Clemson, S.C.—Clemson will open its 2018-19 women’s golf season at the 18th Mason Rudolph Championship September 21-23 at the par 72 Vanderbilt Legends Club in Franklin, Tenn.
Clemson will be one of 15 teams in the field for the three-day 54-hole event that includes four teams that played in the NCAA Tournament a year ago. The field includes 2017 NCAA Champion Arizona State. Other NCAA national tournament teams in the field include Auburn, Louisville and Wake Forest.
Head Coach Kelley Hester will bring a junior and four freshmen for her lineup in the season opener. Ana Paula Valdes will lead the way and has four top 10 finishes in her career. The junior finished 22nd last year at this event after leading the Tigers with an opening round of 70.
Valdes is a veteran of 23 tournaments and finished last season with a 73.63 stroke average. The junior from Morelia, Mexico is second in Clemson history in career scoring average (73.98) and has been named an All-America Scholar by the Golf Coaches Association each of her first two years.
Four freshmen will make their debut for the Tigers this Friday. Ivy Shepherd is a rookie from Peachtree City, Ga. who is coming off an active summer. She finished tied for 17th at the US Junior Girls in July, tied for 17th at the Polo Junior Classic in late June and tied for ninth at Rome Junior Classic in May with a 218.
Alexandra Swayne is a freshman from Maineville, Ohio where she was ranked as the top player in Ohio by National Junior Scorebaord, and AJGA. She had five top five finished in AJGA events, including medalist honors at Penn State with a 54-hole score of three-under par. The All-City and All-State golfer finished third at Caribbean Amateur in August and at the Dustin Johnson Junior Amateur in May.
Lindsay May is the cousin of former Clemson golfer David May, who was co-champion of the 2009 ACC Championship. The Auburn, N.Y. native is a three-time New York State Champion, as she won the tournament in 2014, 2015 and 2016, finishing second in 2017 and sixth in 2018. The Five-time All-League selection was the first woman to win three straight state championships in New York.
Gracyn Burgess, a Lexington, S.C. native attended the same school as 2018 senior and All-ACC player Sydney Legacy. As a senior, Burgess was named the SCJGA Player of the Year and the CGA Player of the Year. She was also a member of the SCJGA Can-Am team along with the 5A State Championship team.
Clemson Women’s Golf Season Opener
Tournament: Mason Rudolph Championship
Course: Vanderbilt Legends Club, Par 72
Address: Legends Club Ln, Franklin, TN 37069
Dates of Competition: Friday, September 21 through Sunday, September 23. 54 total holes, 18 per day.
Competing Teams: Arizona State, Auburn, UC-Charlotte, Clemson, Houston, Louisville, LSU, Mercer, Michigan State, Missouri, Middle Tennessee State, North Carolina, UT-Chattanooga, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest
Clemson Lineup: Ana Paula Valdes (Jr., Morelia, Mexico), Alexandra Swayne (Fr., Maineville, Ohio), Ivy Shepherd (Fr., Peachtree City, Ga.) Gracyn Burgess (Fr. Lexington, S.C.), Lindsay May (Fr. Auburn, N.Y.).
Live scoring: Golfstat.com