CAVALIER CLASSIC: The James Madison men's golf team will have their closest tournament of the season Saturday, April 30 when they participate in the Cavalier Classic. It will be a two-round, 36-hole tournament played at the Birdwood Golf Course (Par 72/6,875 yards) in Charlottesville, Va., hosted by the University of Virginia. This is the 24th-annual Cavalier Classic, with eight teams competing as well as individual competitors from other universities. The host Cavaliers won the tournament last year and the Dukes came in eighth out of the 11-team field and fourth out of 18 teams in 2009. Chris Wellde has competed in the tournament twice and Rich Leeper, Mike Smith, and Chad Mozingo all competed last season for the first time.
CAA CHAMPIONSHIP: This year at the CAA Championship, the James Madison men's golf team placed fourth out of the 11 teams. The Dukes finished the tournament with rounds of 296-308-298 for a total of 38-over 902. The 2011 CAA Golf Championship, held April 22-24 in Pinehurst, N.C., was played on the Pinehurst #8 course (Par 72/7,092 yards).
UNFORESEEN ISSUE: Competing with five players allows the teams to use the lowest four for the team score. After the first round, the Dukes were down to four players when Chad Mozingo had a re-occurrence of his shoulder injury from the Rutherford Intercollegiate. With four players, the Dukes were unable to drop their highest individual rounds for the second and third round.
COACHES REACTION: "The guys played well this week but we ran into some bad luck the second and third day with Chad's injury," Head Coach Jeff Forbes said. "I thought the team battled really well considering we were only playing with four. I am excited about next season, with everyone from this lineup returning. I think we will have a good shot at winning the CAA title next year."
HOW THEY DID: The Dukes fought valiantly as they played with only four players after first round tournament co-leader junior Chad Mozingo had to withdraw in the second round due to a recurring shoulder injury from the Penn State tournament. Madison stepped up in the final round and posted a 10-over 298 for a 38-over 902 score. Sophomore Ryan Vince led the Dukes as he tied for seventh after a 2-over 74 in the final round put him at 5-over 221 for the tournament. Junior Mike Smith moved up to a tie for 11th after his third-straight 3-over 75 put him at 9-over 225. Junior Chris Wellde shot a 4-over 76 to place 24th at 14-over 230. Sophomore Rich Leeper cut 10 shots off his second round score and had the best final round for JMU with a 1-over 73 to tie for 30th at 17-over 233. Opening-round co-leader Josh Brock of UNC Wilmington shot his second consecutive 1-under 71 to take home medalist honors at 2-under 214, three shots ahead of Rocky Khara of VCU as the runner-up at 1-over 217.
THIS YEAR AT THE RUTHERFORD: The Dukes moved up one spot in the final round of the 2011 Rutherford Intercollegiate to finish in a tie for seventh. The Dukes fired the team's best round of the tournament in the final 18, shooting a 14-over 298 to finish at 56-over 908 (306-304-298) with Loyola (Md.) and CAA-foe George Mason. Penn State won the tournament for the 22nd time in the 35-year history of the tournament, finishing at 28-over 880.
COACHES TAKE: "It was a difficult start for us. It rained very hard the first day and we put ourselves in a hole we couldn't get out of," Head Coach Jeff Forbes said about the tournament. "Ryan, Chad and Rich played very well considering the set up and the conditions." When asked about the CAA Championship coming up Head Coach Forbes said, "I think playing at Penn State will help the guys prepare for Pinehurst #8. Both course are long and have difficult greens. Hopefully, Pinehurst will be a little dryer and warmer."
INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCES: Sophomore Ryan Vince led the team, finishing third after firing a 1-under 70 on the final round to finish at 5-over 218. His 54-hole total ties for the fourth-best effort on the season for the Dukes and was his third top-three finish this season. Junior Chad Mozingo tied for sixth, posting a 3-over 74 on the last 18 for a total of 8-over 221. Junior Mike Smith finished in a tie for 45th after shooting a final round 6-over 77 for a total of 19-over 232. Rounding out the team score, junior Chris Wellde and redshirt-sophomore Garrett Whitmore tied for 70th with final scores of 28-over 241 with final rounds of 8-over 79 and 6-over 77, respectively. Playing as an individual, sophomore Rich Leeper tied for 10th after shooting a 3-over 74 in each of the three rounds for a 9-over 222 total.
LEADING THE TEAM: During the spring season, the Dukes have shared the top spot between two players. Sophomore Ryan Vince and junior Chad Mozingo have each been the top performer, Vince four times and Mozingo twice of the six tournaments this spring. Mozingo led the team at both the JU Invitational and the Barefoot at the Beach Intercollegiate. A few days later, Vince paced the Dukes during the Seminole Intercollegiate as the team top performer for the team and completed the C&F Bank Intercollegiate as the medalist, firing 3-under 141. Vince received his third top-three placement at the Rutherford Intercollegiate coming in third at 5-over 218. Mozingo had his career-best round during the Barefoot at the Beach Intercollegiate firing a 3-under 69. That 69 ties for third best for the Dukes this season, giving him two of the best 10 player rounds on the year. Vince added his fifth round to the best 10 rounds with 2-under 70 in the C&F Intercollegiate and has a season-low round of 3-under 69 at the Richmond Intercollegiate in the fall. His 54-hole total during the Rutherford Intercollegiate ties for the fourth-best effort on the season for the Dukes and was his third top-three finish this season. Vince led the Dukes at the CAA Championship as he tied for seventh after a 2-over 74 in the final round put him at 5-over 221 for the tournament.
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: Juniors Chad Mozingo, Mike Smith, Chris Wellde and sophomore Ryan Vince are all currently ranked in the top-10 of JMU's career average list. Mozingo is ranked sixth with an average of 74.98 after 48 career rounds. Smith averages 75.15 in 72 career rounds, currently seventh among the top-10 players. Wellde's 75.29 average in 62 career rounds played ranks ninth among players since 1993-94. In order to qualify for the career list, the player must have played a minimum of 45 rounds. Vince became eligible after the CAA Championship, where he reached the minimum of 45 career rounds played. Vince is currently ranked second of the top-10 career averages with an average of 73.91.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE SEASON: The C&F Bank Intercollegiate was the Dukes' best finish in a competition this year, winning the tournament with 4-under 572. The squad managed to have both rounds place in the team's 10-best low rounds of the year. The first round of 7-under 281 gave the squad its second-lowest round of the year and the second round at 3-over 291 tied for the sixth-best round of the year. The team contributed to their best 10 rounds with one from the Barefoot at the Beach Intercollegiate registering 283 in the third round, one from the Seminole Intercollegiate with 286. Out of the five players at the C&F Bank Intercollegiate, four were in the top-20 with three of those being in the top five, including the medalist.
Three of the players also contributed to Madison's low individual rounds this year. Chris Wellde tied the best round with a 5-under 67 and Ryan Vince and Mike Smith tied with the fourth-best rounds at 2-under 70.
Redshirt sophomore Garrett Whitmore had his career-best round, firing a 2-under 70, along with career-best placement, tying for 26th at the Barefoot at the Beach Intercollegiate.
Vince is currently leading the team on the season with a 73.64 average. He also was a medalist, along with having three top-five and four top-10 finishes. Chad Mozingo is also contributing a top-10 single season average at 74.04.
TEAM RECORD: The Dukes have a season average of 297.0 giving them the third best season average in school history. The top two season averages are 293.89 from the 2008-09 season and 296.68 from the 2003-04 season.