The Stetson University women’s golf team will be back in action this weekend, making a return to the JU Classic for the first time since the spring of 2010 when the Hatters finished second.
Stetson played in the event the first three times it was held, but did not play in the last three.
Hatters coach Floyd Kerr said he hopes to see his squad build on some of the positives they have had this fall, while putting the negatives behind them.
“We had some good finishes this fall, but in not one tournament do I think we played to our capabilities as a team,” Kerr said. “We continue to be positive, and have that positive energy as a team and, as the year progresses, we hope to see better play. We are very close to being good, and I think we will get there.”
To get to the level the Hatters expect to be at, they will have to be at the top of their game against another quality field. Two of the teams in the field, the host team from Jacksonville as well Daytona State College, have wins over the Hatters this year.
The tournament also includes defending champion Troy as well as Atlantic Sun opponents North Florida and USC Upstate. Others in the field are the College of Charleston, Florida Atlantic, High Points, Seminole State, Winthrop and Wofford.
The tournament will be played at a familiar venue for the Hatters. Marsh Landing Country Club in Ponte Vedra Beach has been a regular stop in recent years for Stetson. The course will play to a par 72 at 5,987 yards.
“The Marsh Landing Club is another of four great venues we have played this fall,” Kerr said. “The course does not play particularly long, but definitely is a shot makers golf course. As always, hitting the fairways and greens will be paramount.”
Stetson will take six players to the tournament. Seniors Mallory Viera, Ryan Ashburn and Jenna Hoecker will be joined by freshmen Giulia Vandenberg and Alessandra Kutz while senior Claudia Redinger will play as an individual.
Kerr said he expects the College of Charleston to be the favorite in the tournament, but several of the other teams could challenge.
“If we play well, we certainly can compete with any of those teams,” Kerr said. “Once again, we will play two different people than we played in the Xavier Tournament. I am still looking for someone to step up and be a consistently good performer.”
The Tournament will open on Monday with 36 holes of play, followed by a final 18 holes on Tuesday.
Live scoring will not be available for the tournament.