March 13, 2003
COLLEGE PARK, Md. -
University of Maryland's men's golf team heads south again in the coming days for its final tuneup before embarking on the District II portion of its 2003 spring schedule later this month.
Next up for the Terps is the Cleveland Golf Collegiate Championship, hosted by South Carolina-Aiken this coming Monday and Tuesday. The 54-hole event, which will be contested at the historic Palmetto Golf Club in Aiken, S.C., features 36 holes on Monday and 18 holes on Tuesday.
In total, 15 teams - mostly from the Southeast - will be vying to win the team title captured by Virginia Tech last season. The top-ranked teams in the field are 18th-rated College of Charleston and 22nd-rated Vanderbilt.
Other teams in the field include Texas Tech, Furman, Florida State, South Carolina, Kansas, Texas-Arlington, South Florida, Tulane, Georgia State, Presbyterian, Virginia Commonwealth and host USC-Aiken. Texas Tech, Furman, College of Charleston, South Carolina, Kansas, Texas-Arlington and Georgia State all joined Maryland in the NCAA Regionals last season.
Palmetto Golf Club, which is located across the Savannah River from the Augusta National Golf Club, home of the Masters Tournament, is a 6,380-yard course that will play to a par of 71 for the Cleveland Golf tournament. Palmetto was founded in 1801.
"This is a very good tournament, one of the best in the Southeast," said Maryland head coach Tom Hanna. "We will be playing a great golf course, one that is very challenging. This will be a good course for us to get our heads on straight before we head to the William & Mary Invitational the following week."
The Terps are just now beginning to benefit from the warmer weather in the local area. Just this week, the university golf course re-opened, allowing the Terps to get some on-course practice in locally. The severe winter weather has affected Maryland's preparations for its spring season, although Hanna says his players have been diligent at overcoming the obstacles presented by the recent record snowfall.
"I give the team a lot of credit for the effort it has shown," said Hanna. "Despite the conditions [created by the winter weather], the players have hit a lot of balls and done a lot of indoor workouts. They haven't laid around. This team has worked very hard. I think that work ethic, coupled with the frustration they have felt because of the conditions, is going to pay off for us in late March and into April and May."
Hanna plans to field a roster composed of seniors John Moheyer, juniors Tim Kane and Dan MacDonald, and freshmen John Eades and Jeff Spradlin. In addition, senior Scott Ehrlich will compete as an individual.
Maryland, currently ranked No. 2 in the district, is the lone District II team in the Cleveland Golf field.