FMU golfers open season in the Low Country

FMU golfers open season in the Low Country

FLORENCE, SC - The Francis Marion University men's golf team will open its 2018-19 campaign on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday (Sept. 9-11) at The Invitational at The Ocean Course, hosted by College of Charleston on Kiawah Island, S.C.

The 54-hole event will be played on the 7,324-yard, par 72 The Ocean Course. Opening tee-off times begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday morning.

The tournament field includes the University of Akron, College of Charleston, Charleston Southern University, Elon University, Francis Marion, George Mason University, Georgia Southern University, Georgia State University, High Point University, James Madison University, University of Maryland, University of Mississippi, Southern Methodist University, and Western Carolina University.

Last year's event was canceled due to Hurricane Irma.  Middle Tennessee State University won the 2016 event.

FMU will compete in a total of 11 tournaments throughout the 2018-19 season, and will play host to the 14th-annual Wexford Plantation Intercollegiate Tournament on Hilton Head Island, Feb. 25-26, 2019.

Francis Marion returns seven golfers from last season's squad that finished its slate with six Top-10 finishes in 11 events, including a pair of eighth-place showings during the spring season.

The returnees include senior Lars Sandvoll (74.86 stroke average in 2017-18) and sophomores John Burghardt (77.29), Jacob Morris (77.78), and Michael Rials (78.87).  Sandvoll earned Srixon/Cleveland Golf All-America Scholars recognition for the 2017-18 season.

Also back for the Patriots are juniors Haakon Andersen and Mark Goodall and red-shirt freshman McClure Thompson. FMU averaged a 297.97 per round team score last year.

Newcomers joining the Patriot squad are junior transfer Justin Prozzi (Hartsville, SC) and freshmen Pierre De Caevel (Glabais, Belgium), Grainger Howle (Darlington, SC), and Grant Sellers (McBee, SC).

Sixteenth-year head coach Mark Gaynor pointed to Sandvoll, Thompson, Sellers, Howle, and De Caveal as his starting line-up for the opening tournament.

Each of the past five years, Francis Marion has received a Golf Coaches Association of America 18Bridies All-Academic Team Award.