2018 Darius Rucker Intercollegiate Recap
The 7th Annual Darius Rucker Intercollegiate was held March 2-4, 2018 at Long Cove Club in Hilton Head, South Carolina.
The Alabama Crimson Tide (866,) currently the third ranked team in the nation, finished with the team lead, shooting +14 on the weekend en route to taking the tournament crown for the third straight year. Rounding out the top three, the Arkansas Razorbacks ended the event at +22 (874,) while the Demon Deacons of Wake Forest finished third at +26 (878.)
Less than ideal weather was a factor throughout the weekend, adding another level of difficulty to an already challenging course. With all competitors in the clubhouse, only three would see individual scores of par or better.
The individual low score of the weekend belongs to Maria Fass. The impressive Junior from the University of Arkansas ended at 210, -3, followed closely by Alabama’s Lauren Stephenson (212) at -1 and Wake Forest’s Emilia Migliaccio at even par.
The tournament, a collaboration between Hootie & the Blowfish singer/solo artist Darius Rucker (an alumnus of USC,) the University of South Carolina and the Long Cove Club, is the brainchild of Puggy Blackmon, USC’s Director of Golf, and Bob Patton, Long Cove’s head professional. Noted for the red carpet atmosphere, including housing participants in local homes rather than hotels, begins each year with a Thursday night concert exclusively for Long Cove members/residents, players, coaches, and event sponsors. Rucker also presents the winning school of each year’s tournament with a $5,000 donation.
Rucker is a noted supporter of collegiate golf. Along with his bandmates, he also lends his name to the Hootie at Bulls Bay intercollegiate, a men’s college tournament, as well as the Hootie and the Blowfish Monday After The Masters Celebrity Pro-Am Golf Tournament, which has donated over $4.5 million to the band’s foundation to support the S.C. Junior Golf Foundation.
“When we contacted Long Cove, which has one of the best golf courses in the country, they said ‘Yes, we would love to host,’ and for us it was a no-brainer, so we ran with it,” Rucker commented to Hilton Head’s LocalLifeSC.com. “It’s amazing to me how big it’s gotten. When I go around the country, everyone asks me, ‘Can I come?’” It’s becoming one of the top golf tournaments in the country. A lot of people talk about how much they love the concert. How many tournaments do they go to where they can see a concert? I think I’ve turned so many lady golfers into country fans.”