Clemson, S.C. — Two of the five players who led Clemson to the team championship last year will be in the lineup for Kelley Hester’s team at the Icon Invitational in The Woodlands, Texas. The tournament format will be 36 holes on Monday, Feb. 25 and 18 holes on Tuesday, Feb. 26 at the par 72 The Woodlands Country Club.
Alice Hewson and Ana Paula Valdes will comprise two of the five starters for the Tigers at the 16-team tournament that features schools from eight different conferences.
Last year the first two rounds of the tournament were rained out, reducing the event to 18 holes. Coming in with a five-under par 283, Clemson claimed the programs second team victory. Former Tiger, Kennedy Swann led the team with a career best tying three-under par 69, while Sydney Legacy and Valdes both shot one-under par 71.
The 18th ranked Tigers are led by Hewson who enters her final semester at Clemson with virtually every record in the book, including career stroke average (72.63), top 10 finishes (14), under par rounds (38) and birdies (323). In January she was selected as one of 72 women’s amateurs from around the world that will compete in the inaugural Augusta National Women’s Amateur.
Valdes is a junior who is coming off of her best fall as a Clemson golfer with a 71.91 stroke average. She also ended the fall with her first career medalist honors as she tied for first at the Battle of the Beach with a five-under par score off 208 thanks to rounds of 74-65-69. The 208 marked the best 54-hole score by a Clemson women’s golfer in the fall of 2018 and her second round 65 tied the Clemson school record for an 18-hole score.
Ivy Shepherd, a native of Peachtree City, Ga., led the team in stroke average in the fall with a 71.45. She also tied for the team lead in under-par rounds with five, and in birdies with 38. The freshman had her best finish in her first career tournament, placing 11th at the Mason Rudolph with a 142.
Alexandra Swayne started all four tournaments and 11 rounds for the Tigers in the fall. She had two under-par rounds and six rounds 75 or better. The freshman from Maineville, Ohio finished the fall with 25 birdies and an eagle. The eagle was just one of two that Clemson players had in the fall.
Callista Rice, a sophomore from Mars Hill, NC, will complete the lineup for Clemson in the Icon Invitational. She played as an individual in the Reynolds Lake Oconee Invite, where only three of the 105 players shot par or better. Rice finished with a score of 240.
Live scoring will be available on golfstat.com.