Two of Charleston's best-known golfers will serve as co-chairs of the 2019 U.S. Women's Open to be played at the Country Club of Charleston.
Darius Rucker, a Grammy Award winner and member of the Country Club of Charleston, and Beth Daniel, a World Golf Hall of Fame member who learned the game at the vintage Seth Raynor-designed course, will be co-chairs for the tournament May 30-June 2.
The U.S. Golf Association made the announcement Tuesday.
"I don't think people are aware of how much Darius has done for golf in the state of South Carolina," Daniel said of her co-chair, who is a single-digit handicap golfer.
Rucker is a founding member of the band Hootie and the Blowfish, whose Monday After the Masters golf tournament has raised just under $2 million for the S.C. Junior Golf Foundation. Rucker also sponsors the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate women's golf tournament on Hilton Head Island and the band sponsors the Hootie at Bulls Bay men's college golf tournament.
"I'm so happy for South Carolina. To bring the Women's Open here is amazing. I think it's great for the city. I think it's going to be great for golf," Rucker said, adding that he gets chills thinking about the event. "I was laughing with my manager and told him not to book me for anything that week. I said if you book me somebody else is going to be singing. This will be incredible."
Daniel, a two-time winner of the U.S. Women's Amateur and a two-time runner-up in the Women's Open, said the 2013 U.S. Women's Amateur played at the Country Club of Charleston was "a big deal, but this is the Women's Amateur on steroids."
"It will be on international television and will bring in international fans, families and players. It's going to be during Spoleto so the town is going to be pretty crowded. There will be lots to do," said Daniel, who added that she already has advised friends to make their restaurant reservations.
"People who don't know about Charleston, or about the Country Club of Charleston, will learn about it. People are going to be able to experience what Charleston is all about and will carry that experience back home with them."
Daniel said players already have questioned her about the Country Club of Charleston, particularly the club's signature par-3 11th hole, which plays from an elevated tee to an elevated green.
"My advice to them on No. 11 is, if you are in the lead or close to the lead, I would consider laying up because that way you know the worst you will make is a 4, a bogey, but not a big number and blow yourself out of the tournament," she said. "Their reaction every time is: 'Seriously? Lay up on a par-3?'"
Rucker said he's looking forward to seeing the course once it is set up for the tournament.
"I'm excited about seeing what the USGA is going to do to this course," Rucker said. "It's in such great shape now, when they get it in shape for the Women's Open and still let (members) play, I'm going to be out there. I can't wait."