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Fields set for Hootie at Bulls Bay, Maxwell College Golf Tourneys

Boy, just when you think the Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate NCAA golf tournament couldn’t get any better, tournament director Doug Carnes outdoes himself. The field has been set for the 2008 tourney. Two-time defending champion Wake Forest University, last year’s runner up Baylor and perennial juggernaut Lamar University headline a star-studded line-up of fifteen schools.

The tournament tries to reach a balance between ACC and SEC powerhouses with top-25 schools from other conferences. This year the ACC will be represented by Wake, Duke, Clemson, N.C. State and newcomer Virginia Tech. The Hokies won last year’s ACC tournament just days after the tragic shooting of students on the Blacksburg campus. The SEC sends South Carolina, Louisiana State, Kentucky Auburn and Florida.

“Watch out for the at-larges and directional schools” notes Carnes with a serious warning, “Augusta State always plays well here as does College of Charleston, a hometown favorite.” Bulls Bay Golf Club, host of the tournament, is a masterpiece designed by the late, great Mike Strantz sits on the inter-coastal waterway in Awendaw, just a few miles from Charleston. Little known Central Florida is also dangerous. They led for two days in last year’s event before bowing late.

Nevertheless, Texas may feel right at home in South Carolina. The Baylor Bears, not showing any fatigue from criss-crossing the country like a touring rock band on Lollapalooza tour, nearly took home the famous Bull Trophies for first place on their first appearance in the tournament. Down six shots with three holes to play, the plucky Bears rallied as Wake’s Demon Deacons lost all six strokes in the rising wind. “One minute we were looking pretty good, then we we’re in a playoff” said Wake’s Sean Moore. “It shows you hard the finish is here and how this course turns into a completely different golf course when the wind blows.”

“It just goes to show, it’s never over till it’s over, but we hung tough despite a bad scare” echoed Wake’s Chris McCartin, a sociology major from Arlington, Virginia. The Deacs needed three extra holes to emerge victorious in the playoff.

Lamar, also from Texas, and perennially ranked in the top 10 in both the coach’s polls and magazine polls, rounds out the field with fireworks. “They are unbelievable” said Wake coach Jerry Haas when interviewed last year. “They can win any event they attend.”

The tournament, which raised over $90,000 for South Carolina public schools, features an intimate concert by Charleston’s favorite sons Hootie and the Blowfish. Last year, special guests Peter Holzappfl of R.E.M. and PGA Tour player John Daly were surprise performers at the gig.

Not to be outdone, the Maxwell Intercollegiate golf tournament, named for fabled golf course architect Perry Maxwell has also announced its field. Multiple national championship winners Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are joined by in-state rivals Tulsa and Oklahoma City University. Big 12 conference members Colorado and Missouri will attend as will SMU, Texas Christian, Lamar, Michigan, Boise State and Wichita State. Lamar has the rare opportunity to claim both the Hootie and the Maxwell in the same season.

The most interesting match-up to watch will be Boise State and Oklahoma. Last winter, BSU stunned the world by rallying late to defeat Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl using such bizarre plays as a hook-and-ladder and the Statue of Liberty play. Just to continuing the jibing, BSU athletics representatives played some fun pranks on Maxwell tournament director Bob Bramlett, an Oklahoma alumnus, when he visited the Idaho campus. “When I got to my golf cart, they had replaced my bag with a B.S.U. bag, head covers and towel” he says laughing with good-natured glee and a fond remembrance. “Actually, that loss has actually brought the two schools together in a really good natured way, one which promotes a great deal of good sportsmanship.”

Don’t think for one minute that the Sooners aren’t itching for a little payback though. BSU will have its hands full as the tournament is held right in the lion’s den. Dornick Hills Country Club, Perry Maxwell’s first course is in his home town of Ardmore, Oklahoma, just a few miles form the Norman campus of O.U. Maxwell’s grave stands sentinel over the course, gracing a high hill overlooking the 7th fairway.

The Fields:

The 2008 Hootie at Bulls Bay – Bulls Bay Golf Club, Awendaw, SC


Central Florida
Augusta State
College of Charleston
Wake Forest
N.C. State
Virginia Tech

South Carolina


The 2008 Maxwell

Oklahoma State
Oklahoma City Univ

Boise State

Wichita State

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