JEKYLL ISLAND, Ga. – The FGCU women’s golf team begins its 2013-14 season this weekend by teeing off at the 6th Annual EAT A PEACH Collegiate hosted by Mercer. A Thursday afternoon practice round prefaced the three-day, 54-hole tournament at Pine Lakes Golf Course, which officially gets underway Friday and concludes Sunday.
The Eagles and Mercer join USC Upstate as three Atlantic Sun Conference teams in the field, in addition to South Carolina State and Seminole State. The event will serve as a mini preview of the A-Sun Championship at the end of the season, as Pine Lakes Golf Course will host the 2014 tournament – the same course on which the 2013 championship was played and where the Green and Blue finished third.
Play begins at 8:30 a.m. each day with split tee times off #1 and #10. Traditional scoring will be in effect with each team competing with five players, and the top four individuals contributing to their team total. Scoring will be provided after each round by GolfStat.com, and will also be posted on FGCUAthletics.com.
At 6,700 yards from the back tees and 6,300 from the whites, Pine Lakes is the longest of three Jekyll Island courses, which originally opened in 1898. Fairway bunkers line several holes at Pine Lakes, but the course is relatively open off the tee and water is not a serious factor. However, tree lines are dense in spots which can create issues for players who hit errant tee shots.
Mercer heads into the invitational as the three-time defending champions after claiming EAT A PEACH titles in 2010, 2011 and 2012. In addition to its five-member team, the Bears will have three individuals competing.
FGCU enters the 2013-14 season with seven returning members, including junior Georgia Price (Bude, England/Fort Myers HS), who was tabbed as an Atlantic Sun All-Conference Second Team member last year. Price posted a team-high six top-20 finishes in 2012-13, including taking medalist honors in a three-hole playoff at the Jacksonville University Courtyard Classic.
As a team, the Green and Blue had seven finishes in the top-10 last year, capped with that best-ever finish at the A-Sun Championship. Sophomore Emma Smyser (Naples, Fla./Gulf Coast HS) is the lone newcomer to the roster, transferring from the University of Florida. The local product was a three-time Naples Daily News Golfer of the Year in high school, and finished second in the Florida state championship as junior after shooting rounds of 73-71.
Joining Smyser and Price is redshirt senior Briana Carlson (Inverness, Fla./Citrus HS), sophomore Sara Detlefsen (Eagan, Minn./Minnesota Virtual Academy HS), Chelsea Guoynes (Traverse City, Mich./Traverse City Central HS), sisters Megan Van Etten and Rebecca Van Etten (Trinity, Fla./J.W. Mitchell HS) and sophomore Mei Khuan Yong (Kuala Lumper, Malaysia/S.M.K. Cochrane). Head coach Sarah Trew is entering her third season at the helm of the Eagles.
Following their trip to Georgia, the Green and Blue hosts the FGCU Eagle Invitational next Sunday and Monday, Sept. 15 and 16, at Worthington Country Club in Bonita Springs.