FLORENCE,SC –  This weekend at the Dr. Eddie Floyd Florence Tennis Center almost 30 hopefuls from the Pee Dee area will compete for spots in the upcoming $25,000 McLeod for Health womens’ professional tennis tournament.  Winners in both singles and doubles will receive direct entry into the main draws of the McLeod Open, while the runners-up will get spots in the qualifying draws.

The wildcard field contains top players from area colleges, including Francis Marion University and Charleston Southern University, pros who are not confident that their current rankings will bring them automatic entry into the Open, and highly ranked local amateurs.

Prominent among the amateur players is Florence high school sensation Zoe Cauthen, who is one of South Carolina’s most promising young stars.  Cauthen, a 15 years old sophomore at Florence Christian School, is one of the state’s top-ranked junior players and a four star college recruit.  She will play in the singles and is slated to team up with an experienced pro for the doubles competition.

FMU players scheduled to compete include seniors Samantha Koelliker and Eva Lieber, junior Sofia Henning, sophomores Kristel Kalm, Marie Krueger, Anilu Arraiza, and Anna Wintrich, and freshman Magan Head.  A Florence native, Head played her high school tennis at Trinity Byrnes Collegiate School.

Wildcard matches will begin at 9AM on Saturday, September 17, and the wildcard semis and finals will start at 9AM Sunday, September 18.   The week-long McLeod Open will take place next month, beginning on October 16, and in addition to the wildcard winners and runners-up, will feature top pros from all over the world, including a number of young Americans who are moving up quickly in the pro ranks.

The USTA Pro Circuit is the largest developmental tennis circuit in the world, with some 90 events drawing more than 1,000 men and women from over 70 countries each year.  Virtually all of the best known pros began their careers on the Pro Circuit, and so did some of the sport’s top new players like Americans Sloane Stephens and Christina McHale.

Florence, one of the smallest cities on the circuit, was selected to host the Open because of its world-class courts, its strong volunteer base, and the generosity of its sponsors.  This nine day tournament puts Florence on the world tennis map and generates significant tourism revenues for our community.

McLeod Health will remain the title sponsor for the 2016 McLeod Open and Komen Lowcountry will once again receive the net proceeds—a contribution of over $14,000 in the two years since the tournament became a charity event.

-This is from a Press Release. 

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