Beaufort News

Darius Rucker Intercollegiate draws praise from Golfweek

The Darius Rucker Intercollegiate, which debuted this past spring at Hilton Head Island's Long Cove Club, has been recognized as one of top fields in women's college golf.

In Golfweek Magazine's college preview edition, which came out this past week, the Darius Rucker was ranked the sixth strongest field among women's events this past year, topping tournaments like the Tar Heel Invitational and Stanford Intercollegiate. The magazine predicted the 2013 tournament would move up in the rankings, with Arizona State, Lousisiana State and Auburn joining the field.

The tournament, hosted by South Carolina, was also recognized for its perks. The private Long Cove drew praise as a top-venue. And Hootie & the Blowflish lead man-turned-country artist Rucker performed a private concert for participants and coaches. Oakley sunglasses and Polo pullovers were among the players' goodies. Rucker donated $5,000 to tournament-winner Alabama.

"The men have so many great events, it's time the women have a similar experience," Gamecocks women's golf coach Kalen Harris told Golfweek. "Puggy (Blackmon, South Carolina's director of golf) wanted them treated like royalty."

Alabama junior Stephanie Meadow, a former student at Hank Haney International Junior Golf Academy whose parents still live on Hilton Head Island, was also featured in the issue.

Meadow, who was medalist at the inaugural Darius Rucker and helped the Crimson Tide to the team title, went on to help lead Alabama to the NCAA Championship. The Northern Ireland native later earned the winning point for Great Britain & Ireland at the Curtis Cup and won the Ladies British Amateur, held at Carnoustie.


The Golf Club at Indigo Run won on the road this past week, taking the Plantation Cup by six shots over The Country Club of Hilton Head.

The 17th-annual Plantation Cup was held Sept. 12-13 at Hilton Head Plantation's Bear Creek Golf Club and Dolphin Head Golf Club. The tournament featured 10, two-man teams from each club, led by its golf professional.

The first day was best-ball format and the second day was alternate shot. Each club's lowest seven team scores were used each day.

The win Indigo Run was the club's first. Bear Creek finished third and Dolphin Head fourth.

After the first day at Bear Creek, The Country Club of Hilton Head posted 485 to lead. Indigo Run and Bear Creek were four shots behind after posting 489.

The Golf Club at Indigo Run grabbed the title with a 480 total on Day 2. The club, led by professional Lance Buntin, won with a 969 total. The Country Club of Hilton Head, led by professional Chip Pellerin, posted 975. Bear Creek, led by professional Kirk Ridgely, posted 980. Dolphin Head Golf Club and professional Matt Stewart shot 999.

Bear Creek's Tim Muhl and Mike Fisher were the low two-man team, finishing with a two-day total of 132.


Brett P. Heisler has been named the head golf professional at Bear Creek Golf Club. He starts Oct. 1 at the private Rees Jones layout in Hilton Head Plantation.

Heisler has been at Colleton River Plantation's Nicklaus Course as an assistant and later head professional since November 2007. Before that, he worked at Pine Hills Country Club in Sheboygan, Wis., and worked in California during the down season.

Heisler earned a Bachelor of Science degree in agricultural business management from the University of Wisconsin and is a PGA member.


Ten Moss Creek Golf Club members competed for seven openings for the match play portion of the women's club championship.

The eight-person championship flight is filled out by 2011 women's club champion Brenda Lozan, who automatically receives the top seed. The single-elimination match play event begins Sept. 25.

Susan Carloson shot the low qualifying score of 81 to earn the No. 2 seed. Other qualifiers were Penny Calf (No. 3), Jan Alpert (No. 4), Mary Pat Bonchosky (No. 5), Joy McGavisk (No. 6), Linda Mikkelson (No. 7), Kim Pearson (No. 8).