Defending champion USC heads field for Hootie at Bulls Bay

Team champion South Carolina and individual winner Matt NeSmith of the Gamecocks headline the 15-team field that will be competing in the 12th annual Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate Golf Tournament that begins Sunday.

The Gamecocks earned an 11-shot victory over runner-up New Mexico last year while NeSmith, now a senior, beat Coastal Carolina’s Andrew Dorn and New Mexico’s Gavin Green in a playoff after the trio tied at 11-under 205.

The College of Charleston, which tied for fifth in 2015, also will be competing along with Charleston Southern and Wofford. Other teams participating include Akron, Auburn, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, N.C. State, Troy, Wake Forest and Wisconsin.

Sunday tee times are 10 a.m.-noon, Monday’s are 9-11 a.m. and Tuesday’s final round will have golfers starting between 8-10 a.m.

Wofford junior Andrew Novak was named the Southern Conference men’s golf of the week for March 23-29, the second time he has earned that honor. The Mount Pleasant native and Academic Magnet graduate finished second individually in the Furman Intercollegiate, shooting 10-under 206. It was Novak’s fifth top-five finish this season and his second-best career mark in relation to par. Novak has the SoCon’s best stroke average at 70.50.

Paul Mullette scored a double eagle on March 23 at Crowfield Golf Club’s 11th hole. Playing from the senior tees, Mullette used a wedge on his second shot from 121 yards on the 398-yard hole. Witnesses were Ted Billman, Bob Koscianski and John Bellew.

Brian Kirhoffer shot 77 and beat John Ashmore by two shots in the Championship Flight of the Charleston Golfweek Amateur Tour event played at the Links at Stono Ferry. Mark Ducker shot 77 and won A Flight. Randy Tame shot 82 and won B Flight. Jason Courtney made a hole-in-one on No. 11 and won C Flight.

Clemson graduate student golfer Stephen Behr of Florence is one of five finalists for the Byron Nelson Award that goes to a graduating senior for excellence in academics, golf, character and integrity. Behr, a four-year starter, graduated last year with a 3.91 GPA in finance. Other finalists are Alex Burge and Charlie Danielson of Illinois, Jordan Niebrugge of Oklahoma State and Chris O’Neill of Michigan.

April 15: Trident Health Golf Tournament, Crowfield Golf Club, contact Jim Parker at 843-452-5861 or email jparker98@comcast.net.

April 18-19, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Carolina Youth Development Center 16th annual golf tournament, Bulls Bay Golf Club, contact Gordon Robertson at 843-266-5218, grobertson@cydc.org or visit cydc.org.

April 25: Barrier Islands Free Medical Clinic ninth annual Celebrity Golf Invitational, Cassique-Kiawah Island Club, $500 per player, visit bifmc.org.

April 27: Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach 23rd Annual Benefit Golf Tournament, The Golf Club at Briar’s Creek, $375 per player, email jennifer.meshanko@olmoutreach.orgor visit www.olmoutreach.org.

April 30: Berkeley, Summerville and James Island high schools Alumni (30 and older) Golf Tournament, Charleston Municipal Golf Course, email info@berkeleycc.com.

May 16: Charleston Symphony Orchestra League Swing for the Symphony 2016, Cassique-Kiawah Island Club, $400 per player, $1,600 per foursome, visit csolinc.org or call 843-559-7802.

May 16: Sea Island Habitat for Humanity golf benefit, Ocean Course-Kiawah Island Golf Resort, $475 per player, call 843-768-0998 ext. 112 or register online at seaislandhabitat.org.

May 16: East Cooper Habitat for Humanity golf tournament, Snee Farm Country Club, $150 per player or $500 per team, call (843) 881-2600.

May 16: The Ohio State University Alumni Club of Charleston golf tournament to raise money for scholarships for Lowcountry students, Crowfield Golf Club, $300 per team, contact Bob Kinney at 843-818-8674 or Barry Thomas at 843-729-6469.

May 19: 7th Annual Kiwanis Golf Tournament sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Moncks Corner, Berkeley Country Club, e forms available at kiwanisinmonckscorner.org or contact lsmith00jls@gmail.com

May 27-29: 43rd annual Chick Miler Invitational Summerville Country Club, call 843-873-2210 ext. 221.

June 25-26: Summerville Country Club Father/Son-Daughter tournament, call 843-873-2210 ext. 221.

SATURDAY, MARCH 12

Bob Young, Charleston Municipal Golf Course, No. 14, 125 yards, 8-iron. Witnesses: Michael Young, Melvin Williams.

SATURDAY, MARCH 26

Gene Kizer, Charleston Municipal Golf Course, No. 8, 126 yards, 7-hybrid. Witnesses: Jim Lamm, Larry Polutta, James Lloyd.

Jeff Taylor, Dunes West Golf Club, No. 12, 156 yards, 7-iron. Witnesses: Barry Timinson, Justin Sweat, Arnold Andrews.

Thursday, March 31

John Tallman, Crooked Oaks-Seabrook Island Club, No. 9, 155 yards, 7-iron. Witnesses: Sam Miller, Chris Hix, Dennis McDonald.

A hole-in-one should be reported by the golf course. Please email aces to braswellsports@hotmail.com and to sportsdesk@postandcourier.com.