Area high school boys golf teams will kickstart their season at Hilton Head Christian Academy’s Lowcountry Invitational, which will be played Tuesday and Wednesday on two of Beaufort County’s finest courses.
Tuesday’s opening round will be played at the Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw masterpiece Chechessee Golf Club in Okatie and Wednesday’s final round will be held at Tom Fazio’s immaculate Berkeley Hall Golf Club in Bluffton. Both rounds will start with noon tee times.
The tournament, the brainchild of HHCA golf coach Jason Suddeth, heads into its fourth year and was created to showcase the talents of the Lowco area teams and golfers while providing programs with an early test to start the season.
Though it is a locally-based tournament, it is a great early-season measuring stick for local blueblood programs. In fact, this year’s field may be its finest and deepest with multiple Division I golf commits in the field including HHCA’s Max Green (West Virginia) and May River High School’s Andrew Swanson (Clemson).
Despite losing most of the 2020 season to the COVID-19 pandemic, HHCA returns a deep and accomplished starting roster from the 2019 season while also adding talented out-of-state transfer Aidan LeBlanc. This could be the Eagles’ year to bring home the SCISA 2A golf championship after years of close calls, but their rivals and reigning SCISA 2A champs Hilton Head Prep are not going to give up the hardware easily.
Speaking of state championship pedigree, defending SCHSL Class 4A state champions Hilton Head High and reigning SCISA 1A champ Beaufort Academy are both in the field. Sophomore Jerry Bruns will lead a young but promising Beaufort High School squad, while the Bobcats of Bluffton High School will be led into the tournament by sophomore Jones Saylor.
Nine area teams in all, including some of the state’s powerhouse programs, will be looking to add some early-season hardware to their trophy cases and gain some valuable experience to help propel them to successful seasons.
By Brian Rietveld