Panthers Face Challenging Women’s Golf Schedule
By Florida Tech // December 15, 2012
Opportunity Awaits Panthers
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Florida Tech’s women golfers will participate in four tournaments over the course of three months in preparation for the Sunshine State Conference Championship beginning on April 15.
With the fall season coming to a close on Oct. 16, the Panthers face lofty expectations after ranking No. 12 in the final Golf World/Women’s Golf Coaches Association Division II Poll of the fall season.
“We have a tough schedule,” FIT head coach Chris Saltmarsh said. “We have a good opportunity to prove ourselves and our 12th ranking. I want to see us improve on it.”
The Panthers will kick the season off with the Lady Moc Classic at Eaglebrooke Golf Club on Feb. 25 in Lakeland.
FIT will look to improve on a 12th-place finish in the tournament last year. The event will feature 54 holes over two days, as will each tournament for the Panthers this upcoming season.
The following week, the Crimson and Gray will head to Winter Springs for the 38th Peggy Kirk Bell Classic at Tuscawilla Country Club. The tournament, hosted by SSC conference foe Rollins College, begins March 5. The Panthers finished 10th in last year’s tournament.
The month of March will conclude for Florida Tech at Baytree National Golf Links as the squad plays host to the Panther Invitational on March 25.
In preparation for the SSC Championship, FIT will travel to Charlotte, N.C. on April 8 for the US Women’s Invitational. The tournament, to be played at Pine Island Country Club, will be the final tune-up of the season before the conference event begins.
No doubt, the toughest test of the season will come on April 15 with the start of the SSC Championship in Dade City. The Panthers will take the course at Lake Jovita Golf and Country Club against several of the top teams in the nation.
In the final Golf World/WGCA Division II Poll of the fall, five of the top six teams came from the SSC. Nova Southeastern led off the list with the No. 1 ranking. Seven of the top 15 teams hail from the conference.
Success in the SSC Championship could prove enough to give the Panther squad its first-ever trip to the NCAA Super Regionals, to be held in Lakeland at Lone PalmGolf Club on May 5.
“I think this team has the ability to be the first women’s team to go to the Super Regionals,” Saltmarsh said. “In the fall, we played 36-hole tournaments. Now we are getting into 54-hole tournaments. That will really prepare us to go the distance.”
The Super Regional Championship is a three-day 54-hole tournament where the top-three teams and top-three individuals will qualify for the NCAA Division II National Championship. The National Championship will take place at LPGA International Golf Course in Daytona Beach.