Six Newcomers For 2018-2019 Season
Charleston Southern’s 2018-19 roster features a mix of three returners and six newcomers.
Elliot Gothe, a junior from Sweden, emerged as one of CSU’s most consistent players last season. He was named Big South Golfer of the Week on April 12 after posting a career-best 6th-place finish at the Wofford Invitational.
Connor Moore earned a spot on the All-Big South Freshman Team after enrolling early last spring. The Bluffton native enjoyed an excellent summer on the South Carolina Amateur circuit.
Derrick Villarreal, a senior from Wisconsin, is the Bucs’ veteran, as he enters his fourth year in the program.
Chris Finnie and Brandon Smith come to CSU from Odessa College, whom they helped to the junior college national championship in 2017.
Johnny Komara and Parker Jones also arrive together from Calhoun Community College in Huntsville, Alabama.
Brandon McBride comes to CSU from May River H.S. in Bluffton, SC, while Alan Smith arrives on campus after spending four years at prestigious Hilton Head Prep.
Brandon Smith Takes Low Am at Arizona Open
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Just one day before stepping on campus for the fall semester, Charleston Southern men's golfer Brandon Smith achieved low amateur status at The Arizona Open Championship. Smith, a junior entering his first season at CSU, tied for seventh overall in a 156-competitior field featuring several former PGA Tour pros and numerous top college players from Power Five conference programs.
Smith completed the 54-hole championship at -4 thanks to a four-under 66 in the final round at Troon Country Club. Australian Jake Younan captured medalist honors with a composite score of -12. Kirk Triplett, who currently ranks 16th on the Champions Tour money list, tied for fourth.
Smith's showing was especially impressive considering it was his first tournament competing against professionals.
"I was pretty happy with how I played, even though I didn't get a practice round in," Smith said. "After the first round, I got in a groove, figured out what my game plan was going to be and executed it pretty well."
Smith hails from Las Vegas and is one of six newcomers on the Bucs' 2018-19 roster. He enjoyed a decorated two-year career at Odessa in West Texas, helping the school finish fourth at last spring's NJCAA Division I Men's Golf Championship. Smith placed fourth as an individual.
"I had a good experience at Odessa and now I'm excited to get to Charleston and start playing Division I golf for (CSU head coach) Jason Payne," Smith said. "From the very beginning of the recruiting process, he showed a very big interest in getting me down there. It seems like he really cares about his players and I'm excited to be part of the program."
Connor Moore Ties for 7th at South Carolina Amateur
Connor Moore turned in a terrific summer of golf heading into his sophomore season at Charleston Southern. Moore placed second at the Hilton Head Amateur and the Hilton Head Open, achieving low amateur status in the latter event. The Bluffton product added another top-ten finish and a 12th-place showing at the South Carolina Open as part of a busy summer tournament slate.
“As a golfer, I’m not really sure I’d be in the position to succeed without last year’s experience” said Moore, who enrolled a semester early last spring. “I think my game needed to go through that little bit of a learning curve that the spring provided. With all the new guys we have, I’m excited about the season and think we can set some lofty goals and work hard to achieve them.”
CSU head coach Jason Payne is excited to see Moore’s game continue to grow.
“Connor coming in early in January and getting a spring season of experience under his belt was huge,” Payne said. “He should be a top performer for us this year and there’s no doubt he’s going to have a great career as a Buccaneer.”
Brooks Moore, a member of the first golf team at Charleston Southern, was a student here before the school had a campus to call home. Moore, who attended high school in Florence, S.C., arrived at Baptist College of Charleston in the fall of 1965. The school was beginning its first full academic year and utilizing North Charleston's First Baptist Church for classes and downtown Charleston's St. John Hotel (now The Mills House) for boarding. A $500 golf scholarship led Moore to Charleston and he is ever-grateful for it.
Moore is the longest-tenured member of the Buc Club and has served as its president, vice president and treasurer. He's a fixture, and a vocal one, at CSU games across multiple sports. To call Moore (BCC Class of 1969) a proud CSU alum and supporter is an understatement.
Brooks Moore likes a good story, and has plenty of them. Here’s three of Brooks’ favorite memories from his time teeing it up as a Buc.
1. Beating College of Charleston in 1965 for the team’s first victory: “That was big for us, as a bunch of freshmen playing more experienced guys. My brother made about a 15-foot putt on the last hole that won it for us.”
2. Teammate Frank Sullivan led the prestigious Azalea Open through two rounds: “He was a really good player and that was really good for the college ‘cause we were a brand new school and the Azalea was a big tournament.”
3. Camaraderie – “The camaraderie that we had was special. We just kind of all stuck together and were really close.”
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