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Tusculum hosts 20th Agnes McAmis Memorial this week

Tusculum hosts 20th Agnes McAmis Memorial this week

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- Tusculum will host the 20th annual Agnes McAmis Memorial Women's Golf Invitational this Monday and Tuesday at Link Hills Country Club.

This year's tournament field consists of teams and players representing 15 institutions from three different states including Tennessee, North Carolina and South Carolina.  Ten schools represented will be competing at next week's South Atlantic Conference Championship, which will be hosted by Tusculum and Link Hills on Apr. 9-11.

This year's McAmis Memorial will be the final regular season home tournament for Tusculum coach Bob Dibble, who will be retiring in May.  Coach Dibble has coached the men's team for the past 28 seasons and started the women's program 20 years ago.  Dibble is the founder of the McAmis Memorial Tournament, which has evolved into one of the best NCAA Division II women's tournaments in the Southeast Region.

Joining Tusculum at this year's McAmis Memorial are fellow SAC members Anderson University, Catawba College, Coker College, Lenoir-Rhyne University, Lincoln Memorial University, Mars Hill University, Newberry College, Queens University of Charlotte and Wingate University.

The field also includes NCAA Division II squads Belmont Abbey College, King University, North Greenville University and Pfeiffer University, while Spartanburg Methodist College rounds out the 15-team field.

Tusculum has won their spring home tournament five times (1998, 1999, 2000, 2012, 2013).  Belmont Abbey is a three-time McAmis Memorial champion (2008, 2009, 2011), Lincoln Memorial won the 2001 event, Lenoir-Rhyne was the 2002 champion and Newberry is the defending champion, rallying from a 10-shot deficit to win by one shot in 2016.

Leading the Pioneers is junior Ciara Rattana, who is currently third in the league with her 76.50 scoring average.  She has posted seven top-20 performances this season, including six times in the top-10 and five times in the top-five.  Her stroke average is currently on pace to be a new Tusculum single-season record.  She has posted scores in the 70s in 15 of her 18 rounds this year.

The two-time All-Conference first team choice finished runner-up at the Patsy Rendleman Invitational as well as the Flagler Fall Slam.  Rattana carded a career-best 70 (-2) at the Flagler Fall Slam which is tied for the third lowest 18-hole score in TC history.  Her 77.87 career stroke average is the second lowest in the 20-year history of the program.  Her best finish at the McAmis came last year when she tied for seventh place.

Sophomore Katie Tomassoni is second on the team with her 77.83 scoring average, which is tied for sixth in the league and is currently the fifth lowest in TC history.  Tomassoni has played in all nine events this year where she has finished in the top-20 on six occasions, with four top-10 performances, including three times in the top-five.

Tomassoni opened year second TC campaign by sinking a 30-foot birdie putt on the final hole to win the Etowah Intercollegiate.  She followed that with a runner-up performance at the Tusculum Fall Classic, where she posted 71-73=144 (E) for the second-lowest 36-hole total in program history.  In her last tournament, she finished second at the Wingate Intercollegiate Challenge where she lost on the first playoff hole.

Tomassoni, a 2016 All-SAC honorable mention choice, has a career average of 79.04, which is third-best in the Tusculum record book and tied for seventh at last year's McAmis Memorial.

Senior Taylor Lambertsen will be playing in her fourth and final McAmis Memorial.  She is third on the team with her 81.17 scoring average and has accounted for a pair of top-20 showings including her 11th place finish at the Etowah Intercollegiate last fall.  She has carded five rounds in the 70s, including a season-best 76 at the Barton Invitational at Kiawah.

Lambertsen's 83.22 career average is currently ninth in Tusculum history, playing in 76.5 career rounds, which are tied for eighth most by a Pioneer.

Sophomore Cydney Murrell is fourth on the team with her 81.22 scoring average as she has qualified to play in all nine tournaments this year.  Murrell has finished in the top-20 on three occasions, including back-to-back fourth place performances at the Etowah Intercollegiate and the Tusculum Fall Classic.  She carded a one-under par 71 in the final round of the Tusculum Fall Classic last September as she finished with a career-low 150.  Her 81.49 career average is sixth in the TC record book and will look to improve upon last year's 23rd place finish at the McAmis.

Taylor White has been having an outstanding sophomore campaign where he has accounted for a pair of top-10 performances and an 82.66 scoring average which is fifth on the team.  White opened the year with a seventh-place finish at the Etowah Intercollegiate and tied for sixth at the Tusculum Fall Classic with a season-low 76-75=151.  Her 83.18 scoring average is the eighth-best in Tusculum history.

Senior Lindsay Butler will also be playing in her final McAmis Memorial this week.  Butler has played in two events this season as she finished 29th at the Tusculum Fall Classic and 47th at last month's Wingate Intercollegiate Challenge.

Also competing for the Pioneers this week are sophomores Kelsey Haun (86.17), Sayre Hopper (91.0) and Trista Holder (93.0) as well as freshman Maggienella Basile (86.17).

The opening round starts Monday morning at 9 a.m. on the 5,910-yard, par 72 layout. Admission to the two-day, 36-hole tournament is free and open to the public.

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