Women's golf starts fall campaign Monday

Sept. 3, 2017

Ocean Course Invitational live results // Hole-by-hole tour of the Ocean Course

KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. – The Commodore women’s golf team opens its fall season at the Ocean Course Invitational, to be held Monday and Tuesday along the Atlantic coast near Charleston.

Head coach Greg Allen’s Vanderbilt squad will face a strong early-season field at the invitational on one of the nation’s top courses. Seven of the 15 teams entered advanced to NCAA postseason play last year. Joining the Commodores in the competition are Florida, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Tennessee from the SEC, Boston College, Florida State, North Carolina, N.C. State and Wake Forest from the ACC, UCF, Maryland, North Florida, Elon, Charleston Southern and the host school College of Charleston.

Allen is eager to see the Commodores return to their traditional position among the nation’s leading teams after having a decade-long streak of participating in NCAA Regional play end last year.

“I’m really excited about this team and very optimistic about the season,” Allen said. “It’s always fun to get started, especially when you begin at a place like the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island.”

The invitation is a 54-hole tournament at the par 73, 6,109-yard layout. It features 36 holes of competition on Labor Day and a closing round on Tuesday. Competition starts at 7:15 a.m. CT on Monday, and 7:30 a.m. CT on Tuesday.

Three veterans pace Commodores into opener

Vanderbilt's squad at the Ocean Course Invitational will feature three top returnees and a pair of freshmen seeing their first collegiate competition. Senior Alexandra Farnsworth, sophomore Abbey Carlson and junior Courtney Zeng bring leadership and proven experience. Virginia Green and Morgan Baxendale are highly regarded newcomers for the Commodores.

Farnsworth, a Nashville native and the team’s lone senior, maintained a 74.58 stroke average in 2016-17. Her top individual results included a third-place finish at the Las Vegas Invitational and top 20 effort at the SEC Championships. Carlson, from Lake Mary, Fla., earned SEC All-Freshman honors last year, topping the squad with a 74.46 stroke average. Zeng, a product of Orlando, Fla., was among the team’s top individuals, concluding with a 75.07 stroke average.

Green, from Fairhope, Ala., is coming off an outstanding senior prep season and summer campaign. She earned medalist honors at the 2017 Alabama 7A State Championships on the strength of back-to-back rounds of 66, then later advanced to match play at the 2017 U.S. Girls Junior Open. Baxendale, from Windermere, Fla, is a former Honda Junior Classic champion and was a top prep senior in central Florida last year.

Allen excited to have Meason on board

The Ocean Course invitational will mark Vanderbilt's first competitive outing for new assistant coach Emilie Meason, who Allen believes will have a tremendous impact on the Commodore squad.

“I’m extremely happy and excited to have Emilie in the Vanderbilt women’s golf family. She brings a really positive personality, great values and tremendous golf background to our program. Every player on our team will benefit from her presence and contributions,” Allen said.

Meason, a four-time All-American and All-SEC recipient as a collegiate standout at Georgia, comes to the Commodores from Athens where she served as a volunteer assistant coach at her alma mater last spring.

Superb location for opening event

The season opener will be contested on one of America most recognized golf tracts. Built in 1976, the Ocean Course designed by Pete and Alice Dye is the most renowned on five courses on the Kiawah Island Golf Resort located southwest of Charleston.

Used as the backdrop for the 2000 film “The Legend of Bagger Vance,” the Ocean Course has hosted the 1991 Ryder Cup, 2007 Senior PGA Championship and 2012 PGA Championship. It is scheduled to host the 2021 PGA Championship.


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