The ACU golf team is headed to the Carolinas for spring break.
The Wildcats will compete Monday and Tuesday in the Bash at the Beach in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Three days later, they will play in the Pinehurst Intercollegiate in Pinehurst, North Carolina.
“It is a unique opportunity to get to play in these tournaments,” said Brandon Wilkins, junior from Aledo. “Even though it might feel like a spring break trip, we know we have work to do out there.”
Head coach Tom Shaw is taking freshman Clarke Hudgins, sophomore Robert Johnson, senior Corbin Renner, junior Dillon Vaughn, Wilkins and senior Kaden Walters who will play as an individual.
The decision on who to take on the trip came after two qualifying rounds. The winter weather has plagued the ‘Cats practice schedule since their last tournament in mid-February.
“It’s frustrasting that the weather robbed us of a few qualifying rounds,” said Kyle Karnei, sophomore from Waco. “This is where an indoor practice facility would come in handy.”
Shaw and company are three weeks removed from a team victory at the University of Texas Pan-American Classic. The line-up has been tweaked, but they will still look to carry the success over to their spring break tournaments.
Renner is coming off a victory of his own from the UTPA Classic after winning the individual title in a playoff. He moved into second for all-time victories by an ACU Wildcat with three. First place is still a ways off with Alex Carpenter, senior from Little Rock, sitting at 20.
The first tournament is being played at the Surf Golf and Beach Club. Players will play back-to-back rounds on Monday and finish with a round on Tuesday. Friday, the ‘Cats take on Pinehurt’s No. 8 Golfcourse and have one round a day through Sunday.
Pinehurst hosted the 2014 U.S. Open, but it was played on a different course than the what ACU will see.
The concept of a spring break tournament presents an interesting dynamic. On one hand, players receive a free trip to the beach, but on the other, they face five days of competitive golf. But the team does not anticipate distraction being an issue.
“I believe we are a focused group that want to be successful on and off the course,” Wilkins said. “We will have some time to relax, but this trip is about golf.”