Elgin, South Carolina – One of the most challenging events in all of college sports begins on Monday in Northeast Columbia as The Members Club at Woodcreek plays host to the 2017 NCAA Division II Women’s Golf South Super Regional.

In the 17 seasons since Division II women’s golf became an NCAA championship event, 16 national title winners have come from the South Super Regional. Defending champion Rollins, which holds the high-water mark in Division II with six titles, enters the event as the No. 3 seed. The teams in this year’s South Super Regional field have combined for 12 team national championships, 10 runner-up finishes, and 13 individual championships.

The Field

A total of 12 teams and six individuals were selected to participate in this year’s tournament. The South Super Regional field is selected from the NCAA’s South and Southeast Regions, which is comprised of six conferences that stretch from Florida to Ohio and westward to Alabama.

Each of the 12 teams participating in this year’s event is ranked in the top 19 in the latest Golfstat rankings, including six of the top 10. Eight teams hail from the state of Florida, with six representing the Sunshine State Conference.

Many of the nation’s strongest individual performers will be in attendance as well. The field includes 20 of the top 26 golfers in the most recent Golfstat Head-to-Head Player Standings, representing 11 different teams.

The strength of the field is made more evident by the teams not in attendance: Florida Southern, which has won four national championships and finished second on three occasions, was not selected to the 12-team Super Regional despite their No. 21 national ranking.

The top three teams after the third round will advance to the NCAA Division II National Championships in Findlay, Ohio May 17-20. The three lowest-scoring individuals not on an advancing team will also receive a berth into the NCAA Championships.

Participating teams:

No. 1 Barry (Fla.)
No. 2 Saint Leo (Fla.)
No. 3 Rollins (Fla.)
No. 4 Nova Southeastern (Fla.)
No. 5 Florida Tech
No. 6 Lynn (Fla.)
No. 7 West Florida
No. 8 Montevallo (Ala.)
No. 9 Lee (Tenn.)
No. 10 West Georgia
No. 11 Flagler (Fla.)
No. 12 Armstrong State (Ga.)

Individuals:

No. 1 Kiira Riihijarvi – Tampa (Fla.)
No. 2 Abbey Hartsell – Lenoir-Rhyne (N.C.)
No. 3 Ciara Rattana – Tusculum (Tenn.)
No. 4 Ashlii Thompson – UNC Pembroke
No. 5 Elizabeth England – Carson-Newman (Tenn.)
No. 6 Marley Felthousen – Converse (S.C.)

The Times

First-round tee times are determined by team and individual seeding. Groups tee off in 10-minute increments, with teams’ No. 5 players taking the earliest times and the No. 1 players teeing off last.

1st Tee

8:30-9:10 – Nova Southeastern, Florida Tech, Lynn
9:20 – Riihijarvi (Tampa), Hartsell (Lenoir-Rhyne), Rattana (Tusculum)
9:30-10:10 – Barry, Saint Leo, Rollins

10th Tee

8:30-9:10 – West Florida, Montevallo, Lee
9:20 – Thompson (UNC Pembroke), England (Carson-Newman), Felthousen (Converse)
9:30-10:10 – West Georgia, Flagler, Armstrong State

Tee times on the final two days will be based on current standings.

The Stats

Live scoring will be available for all three rounds through Golfstat here.

The Course

The tournament takes place in Elgin at The Members Club at Woodcreek, home of the 2022 NCAA Division II Women’s Golf National Championships and next year’s South Atlantic Conference Women’s Golf Championship. The Members Club also serves as one of two home facilities for the University of South Carolina’s golf teams.

The South Super Regional will be played on a 6,215-yard layout. Participants will play 54 holes over three days on the par-72 course.

The Significance

The South Super Regional was initially slated to be the first NCAA championship event staged at a predetermined site in South Carolina since the NCAA lifted its ban on Palmetto State sites in 2015.

The golf tournament ceded that distinction to Greenville in March when the NCAA relocated two rounds of its Division I Men’s Basketball Championship from Greensboro, N.C. No events at predetermined sites had been staged in South Carolina since 2002.

The Background

Five teams and two individuals in attendance also competed in the Newberry College Regional Preview, a 12-team event hosted by Newberry at The Members Club that served as a dry run for tournament organizers before the upcoming NCAA event.

Florida Tech, which enters the Super Regional as the No. 5 seed, won the 36-hole event at eight strokes over par, 11 shots clear of runner up West Florida. The Panthers finished the first round in first place by one stroke at five over before firing a tournament-low 291 in the second round to pull away from the field.

Florida Tech teammates Brittany LaPadula and Guro Rambjoer finished in a three-way tie atop the leaderboard with West Florida’s Paloma Vaccaro at one over par, three strokes ahead of the field. LaPadula won a scorecard playoff and Rambjoer took home runner-up honors.

Sixteen of the top 19 individuals at the Regional Preview, including each of the top 12, hailed from teams participating in the upcoming Super Regional. Third-seeded Rollins finished in third place, two shots behind West Florida, with No. 4 Nova Southeastern and No. 9 Lee finishing fourth and seventh, respectively.