Clemson, SC—The Clemson women’s golf team opens its 2021-22 season where it all began for the program eight years ago when the Tigers tee off on Monday, September 13 at the Cougar Classic in Charleston, SC. Kelley Hester’s team will be one of 17 teams that will play 54 holes over September 13-14 at Yeaman’s Hall Golf Club.
The teams will play 36 holes in a shotgun start on Monday and 18 on Tuesday. Play will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Monday and 8:45 a.m. on Tuesday.
The Clemson program played its first tournament Sept 8-10, 2013 at the Cougar Classic. The Tigers finished a strong second out of 24 teams to get the program off to a great start. It will be Clemson’s fifth appearance at the Cougar Classic overall, the first since 2016.
Hester’s team will be looking to get off to a great start in Charleston again in a national tournament that has six top 25 teams according the Woman’s Golf Coaches Association and the Golf Channel.
The field includes ACC teams Clemson, Miami (FL), NC State, and North Carolina. SEC teams in the field include Arkansas (18,23), Auburn (12,9), Florida (21, 19), Georgia (19,14), and Vanderbilt (22,25). The Big Ten is represented by Maryland, Michigan State, Penn State and Wisconsin. Baylor (15,17) from the Big 12, gives the field 14 teams from Power Five conference schools. Host school College of Charleston, Furman and Central Florida round of the field.
Clemson, ranked 31st in the preseason Golf Channel poll, will take a lineup that includes two seniors, two sophomores and a freshman.
Leading the way is senior Ivy Shepherd, who was a first-team All-ACC performer last year when she had a 72.95 stroke average in the COVID abbreviated season. The native of Peachtree City, Ga. had a pair of top 10 finishes last year and has five for her career. Her 72.87 career stroke average is second in Clemson history.
Calista Rice is a “super senior” in Hester’s opening lineup. This will be Rice’s 19th career tournament over her five seasons. The native of Mars Hill, NC is a returning starter who was in the Clemson lineup for the ACC Tournament and the NCAA Regional last year.
Sophomore Annabelle Pancake had a 75.19 stroke average last year as a freshman when she was in the lineup for all seven tournaments. Her rookie season included a pair of top 10 finishes and a school record tying 65 at the Clover Cup, helping her to a ninth place finish. This past summer she won her second Indiana State Amateur.
Gabriella Tomanka is another sophomore who will be in the lineup. This will be just her second tournament as a Tiger, her first in the Clemson team lineup. The native of Grapevine, Texas had a solid 223 score last year at the Clemson Invitational that included a second round 71. She ranked #38 in the nation by the AJGA coming out of high school. She had three top three finishes at the Texas 5A High School Championship over her career.
Melena Barrientos is another highly regarded player from Texas in Hester’s lineup. The only freshman competing for Clemson this weekend, she was the #9 ranked player in the class of 2021 by the AJGA. She had four AJGA wins in her junior career.
Live scoring will be available on golfstat.com. For Clemson fans wishing to attend the tournament, the course address is 900 Yeamans Hall Road, Charleston, SC.