Orange Park, Fla. - The Stetson women's golf team shot 15 over par 303 in the first round of the James Madison University Eagle Landing Invitational on Friday at Eagle Landing Golf Club, good for second place in the 18-team field. Freshman Mallory Viera (Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla.) had a strong day herself, shooting one under par 71 to sit in second place individually and just one stroke off the lead.
Viera's 71 leaves her tied with UNC Greensboro's Courtney Taylor, just one shot behind FGCU's Briana Carlson in the medalist race. Sophomore Alexandria Buelow (Palm City, Fla.) is not far behind at two over par 74; she is tied for 10th place in the 99-golfer field. Freshman Jenna Hoecker (Rochester, N.Y.) fired a 78 and junior Lauren Cate (St. Augustine, Fla.) added an 80 for Stetson's final two counting scores. Senior Alex Banham (Peterborough, England) came in with an 85.
The Hatters brought two other golfers to the JMU Eagle Landing Invitational; competing as individuals, freshman Ryan Ashburn (Largo, Fla.) shot 81 and freshman Claudia Redinger (Durban, South Africa) carded a 90 in her collegiate debut.
Nationally 34th-ranked Chattanooga leads the field at eight over par, seven strokes ahead of the second place Hatters (+15), who can gain key points in the GolfStat and GolfWeek rankings with a strong showing in this large and deep field. East Carolina is in third place just one behind Stetson at 16 over par with Maryland (+17), FGCU (+17), UNC Greensboro (+18), Miami [Fla.] (+18), USF (+20), Illinois (+21) and host James Madison (+21) hot on Hatter heels as well. Also competing this week are Campbell (+23), Kennesaw State (+24), Illinois State (+24), Central Arkansas (+24), Elon (+27), Longwood (+28), Georgetown (+29) and Jacksonville (+33).
The tournament continues tomorrow with the second round and concludes on Sunday. Live scoring for the tournament can be found here: http://www.golfstatresults.com/public/leaderboards/team/static/team_players_2469.html