#10 FMU Golf Team Opens Season By Hosting Carolina First Intercollegiate Golf Tournament, Sept. 23-24
FLORENCE, S.C. – The 10th-ranked Francis Marion University golf team will open its 2002-03 season by playing host to the 18th-annual Carolina First Intercollegiate Tournament, Monday and Tuesday (Sept. 23-24) at the Country Club of South Carolina.
The tournament will consist of 36 holes on Monday and 18 holes on Tuesday on the par 72 CCSC course.
Sixteen schools will participate: Campbell University, East Carolina University, FMU, Georgia College & State University, Jacksonville State University, Kennesaw State University, UNC Charlotte, Old Dominion University, University of South Alabama, University of South Florida, University of Southern Mississippi, University of Texas-Pan American, Tulane University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Wofford College, and defending tournament champion UNC Wilmington.
“This is probably the strongest field we have ever had for our tournament,” said FMU golf coach Jonathan Burnett. “The field boasts three squads that reached the NCAA Division I regionals last spring, including one that advanced to the championship tournament, and the three Division II squads (FMU, KSU, GC&SU) are all ranked in the top 13 in the preseason Top 25 poll.
“We will be thrown into the fire early with such a tough opening tournament, but it will help prepare us for Division II competition down the line. The fact that we open on our home course should be in our favor as we attempt to win the event for the first time. I am very excited about this squad. We return five players, including a pair of All-Americans, from a team that placed 10th at the national tournament and have added four talented Palmetto state newcomers.”
According to Burnett, six Patriots will play in the tournament: seniors Juan Pablo Bossi and Matt Dura, juniors Fredrik Ohlsson and Per Hallberg, and freshmen brothers Adam and Luke Hart. Five of the players will compete on the FMU team and one will play as an individual.
Ohlsson was named a third-team All-America last spring after leading the Patriots with a 73.57 stroke average. Dura compiled a 73.63 stroke average, tied for third place at the NCAA championships, and earned honorable mention All-America recognition.
The Harts are products of Ridge View High School in the Midlands.
The Patriots posted a 124-51-3 mark in 2001-02 and FMU is ranked 10th in this fall’s Precept/GCAA NCAA Division II Top 25 poll, one spot behind Kennesaw State and three positions ahead of Georgia College & State. Altogether, six Peach Belt Conference schools are listed among the top 19 programs.
Burnett also expressed his thanks to Carolina First and the Country Club of South Carolina. “The high quality of our event is in direct relation to the sponsorship of Carolina First and CCSC. We like to think of this as one of the region’s top tournaments hosted by a Division II program.”
Carolina First Bank, a subsidiary of South Financial Group Inc., is the largest South Carolina-based commercial bank. Florence area locations include 684 Pamplico Hwy. and 121 Dozier Blvd. The South Financial Group, headquartered in Greenville, S.C., is a multi-bank holding company with more than $7.5 billion in total assets and 105 branch offices in the Carolinas and Florida. This is the bank’s seventh year of working with the tournament.