, homegrown South Carolina country & western star and former lead singer with Hootie & The Blowfish
, for the second straight year is lending his name and his support to a tournament featuring some of the top teams in women’s collegiate golf.
The University of South Carolina
– Rucker’s alma mater – will play co-host for the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate, March 8-10, at Hilton Head Island’s Long Cove Club
. Gamecocks coach Kalen Harris recently announced the field, which includes 11 of the top 15 women’s college teams as ranked by Golfstat and seven teams ranked in the GolfWorld/WGCA Top 25.
Heading the field, one of the strongest in women’s golf, are eight Southeastern Conference teams, including South Carolina and 2012 national champion Alabama, ranked seventh. Others are No. 12 Vanderbilt, No. 13 Arkansas, No.15 Georgia, No. 30 Auburn, No. 33 Tennessee and No. 44 LSU.
Also participating will be No. 9 North Carolina, No. 10 Arizona State and No. 18 Virginia, plus Wake Forest, Central Florida, Furman and TCU. Harris said the co-sponsorship by the school and Rucker will continue through 2016.
“We’re excited to be hosting the (tournament) again this year, (and) we have another very impressive field,” Harris said. “Hopefully we can get some Gamecocks fans to come out and support us.”
Last year’s debut event drew 12 teams (of 15 in the field) ranked among the nation’s top 50. Alabama, en route to its NCAA title, shot a team score of 3-over par 571 to capture the inaugural tournament, which was shortened by rain from 54 holes to 36, while South Carolina finished eighth.
The Pete Dye-designed Long Cove course
, ranked among Golf Digest’s Top 100 annually since its opening, will measure 6,160 yards and par-71 for the women’s teams. Spectators are welcome and admission is free. For information, call (803) 777-7872 (USC) or contact Long Cove at (843) 686-1000, or click here