AIKEN — The 38th annual Southern Cross Invitational is once again packed with the top teams and best players from South Carolina.
The top eight junior players from the Palmetto State are entered this year, including the past two individual champions: Pelion’s Cody Proveaux and Chapin’s William Starke.
Starke and Chapin hope to defend their individual and team titles from 2011 when play begins today in the 36-hole event, but they will face stiff competition.
North Augusta’s Matt NeSmith is coming off a tie for second in last weekend’s Junior Invitational at Sage Valley, and Proveaux held the first-round lead at Sage Valley before winding up ninth.
“It’s one of those tournaments you’ve got to keep the ball in play,” Proveaux said of the Southern Cross. “Palmetto’s a tight course, and it’s a tough course at times. I just want to go out there and play my best.”
Proveaux said he and his Pelion teammates are on a hot streak.
“We’re doing good,” he said. “We started 0-3 and then we won 13 (matches) in a row and we’re doing really good right now.”
Palmetto Golf Club is the host course, and even though it is short by modern standards at well under 7,000 yards, organizers expect it to be a challenge for the players.
“The golf course is in fantastic shape. I think it will be a real good test for the players,” said Joe Spencer, publicity chairman for the tournament. “We get so many comments from coaches that this is their favorite event to come to. We look back at winners we’ve had in past and many go on to college and some go on to the pros.”
The Southern Cross format is unique in that it counts the three best out of four scores. Most high school and college tournaments count four out of five.
Twenty-four teams, including Aiken, South Aiken and North Augusta, and seven golfers playing as individuals are scheduled to compete.
TODAY’S TEE TIMES
7:30 a.m.–A.C. Flora: Chase Fisher, Christ School: McKay Tye, Dorman: David Lewitt
7:40–A.C. Flora: Jennings Huntley, Christ School: Cory Sciupider, Dorman: Hunter Steinberg
7:50–A.C. Flora: Will Marter, Christ School: Jeff Krieger, Dorman: Davis West
8–A.C. Flora: Wick Andrews, Christ School: Rhyne Jones, Dorman: Blake Kennedy
8:10–Dutch Fork: Dale Rabune, Easley: Ryan Lamb, Eastside: Cory Thompson
8:20–Dutch Fork: Alex Ames, Easley: Adam Garrett, Eastside: Matt Daniel
8:30–Dutch Fork: Will Mason, Easley: Trevor Phillips, Eastside: Jack Alexander
8:40–Dutch Fork: Austin Brown, Easley: Trace Crone, Eastside: Chandler Ayers
9–Emerald: Weston Sanders, Fort Dorchester: Bryan Fitch, Greenwood: Teague Holaus
9:10–Emerald: Jimmy Self, Fort Dorchester: R.J. Keur, Greenwood: Ryan Young
9:20–Emerald: Logan Kennedy, Fort Dorchester: Thomas Ellenburg, Greenwood: Chris Clegg
9:30–Emerald: Coleman Self, Fort Dorchester: Grant Waggoner, Greenwood: Mason Piontek
9:40–Gaffney: Josh Rhyne, Greenville: Winn Taylor, J.L. Mann: Jay Davis
9:50–Gaffney: EJ Blanton, Greenville: Keenan Huskey, J.L. Mann: Michael Kirkland
10–Gaffney: Cabrick Waters, Greenville: Rob Knight, J.L. Mann: Steven Reid
10:10–Gaffney: Trey Taylor, Greenville: Julian Taylor, J.L. Mann: Brad Tedstone
10:20–Aiken: Hayne Floyd, Lexington: Wyman King, Oak Brook: Will Hollenbach
10:30–Aiken: Alex Skiff, Lexington: Scotty Koon, Oak Brook: Jake Woodard
10:40–Aiken: Spencer Skiff, Lexington: Austin Bowers, Oak Brook: Matt Thorne
10:50–Aiken: Jay Jasmin, Lexington: Nic Nicholson, Oak Brook: Will Woodard
11:10–Riverside: Nathan Banks, T.L. Hanna: Sloane Hart, Wren: Grayson Bell
11:20–Riverside: Will Strickland, T.L. Hanna: Nick Dorton, Wren: Parker Mills
11:30–Riverside: Preston Cole, T.L. Hanna: Bernie McShane, Wren: Weston Bell
11:40–Riverside: Jonathon Hardee, T.L. Hanna: DJ Foust, Wren: Chandler Pearson
11:50–North Augusta: Matt Molton, Pendleton: LD Coker, South Aiken: Austin Smith
Noon–North Augusta: Chase Marzullo, Pendleton: Trevor Rochester, South Aiken: Alex Handy
12:10 p.m.–North Augusta: Christian Manley, Pendleton: Austin Langdale, South Aiken: Ryan Carpenter
12:20–North Augusta: Matt NeSmith, Pendleton: Carson Young, South Aiken: Hayden Ploeger
12:30–Blythewood: Jonathan Lamkin, Chapin: Sullivan Byrd, Pelion: Weston Sharpe
12:40–Blythewood: Ben Jansen, Chapin: Griff Doolittle, Pelion: Philip Schumpert
12:50–Blythewood: Bryce Howell, Chapin: Matthew Meetze, Pelion: Caleb Proveaux
1–Blythewood: Josh Lorenzetti,Chapin: Will Starke, Pelion: Cody Proveaux
1:10–Wando: Christian Sease, Hartsville: Drake Cassidy, Williston-Elko: John Melton
1:20–Bluffton: Wesley Long, Central: Ben Miller, Central: Austin Terry, Richmond Academy: Carson Spears