STARTING THE SEASON: The Dukes will start the season on Jan. 31-Feb. 1 at the JU Invitational at the PLAYERS Stadium Course in Jacksonville, Fla. JMU will be up against 14 other schools including Old Dominion University, who JMU saw three times in the fall at the Maryland Intercollegiate, VCU Shootout, and Old Dominion/OBX Collegiate. East Carolina, Wake Forest, Mercer, and Liberty have also played with JMU at tournaments during the fall season.
OFF TO WARMER WEATHER: To start off the Spring season, the first three tournaments will be in Florida and South Carolina at the JU Invitational in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., the Barefoot at the Beach Intercollegiate in North Myrtle Beach, S.C., and the Seminole Intercollegiate in Tallahassee, Fla. The season opener at the JU invitational will be played at the PLAYERS Stadium Course, one of the world's most famous golf courses and birthplace of the TPC Network. The course includes the legendary 17th hole and its island green, leaving no room for error on the Par-3 hole.
LIVING LIFE ON THE ROAD: The team will only play one tournament within 200 miles of Harrisonburg during the spring season, the C&F Bank Intercollegiate in Williamsburg, Va., March 21-22. During the fall season, the Dukes travelled a little over 2,600 miles in their five events. The spring season will involve much more travelling as the team journeys roughly 4,300 miles for their six scheduled tournaments. The tournaments are spread out so that not too many of the miles are accounted for all at once giving the team time to rest and focus on the next tournament. Over Spring Break, the team will be travelling to the Barefoot at the Beach Intercollegiate in North Myrtle Beach, S.C. and the Seminole Intercollegiate in Tallahassee, Fla.
THE COACH'S TAKE ON THE SPRING SEASON: Coach Jeff Forbes stated when asked about the upcoming season, "I am excited about the spring season. We had a few unexpected surprises over the break but the team has come together and we should have a very good Spring." The team will begin their tournament play on January 31 which is over a month before they began last year on March 1, 2010. Coach Forbes expands on the season saying "We have a very good schedule this Spring. We start very early this Spring at Jacksonville University being played at TPC Sawgrass and end in April with the CAA Championship being played at Pinehurst #8." Coach Forbes went on to say that the team has had some changes and "Mike Smith is the new team captain and will definitely bring some needed energy to the team."
LAST TIME OUT AS A TEAM: The James Madison University men's golf team ended the fall season coming in eighth out of 18 teams at the ODU-Outer Banks Men's Golf Classic sponsored by Pepsi, Oct. 24-26. The event was three-days with a total of 54 holes (Par 72-6,559 yards) played at the Kilmarlic Golf Club in Powells Point, N.C. Junior Chad Mozingo (Culpeper, Va./Culpeper County) tied for 22nd with 1-over 217 and was the top finisher for the team. The team had two players in the top 30 and four players in the top 40.
SOPHOMORE VINCE HELPS LEAD THE TEAM IN A CLOSE TOURNAMENT: Sophomore Ryan Vince (Charlotte, N.C./Providence), tied for third by shooting a 4-under 212 in the Richmond Intercollegiate for his best individual tournament finish of the fall and the second top-10 finish of his career. Senior Matt Neely (Ashland, Va./Patrick Henry) also finished in the top 10, tying for ninth at 1-under 215. The tournament concluded with four members of the team in the top 30, helping the Dukes clinch the team runner-up placement.
THE WEATHER ADDS A CHALLENGE: While at the Fossum/Spartan tournament in Michigan, the teams could only manage 27 of the 32 holes of the first round due to rain. With the weather cutting the first day short, the Dukes were in sixth place with 21-over 309 but made their way to third by scoring an 11-over 299 in the final 18 holes. Even with the weather, sophomore Rich Leeper (Chapel Hill, N.C./Carrboro) tied for 16th overall scoring a 7-over 151 for his second top-20 career finish.
WHAT THE DUKES WERE UP TO IN THE FALL: During the fall of the 2010-2011 season the James Madison men's golf team played in five tournaments. These tournaments were in East Lansing, Mich., for the Fossum/Spartan Invitational, Cambridge, Md., for the Maryland Intercollegiate, Manakin Sabot, Va. for the VCU Shootout, Richmond, Va. for the Richmond Intercollegiate, and completed the season in Powells Point, N.C., at the ODU/OuterBanks Collegiate Invitational.
HOW DID THEY DO?: During the fall the Dukes placed top ten in three of the tournaments, two of those being top three finshes. The teams top event was at the Richmond Intercollegiate tournament, finishing as runner-up to host Richmond by just four shots and the Fossum/Spartan tournament, where the Dukes placed third overall.
A DIFFERENT LEADER EACH TIME: In the five fall tournaments, the Dukes had a different person finish as the top JMU player in all five events. Sophomore Ryan Vince (Charlotte, N.C./Providence) was the most consistent, finishing in the top two for JMU in three of the four events he played in. Vince also leads the Dukes in scoring average after the fall, posting a 73.5 average in 11 rounds played.
AMONG THE LEADERS: Recently-named captain Mike Smith shows his leadership abilities both on and off the course. While working the players to make sure that they work as a unit, Smith has also done it individually as he is among the JMU leaders in career scoring. In the fall, Smith moved up to No. 2 among players since 1993, averaging 74.76 shots per round in 55 career rounds played.