February 16, 2013

Citadel Golf Opens Spring Slate This Weekend in Savannah

Charleston, S.C.— The Citadel golf team opens the 2013 spring schedule this weekend when it heads to Savannah, Ga. to compete at a tournament hosted by Savannah College of Art & Design. The tournament will take place at The Club of Savannah Harbor's par-72, 5,900-yard course.

A total of 13 teams, including four from state of South Carolina, will compete in the event.This spring, sixth-year head coach Lori Hatcher Bonacci will experience one of the youngest teams in her tenure with The Citadel.

"I am excited to return for our spring season," said Bonacci.  "The spring is always less stressful with more practice time in between tournaments.  Less stress will definitely translate into lower scores."

Bonacci heads into a spring schedule without her only upperclassmen, junior Erica Pellegrini, who will look to enhance her Spanish degree by studying abroad.

"We unfortunately will not have Erica Pellegrini in the spring," said Bonacci. "She will be studying abroad during this time and return in the fall to complete her senior year and finish a solid collegiate golf career."

Pellegrini, who is the only player in program history to capture a tournament title (Hilton Head Invitational; March 4, 2012), finished the fall slate with a 77.44 average in nine rounds.

The Chadds Ford, Pa., native posted seven scores in the 70s during the fall slate, including a second round score of 77 at the Terrier Intercollegiate (Sept. 10) that was followed by rounds of 79 and 70 at the Great Smokies Intercollegiate (Sept. 16). Two weeks later, after a season-low 71 at the S.C. State Bulldog Invitational, Pellegrini rebounded from a second round 91 at South Carolina State with a 77 followed by rounds of 74 and 77 at the Charleston Southern Wendy's Invitational.

While Pellegrini's presence will be missed, the combination of sophomores Kellie Anderson and TaKima Butler will be able to provide solid leadership for a team of five underclassmen.

Anderson played in all five tournaments during the fall slate, posting an average of 82 in 13 rounds. Among those included her best career-finish, 20th, at the S.C. State Bulldog Invitational in the first weekend of October. In three rounds, Anderson fired scores of 80, 76 and 81 to finish with a 237.

"Kellie Anderson has really had a great year finishing in the top position on our team in many of the tournaments, which I expect to continue," added Bonacci.

Butler competed in four tournaments in the fall and finished with an average of 86.1 in seven rounds.  She established a new career-best finish at the S.C. State Bulldog Invitational by placing 36th following rounds of 87, 88 and 92.

"TaKima Butler will continue to be the leader on our team and will lead the freshman with her drive to succeed in her last season of collegiate golf."

Those Bulldog freshmen include Amelia Goodwin, Eraina Manor and Hollie Salvo.

Manor got off to a great start in the spring season with an average of 79.20 in 10 rounds of play. In similar fashion to Pellegrini, Manor was the only player to have an average in the 70s and like Pellegrini she accomplished the feat due to multiple rounds in the 70s—five. Her best stretch of scores came between at Great Smokies Intercollegiate, where she posted scores of 76 and 77, and at the Charleston Southern Wendy's Invitational with rounds of 76, 78 and 83.

Salvo placed fourth on the team in average (82.90) during the fall after 10 rounds in five tournaments. Her third collegiate tournament, the S.C. State Bulldog Invitational, has proved to be her best finish (30th) following scores of 77, 80 and 89.

Goodwin participated in only one tournament, the Charleston Southern Wendy's Invitational, during the fall slate due to an injured hand. Her only tournament included rounds of 104, 91 and 100.

"The freshman have now had time to adjust to college life and usually improve their averages by at least two to three strokes in the spring," added Bonacci. "With great work ethics by Eraina Manor, Hollie Salvo and Amelia Goodwin I know we will see strong performances from them."

With the influx of underclassmen getting valuable tournament experience during the fall, The Citadel golf team will certainly be competitive for several years in Southern Conference action.

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