Bluffton's Buchanan playing in SoCon women's golf championship at Moss Creek

mmccombs@islandpacket.comApril 12, 2014 

The last time Sammie Buchanan played in her home state, the UNC Greensboro sophomore finished third at the Kiawah Invitational in March, her best collegiate showing.

Sunday, the former Bluffton High School standout will be looking for a Southern Conference championship when the league's women's golf teams tee it up on the Moss Creek Golf Club's North Course.

This year will be the sixth straight year for the three-day tournament at Moss Creek. The course will play at par-72 and 5,941 yards.

"It's definitely a different experience," Buchanan said about playing at home. "I like the support. I played last year, but I didn't play good. But I did get a hole-in-one.

Buchanan aced No. 7 and shot 80-74-75--229 (+13), good for 11th place last year, to help the Spartans to a third-place finish. With a younger team this year, Buchanan said a top-five finish would be a successful tournament for UNCG.

Buchanan said her finish at Kiawah was an example of her progress as a player.

"I've been hitting the ball well this year and have a better understanding of course management," Buchanan said. "Learning where to miss and how to make a good score when you're not hitting well."

Buchanan, who expects somewhere between five and 10 family members and friends to follow her on the course, won't be the only golfer with local ties in the field.

Western Carolina freshman Olivia Landino is a graduate of the International Junior Golf Academy. She has two top-10 finishes in 10 events this season, including a tie for seventh at the UNF Intercollegiate.

Chattanooga, ranked 68th by Golfstat, will be seeking its fifth straight title after beating Furman by six strokes in 2013. The Mocs will also be seeking their fourth straight individual medalist. Agathe Sauzon won last year and returns this season, along with teammate and 2012 champion Jordan Britt.

The winner of the SoCon Championship will earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA regionals.

SoCon Women's Golf Championship

Sunday-Tuesday, Moss Creek Golf Club, North Course

The tournament tees off at 8 a.m. Sunday.

Live scores:

Official tournament page:

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