The top-ranked women’s golfer in both college and world rankings will be playing on the Grand Strand this week.
Duke junior Leona Maguire of Ireland will be among the participants in the 29th Women’s Atlantic Coast Conference Golf Championship being played Thursday through Saturday at The Reserve Club in Pawleys Island.
The tournament has been held for the past nine years at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C., but was moved by the ACC in response to North Carolina’s controversial HB2 law, which was considered by many to be discriminatory to the lesbian, gay and transgender community. Both Sedgefield and The Reserve are private clubs operated by McConnell Golf.
Maguire is ranked No. 1 in the Women’s World Amateur Golf Ranking and Golfstat individual college rankings.
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Eight of the 12 ACC teams are currently ranked in the top 50 by Golfstat, including five in the top 25. They are No. 4 Florida State, Duke (10), Wake Forest (14), Miami (18), N.C. State (24), North Carolina (37), Clemson (41) and Louisville (43).
Five ACC individuals are in the Golfstat top 12, including Wake Forest’s Jennifer Kupcho (4), Florida State’s Matilda Castren (6) and Morgane Metraux (10), and Miami’s Dewi Weber (12). Metraux leads the conference with three individual titles this year. Alice Newson is Clemson’s highest-ranked player at No. 26.
In last year’s tournament, Virginia, ranked 62nd by Golfstat this year, defended its title after becoming the first-ever champion from outside the state of North Carolina in 2015.
An ACC team has won the NCAA Division I women’s golf national championship as recently as Duke and coach Dan Brooks in 2014. Duke has also won national titles in 1999, 2002 and 2005-07.
Spectators are welcome and admission is free. Tee times run from 8-11:10 a.m.
The competition will be broadcast live online on ESPN3 from 2 p.m. to the completion of play Friday and 1 p.m. to the completion of play Saturday.
The Reserve was designed by Greg Norman and has hosted numerous tournaments including the 1999 South Carolina Open, the 2001-02 Carolinas Opens, 2003-05 Carolinas PGA Section Championships, 2012 South Carolina Senior Championship, 2014 South Carolina Amateur and 2016 Carolinas Women’s Amateur.