Furman To Open 2014 Spring Season At The Hayt Collegiate Invitational

Todd Satterfield

GREENVILLE, S.C. --  The Furman men's golf team will open the 2014 spring season this weekend at The Hayt Collegiate Intercollegiate at the par 72, 7,001 yard Sawgrass Country Club in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. 

The 54-hole tournament, which features three teams ranked in the top 15 and five teams ranked in the top 50 according to the latest Golfstat rankings, opens on Sunday with the first pairings teeing off at 10:15 a.m.  Second round play will tee off Monday at 8 a.m., followed by the final round beginning at 8 a.m. on Tuesday.

Furman will be joined in the field by #13 UAB, #6 UCF, Coastal Carolina, GRU Augusta, Jacksonville, #27 Liberty, Louisville, UNC Wilmington, North Texas, #2 Oklahoma State, #47 Tennessee, Troy, and Tulsa.

"Despite the recent news regarding the status of our program and the snow storms we've had to deal with, I believe the guys are ready to get on the road and back to playing competitive golf," said Furman head coach Todd Satterfield.  "The challenge will be to keep our minds in the right place and put all of the distractions behind us.  All of our players are showing tremendous resolve and know that a lot of people are rooting for them."

The Paladins will tee off of No. 10 at 10:33 a.m. on Sunday.  Furman's lineup for the tournament includes freshman Bryce Howell, sophomores Wehman Hopke, Preston Heyward, and Preston Cole, plus senior Greg Carrier.  Junior Michael Borton will compete as an individual.  

Hopke led the Paladins with a 74.1 stroke average over 18 rounds during the 2013 fall season after firing a low round of 68 in the opening round of the Brickyard Collegiate Championship and in the final round of the Bank of Tennessee at Blackthorn. Borton was second on the Paladin team with a 74.8 average over 18 rounds, while Howell carded the Paladins' low round of the fall with a 67 in the opening round of the Bank of Tennessee at Blackthorn. 

Admission to the tournament is free and fans are welcome.  Live tournament scoring will also be available via www.golfstat.com.