SPARTANBURG, S.C. (April 20, 2004) -- The 2004 Southern Conference Women's Golf Championships will take place this Friday,
April 23 through Sunday, April 25. The three-round, 54-hole event is scheduled to take place at the par 71, 6091-yard Starmount Forest Country Club with UNC Greensboro serving as the host institution.
Defending champion Western Carolina looks to make it two in row as the Catamounts hope to repeat their success from last season's SoCon tournament. Leading the charge for WCU will be sophomore Brandy Andersen, last season's
individual medalist, and senior Becca Twiner, who was victorious at the Lady Herd/El Diablo Intercollegiate in March.
Western Carolina's stiffest competition may come from traditional SoCon powerhouse Furman. The Lady Paladins claimed each of the first nine SoCon Women's Golf Championships from 1994 through 2002 before Western Carolina
dethroned them last season. Furman's top-rated individuals in 2004 are senior Sarah Johnston, who is ranked 34th in the latest Golfweek ratings and leads the SoCon with a 74.3 stroke average, and freshman Jenny Suh, who places at
48th on the same list. As a team, the Lady Paladins are ranked 24th in the country.
Host UNC Greensboro looks to make a move this weekend as well, led by junior Polly Willett. The London, England native earned her first collegiate victory earlier this season at the Peggy Kirk Bell Invitational.
Other top finishers from the 2003 event who will be returning this season include the College of Charleston's Sapna Patel, last season's fourth place finisher, and sophmore Kayla Bowsher of The Citadel, who finished in 11th place in
2003. SoCon newcomer Elon is rated fourth in the SoCon this season and will be led by junior Alison Mangini, last week's SoCon Co-Golfer of the Week.
East Tennessee State will hope to find success behind the leadership of sophomore Ashely Barton (Seffner, Fla.) (79.1 stroke average), while Wofford's Laura Robinson (80.7) and Appalachian State's Jennifer Monko (82.6) look to push their teams towards the top of the leaderboard.
Built in 1921, Starmount Forest was the original site of the Greater Greensboro Open, and PGA tour legends Sam Snead, Ben Hogan, and Byron Nelson all posted wins at the course.
Golfers will tee off at 8:15 a.m. in the first round on Friday, and you can visit www.SoConSports.com for complete standings and results, updated throughout the tournament.