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Merch Madness
Courtesy:JMUSports.com Release:03/11/2011
Courtesy: Cathy Kushner/JMU Athletics Communications
ORANGE PARK, Fla. - The James Madison women's golf team overcame a blustery first day at the 2011 JMU/Eagle Landing Invitational to end the day in a tie for ninth, just six strokes out of second place. The Dukes are hosting the three-day, 54-hole event at Eagle Landing Golf Club in Orange Park, Fla.

     JMU shot a 21-over 309 on the day to finish tied with Illinois, one stroke behind defending champion South Florida, who sits in sole possession of eighth.  Chattanooga shot an 8-over 296 in their opening round to lead by seven strokes over second-place Stetson and eight strokes over third-place East Carolina. The teams from second to ninth place are separated by just six strokes.

     After shaking off some front-nine jitters, the Dukes combined to shoot just 4-over par on the back nine, with senior Mary Chamberlain (Dennis, Mass./Suffield Academy), freshman Ginger Mak (North Point, Hong Kong/The International School of Macao) and junior Nicole Sakamoto (Honolulu, Hawaii/Kalani) all shooting even-par. Mak led the way with a 3-over 75 (39-36) and now sits in a tie for 13th, while Chamberlain is one stroke behind at 4-over 76 (40-36) in a tie for 19th.

     Freshman Sara Stanley (Chantilly, Va./Westfield) had the Dukes' best front nine before finishing with a 6-over 78 (38-40) and is tied for 38th. Sakamoto was next, firing an 8-over 80 (44-36) to end up tied for 57th, while senior Laura Mesa (Manizales, Columbia/Colegio Granadino) finished in a tie for 79th after shooting a 10-over 82 (42-40).

     Competing as an individual, junior Valentina Sanmiguel (Bogota, Colombia/Gimasio La Montana) ended her first day in a tie for 68th with a 9-over 81 (41-40). Senior Catrin Gunnarson (Bankeryd, Sweden/Sanda Gymnasiet) is tied for 88th after shooting an 13-over 85 (41-44), also as an individual competitor.

     Briana Carlson of Florida Gulf Coast birdied the final two holes to finish at 2-under 70 and take sole possession of the lead. Carlson sits one stroke ahead of Courtney Taylor of UNC Greensboro and Stetson's Mallory Vierra, both of whom fired 1-over 71s.

     The Dukes will tee off on the first hole tomorrow at 8:08 with Miami and South Florida. Live scoring for the event is available here.
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