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Merch Madness
Courtesy:JMUSports.com Release:02/20/2011
Courtesy: JMUSports.com
KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. - Senior Mary Chamberlain (Dennis, Mass./Suffield Academy) shot a career-best 3-under 69 to tie for the individual tournament lead and help the James Madison women's golf team into a tie for first after the opening round Sunday at the Kiawah Island Classic, Feb. 20. The three-day, 54-hole event, hosted by College of Charleston, is being played from February 20-22 at the Cougar Point and Oak Point Golf Courses in Kiawah Island, S.C.

JMU's score of 8-over 296 tied the team with Miami for the first round lead, one shot ahead of Western Carolina in third. Florida International was next at 10-over 298, with Campbell rounding out the top five teams at 11-over 299. All of the top 16 teams played their opening round on the Cougar Point course on Sunday, as the tournament field of 33 teams is split between the two courses for the first two days.

Despite strong wind Sunday, all five Dukes that played were able to finish with scores of 4-over 76 or better. Chamberlain led the way for JMU with her 69, tying her in first place with Betsy Birchall of William & Mary and Sarah Bejgrowicz of Campbell University. The round also tied for the second-lowest in JMU program history.

Senior Laura Mesa (Manizales, Colombia/Colegio Granadino) was next for the Dukes, shooting a 3-over 75 that tied her for 25th in the field of 172 competitors.  After Mesa, juniors Valentina Sanmiguel (Bogota, Colombia/Gimasio La Montana) and Nicole Sakamoto (Honolulu, Hawaii/Kalani) and freshman Ginger Mak (North Point, Hong Kong/The International School of Macao) all shot 4-over 76 and were tied for 34th.

JMU played their first round on the Cougar Point Course and will play their second round tomorrow on the slightly-shorter Oak Point Course. According to Head Coach Paul Gooden, the Oak Point Course, while playing just over 100 yards shorter, has some more difficult holes that bring many hazards in play.

"We're probably going to be a little more conservative off the tee tomorrow morning," Gooden said. "There's a lot of water close to the fairways [on Oak Point]."

The Dukes' tee times begin at 9:38 tomorrow morning on the 10th hole of the Oak Point Course. Live scoring is available here .

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