Feb. 7, 2014
NEW ORLEANS - The Tulane golf team makes its much-anticipated return to the links this weekend when the squad opens the spring campaign at the 2014 UCF Challenge, on Sunday-Tuesday, Feb. 9-11, at the Eagle Creek Golf Club in Orlando, Fla.
The tournament will play on a par 72, 6,349-yard course and will feature shotguns starts at 8 a.m. CST on Sunday and Monday, while Tuesday's final round will open with a shotgun start at 7:30 a.m. CST. The Green Wave will join golfers from SMU and Miami (Fla.) for Sunday's opening round.
The 19-team field features Campbell, East Carolina, East Tennessee State, Florida International, Georgia State, Georgia Regents University-Augusta, Iowa State, Kennesaw State, Kentucky, Miami (Fla.), Minnesota, New Mexico, SMU, South Florida, Texas State, Tulane, UCF, Western Carolina, Wisconsin.
"We had a good fall with some strong individual performances but this spring we need to play well as a team in every tournament and that starts at the UCF Challenge this weekend," Tulane head coach Lorne Don said. "We have worked very hard in the offseason and through the first three weeks of school and I believe our team is ready to tee the ball up and get started.
"We really lacked consistency in the fall and that's something every golfer and team strives for. We need to play well from top to bottom and we will be watching the progression of our two freshmen throughout the spring season. We need our four returners to continue to play well."
Sophomore Silvia Garces leads the team with a 72.18 scoring average, followed by classmate Emily Penttila with a 72.36 average, while junior Gemma Dryburgh boasts a 73.13 average and sophomore Madison Opfer enters the weekend with a 73.64 scoring average. Freshman Belen Goicoechea will be TU's fifth player and she posted an average of 75.82 in her first collegiate fall.
Tulane will participate in the UCF Challenge for the fourth straight year and has never finish worse than third with runner-up efforts in 2011 and 2013 and a third-place showing in 2012.