it is a tough test worthy of the championship.”
Britt, a junior from Chattanooga, has an enviable record there. She has shot six-over par 222 in her first two SoCon Championships. She won in 2012 and was runner-up to de Groot in 2011.
The Mocs are looking for their sixth straight trip to NCAA Regionals in 2013, fifth as a team. This year’s sites are Auburn University Club (Auburn, Ala.), Jimmie Austin OU Golf Course (Norman, Okla.) and Stanford Golf Course (Stanford, Calif.) with play May 9-11. The NCAA Championship is May 21-24 at the University of Georgia Golf Course in Athens.
“Our goals never change,” Murray said. “We want to win the Southern Conference Championship, finish in the top eight at regionals and compete for a national title. Those are the expectations we place on ourselves.
“I believe in this team. We can’t wait to start the journey.”