FINAL TUNE-UP: The James Madison women's golf team will play its last tournament prior to the CAA Championship this weekend when it travels to Wallace, N.C. for the UNCW Lady Seahawk Classic.
The tournament, hosted by UNC Wilmington, is a two-day, 54-hole event played at River Landing Golf Course, April 4-5. The teams will play the first 36 holes on the first day of the tournament, Mon. April 4, before playing the final round the following morning. Both days will begin with a shotgun start.
JMU's history at this event stretches back to the inaugural tournament in 2001, when Jessica Lewis carded a 2-over 218 as a sophomore to notch her first victory as a Duke.
TOP-FIVE FINISH IN GEORGIA: The James Madison women's golf team shot a 22-over 310 in Tuesday's final round to finish in fifth place at the 2011 John Kirk/Panther Intercollegiate, March 21-22. The two-day, 54-hole event was hosted by Georgia State University at Eagle's Landing Golf Club in Stockbridge, Ga.
JMU finished at 49-over 913, four strokes behind fourth-place Daytona State and three ahead of sixth-place Michigan. Notre Dame continued their start-to-finish dominance, shooting a 9-over 297 to finish 17 strokes ahead of runner-up Maryland. All four teams that finished ahead of the Dukes shot under 300 for their final round.
Junior Nicole Sakamoto (Honolulu, Hawaii/Kalani) grabbed her second top-10 finish of the year by shooting a 3-over 75 in her final round to finish at 6-over 222 and in a tie for seventh. Freshman Ginger Mak (North Point, Hong Kong/The International School of Macao) finished in a tie for 20th, the third top-20 finish of her collegiate career, after shooting an 8-over 80 to finish at 12-over 228 for the tournament.
Senior Mary Chamberlain (Dennis, Mass./Suffield Academy) was next for the Dukes, dropping a stroke from her first and second rounds to shoot a 4-over 76 and finish tied for 28th at 14-over 230. Senior Catrin Gunnarson (Bankeryd, Sweden/Sanda Gymnasiet) shot a 7-over 79 to finish in a tie for 46th at 21-over 237, while junior Valentina Sanmiguel (Bogota, Colombia/Gimasio La Montana) was the final scorer for the Dukes, shooting an 11-over 83 in her final round to finish at 28-over 244 in a tie for 65th.
Mitsuki Katahira of Daytona State shot a 6-under 66 in her final round, a new single-round tournament record, to finish as the top individual at 6-under 210. Katahira finished one stroke ahead of runner-up Becca Huffer of Notre Dame and three ahead of third-place Jessie Hollandsworth of Maryland. Nina Muehl of East Tennessee State matched Katahira's 66 to tie the new tournament record en route to finishing fourth at 2-under 214.
CLIMBING THE RECORD BOOKS: After their performance at the John Kirk/Panther Intercollegiate, the Dukes sit in third place on the program's all-time list for team single-season scoring average at 308.78 through 23 rounds. Only 2003-04 (307.03/33 rounds) and 2009-10 (306.37/30 rounds) sit in front of this season.
Junior Nicole Sakamoto (Honolulu, Hawaii/Kalani) has also climbed into a prestigious group, as her scoring average this season of 77.04 in 23 rounds puts her 10th in program history. It is her second entry in the top-10 all-time list, joining Jessica Lewis and Jayme Langford as the only golfers with two seasons in the top ten.
ALL-TIME LEADERS DOT TOURNAMENT ROSTER: Of the Dukes on the roster this year, four rank within the top nine spots in career scoring average in program history. Junior Nicole Sakamoto (Honolulu, Hawaii/Kalani) tops the list with a program-best scoring average of 76.73 through 83 career rounds.
Senior Laura Mesa (Manizales, Colombia/Colegio Granadino) edges into sixth place with an average of 78.23 through 103 rounds, narrowly edging out fellow senior Mary Chamberlain (Dennis, Mass./Suffield Academy), who owns a 78.73 average after 108 career rounds. Junior Valentina Sanmiguel (Bogota, Colombia/Gimasio La Montana) also checks in at ninth place with a 79.17 average through 66 career rounds.
MAK HAVING TOP-10 SEASON: Freshman Ginger Mak's (Hong Kong, China) consistent play has put her on pace to claim a spot in program history. Mak's season average after the John Kirk/Panther Intercollegiate stands at 76.30, currently the sixth-lowest all-time average at JMU for a single season and the lowest ever for a freshman.
Two current Dukes have seasons that rank ahead of Mak as of right now. Junior Nicole Sakamoto (Honolulu, Hawaii/Kalani) tops the all-time list with an average of 74.97 in 2009-10, while senior Mary Chamberlain (Dennis, Mass./Suffield Academy) averaged 76.27 the same season, good for fifth on the list.
THREE SENIORS REACH CAREER MILESTONE: After playing in both spring break tournaments, three of the Dukes' seniors surpassed the 100-round mark for their career. Mary Chamberlain (Dennis, Mass./Suffield Academy) currently leads the trio with 108 career rounds, Catrin Gunnarson (Bankeryd, Sweden/Sanda Gymnasiet) has 107 over her four years and Laura Mesa (Manizales, Columbia/Colegio Granadino) now has 103.
The three seniors rank sixth through eighth on JMU's all-time list. Carol Green owns the program record with 126 career rounds.
NEW PRACTICE FACILITY EXPANDS: JMU opened its new outdoor short-game practice facility this fall. The facility includes designated chipping and putting greens, with fairway, rough and sand traps for practice. This spring, the facility will see various improvements, including reformed tee boxes and a 30-yard lengthening of the hitting range, allowing for the practice of drives off the tee.
This facility adds to the indoor practice facility, with video replay/analysis capabilities, and both programs receiving new locker room space in Godwin Hall.
PLAYING THE GOOD HOST: James Madison University's women's golf team struggled in the final round and finished in a tie for 11th at the JMU/Eagle Landing Invitational, March 11-13. Hosted by the Dukes, the three-day, 54-hole tournament was played at Eagle Landing Golf Club (Par 72 - 6,282 yards) in Orange Park, Fla.
Madison struggled in its final round and posted a 19-over 307 to finish at 56-over 920 in a tie with Florida Gulf Coast. Chattanooga led wire-to-wire in putting forth a tournament record 5-under 859, including another tournament record in the final round with a 10-under 278, to win by 33 shots over runner-up East Carolina at 28-over 892. Campbell was third at 30-over 894, with South Florida and Miami tying for fourth at 39-over 903.
The Dukes were led by freshman Ginger Mak (North Point, Hong Kong/The International School of Macao), who posted her second top-20 finish of the season with a tie for 17th at 8-over 224, including a team-best 2-over 74 in the final round. Redshirt senior Mary Chamberlain (Dennis, Mass./Suffield Academy) was next in a tie for 37th at 13-over 229, while junior Nicole Sakamoto (Honolulu, Hawaii/Kalani) finished in a tie for 46th at 15-over 231.
A pair of JMU individuals were next as junior Valentina Sanmiguel (Bogota, Colombia/Gimasio La Montana) tied for 62nd at 20-over 236 and senior Catrin Gunnarsson (Bankeryd, Sweden/Sanda Gymnasiet) tied for 73rd at 22-over 238. Senior Laura Mesa (Manizales, Colombia/Colegio Granadino) tied for 77th at 24-over 240, with freshman
Sara Stanley (Chantilly, Va./Westfield) wrapping up the Dukes' efforts in a tie for 90th at 29-over 245.
Chattanooga had a 1-2 finish individually with Christine Wolf setting her second tournament record with a 54-hole score of 7-under 209, four shots better than teammate Emma de Groot.
TOUGH COMPETITION IN GAINESVILLE: The James Madison women's golf team finished 14th at the 2011 SunTrust Gator Women's Invitational, the same position in which it began the final round. The two-day, 54-hole tournament was hosted by the University of Florida at the Mark Bostick Golf Course in Gainseville, Fla., March 6-7
The Dukes combined to shoot a 38-over 318 in their final round to finish the two-day event at 97-over 937, nine strokes behind 13th-place Georgia State. Florida continued its home-course domination, turning in the lowest score in all three rounds to finish at 25-over 865, 18 strokes ahead of runner-up Florida State and 30 strokes in front of third-place Ohio State.
Florida State's Hannah Thomson fired her second 1-under 69 of the tournament to capture the individual title with a final score of even-par 210. Thomson finished two strokes in front of runner-up Vicky Villanueva of Ohio State and six shots ahead of third-place Emma de Groot from Chattanooga.
Freshman Ginger Mak (North Point, Hong Kong/The International School of Macao) led the Dukes with a consistent tournament with all three rounds in the 70s, shooting a 7-over 77 in her final round to finish at 21-over 231 in a tie for 43rd. Junior Nicole Sakamoto (Honolulu, Hawaii/Kalani) fired a 14-over 84 to drop into a tie for 51st, finishing her tournament with a 23-over 233.
Seniors Mary Chamberlain (Dennis, Mass./Suffield Academy) and Laura Mesa (Manizales, Columbia/Colegio Granadino) each shot 9-over 79 in their final rounds. Chamberlain finished at 25-over 235 in a tie for 58th and Mesa was tied for 74th after finishing at 30-over 240. Senior Catrin Gunnarson (Bankeryd, Sweden/Sanda Gymnasiet) was the final golfer to play for JMU, finishing at 33-over 243 in a tie for 80th.
STARTING THE SEASON RIGHT: In their first tournament of the spring, the Dukes sat atop the leaderboard after a first-round 296, their best round of the season, before fading slightly to finish in 10th place out of 33 teams at the 2011 Kiawah Island Intercollegiate at the Cougar Point and Oak Point Golf Courses in Kiawah Island, S.C., Feb. 20-22.
JMU finished the tournament with a score of 916 (296-315-305), just one stroke behind ninth-place Elon and two behind eighth-place Central Arkansas. Miami shot a 888 (296-297-295) to win by nine strokes over runner-up Campbell's 897 (299-301-297).
Leading the way for the Dukes was senior Mary Chamberlain (Dennis, Mass./Suffield Academy), who fired a career-best 3-under 69 to hold a share of the first-day lead before finishing in a tie for 19th at 9-over 225 (69-78-78). It was the first top-20 finish for a JMU golfer in the spring season. Freshman Ginger Mak (Hong Kong, China) played consistently all weekend, finishing tied for 33rd with a 12-over 228 (76-74-78).
Senior Laura Mesa (Manizales, Colombia/Colegio Granadino) was next in a tie for 39th at 14-over 230 (75-81-74), while senior teammate Nicole Sakamoto (Honolulu, Hawaii/Kalani) recovered from a difficult second round to finish tied for 76th at 20-over 236 (76-85-75). Junior Valentina Sanmiguel (Bogota, Colombia/Gimasio La Montana) finished out the team scoring in a tie for 104th at 26-over 242 (76-82-84).
FALL IN REVIEW: The fall of 2010 was a season of experimenting for the Dukes, as Head Coach Paul Gooden used three different lineups over the course of four tournaments. Only junior Nicole Sakamoto and senior Catrin Gunnarson played every round for JMU.
While the Dukes did not finish better than eighth in any of their four fall tournaments, all seven members of the team finished the fall with a scoring average of 80.1 or below. All seven Dukes also recorded at least one round of 75 or lower.
Freshman Ginger Mak led the Dukes in scoring average in her first collegiate season, carding a 76.9 average in eight rounds played this past fall. Mak was also the only Duke to fire a 73 on two occasions, doing so once in the first round of the Mercedes-Benz Women's Collegiate Championship in Knoxville, Tenn., and then again in the final round of the season at the Lady Paladin Invitational in Greenville, S.C.
Sakamoto also continued her solid play from the 2009-10 season, finishing the fall just behind Mak with a 77.3 average over four tournaments. Her career average rose slightly to 76.7, but remains the lowest on the team as of the end of the fall season. Sakamoto also recorded her first top-10 finish of the 2010-11 season, and the only one of the fall for the Dukes, by firing a 231 (76-77-78) at the Lady Paladin Invitational to tie for eighth.
A VETERAN LINEUP DOTS THE 2010-11 SQUAD: The Dukes return all five starters from last year's CAA Championships to this year's squad. The team is led by 2010 All-CAA honorees junior Nicole Sakamoto (Honolulu, Hawaii/Kalani) and senior Catrin Gunnarsson (Bankeryd, Sweden/Sanda Gymnasiet), as well as seniors Mary Chamberlain (Dennis, Mass./Suffield Academy) and Laura Mesa (Manizales, Colombia/Colegio Granadino) and junior Valentina Sanmiguel (Bogota, Colombia/Gimasio La Montana). They will be pushed for spots in the lineup by two freshman in Ginger Mak (Hong Kong, China) and Sara Stanley (Chantilly, Va./Westfield).
HEAD COACH PAUL GOODEN: Head Coach Paul Gooden is starting his 12th season as the women's golf head coach of the Dukes. During his tenure as head coach, Madison has captured three Colonial Athletic Association Championships and earned a team berth in the 2005 NCAA East Regional. This past season, one of his golfers, Nicole Sakamoto, became the first JMU golfer to earn two individual berths to the NCAA Regionals.