Hootie at Bulls Bay Next for Gamecock Golfers
March 26, 2011
By Wes Todd
COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina will return to one of its favorite tournaments this week as they make the short trek to the Lowcountry for the Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate. The event runs Sunday-Tuesday at Bulls Bay Golf Club in Awendaw. Fifteen teams will compete for 54 holes to see who gets to ride "Titleist", the bull mascot of Bulls Bay, and hoist the team trophy.
The South Carolina starting lineup for this week's event features three true freshmen, one sophomore and one junior. Junior Wesley Bryan (Chapin, S.C.) leads the way for Carolina with two top-5 finishes so far this spring and playing a course where he has traditionally performed quite well. He will be joined by sophomores Clint Tolleson (Spartanburg, S.C.), another veteran from last year with experience at this event.
Going with more experience at Bulls Bay, freshman Caulder Moore (Isle of Palms, S.C.) will get his third varsity start, playing on his home course. Two other true freshmen round out the lineup with Blaine Woodruff (Acworth, Ga.) and Logan Harrell (Huntersville, N.C.) remaining in the lineup as they have been for every event this year.
This is the seventh time for South Carolina to play at the Hootie at Bulls Bay, and the Gamecocks have almost always been a major factor. The team tied for second place in 2006 and 2008 and finished third last year. The 2009 team total of 846 (-6) equals the ninth-lowest in school history, and the second-round score of 272 (-12) at last year's event was the fifth-best single-round score in Carolina history.
A total of 15 teams make up the field at this year's Bandon Dunes Championship, including four squads ranked in the nation's top 10. No. 5 Florida, No. 6 Auburn and No. 7 Texas A&M lead the way, followed closely by the defending national champion, No. 9 Augusta State. No. 13 LSU joins the Gamecocks, Kentucky and Ole Miss as six SEC teams are in the field, and five other ranked teams - No. 15 Virginia, No. 21 NC State, No. 22 Duke, No. 29 Wake Forest and No. 42 North Florida - are also competing. North Carolina and co-host College of Charleston round out the field.
In last year's Hootie, senior Patrick Rada and sophomore Wesley Bryan each fired rounds of 70 (-1) in the final round, earning finishes in the tournament's top 10 and leading South Carolina to a fourth-place team finish. The Gamecocks shot a team score of 282 (-2) on Tuesday to finish at 850 (-2) for the tournament, five shots behind tournament champion LSU. Rada had his third top-10 of the year at 71-66-70=207 (-6), a career-best score. Bryan tied the course record with a second-round 64 and finished with a 209 (-4) to finish in seventh place.
The event is open to the public and fans in the Charleston/Mt. Pleasant area are encouraged to make the short trek to Awendaw and support the Gamecocks. The course is located just off U.S. Highway 17, approximately 10 miles northeast of Mt. Pleasant.
After Saturday's practice rounds and college-am event, the teams will enjoy a concert by Hootie and the Blowfish - the tournament's namesake - in downtown Charleston. South Carolina will begin Sunday's first round at 10:50 a.m. from the No. 1 tee, paired with Augusta State and Virginia. Live scoring is available through golfstatresults.com.