The Stetson University women’s golf team will return to action this weekend when they compete in the 2014 JMU/Eagle Landing Invitational, hosted by James Madison University.
The event will feature 16 teams and will be played at the Eagle Landing Golf Club in Orange Park. The event will feature single rounds starting on Friday, March 14, and concluding on Sunday, March 16. Live scoring for the event will be available through Golfstat.com.
“This is a very competitive field,” Hatters coach Floyd Kerr said. “Once again we could finish anywhere from first to 15th because it is a very balanced field. If we play solid we should be able to challenge for one of the top spots.”
The Hatters come into the tournament ranked 109th in the latest GolfStat.com collegiate rankings. Only Georgia State (64), Morehead State (96), Western Carolina (99) and Samford (100) are ranked higher than Stetson.
“I look for a much improved Morehead State team, along with Georgia State, as two of the stronger teams,” Kerr said. “You can also throw Daytona State into the mix as they have two really strong players. Elon and Western Carolina will both very competitive as well.”
Morehead State’s Anna Appert Lund is the only player in the field ranked in the top 100 in the nation. The sophomore comes into the event with a 72.93 stroke average for the year and is tied for 56th nationally.
For the Hatters, the lineup continues to be in flux as the season heads into the home stretch. Freshman Alessandra Kutz leads the team in scoring average at 75.53, but has struggled lately and did not qualify for this event.
“Our lineup continues to change from tournament to tournament,” Kerr said. “Right now Ryan Ashburn is playing solid and will play number one for us in the tournament. I think everyone else in our lineup is hitting the ball well and hopefully we will see good play from everyone.”
Ashburn, one of four seniors who will play this weekend, had the low score for the Hatters in their last event, finishing tied for 16th at the JU Amelia Island Collegiate.
“As we approach Atlantic Sun Tournament time, I am still undecided and the next three tournaments will be instrumental to each player as they via for spots in the conference championship,” Kerr said.
The Hatters finished 11th last year at this event, finishing the tournament with a score of 920. Stetson’s low round was a 302 in the opening round and it was Ashburn who led the way, finishing tied for 13th with a six over par score of 222.
“Eagle Landing is a very solid golf course with no really easy holes,” Kerr said. “The 17th hole is one of the more demanding holes in the state and, if the wind blows, which it usually does, the course really becomes a tough challenge. To shoot a team score of less than 300 is a feat on this course.”
Other teams scheduled to play in the tournament include the host team from James Madison (132), Delaware (122), Elon (117), Florida Gulf Coast (146), Georgetown (154), Richmond (227), Southern Illinois (159), Stephen F. Austin (166), North Carolina-Greensboro (198) and Wofford (137).
The Hatters will be paired with the teams from Delaware and Wofford on the opening day of competition, with tee times set to begin from the first tee at 9:30 a.m.