WALLACE, N.C. - Senior Nicole Sakamoto (Honolulu, Hawaii/Kalani) took home medalist honors to lead the James Madison women's golf team to a fifth-place finish at the UNCW Seahawk Classic, March 24-25. Hosted by UNCW, the two-day, 54-hole event is being played at River Landing Golf Course (Par 72-6,106 yards) in Wallace, N.C.
The 11 teams wrapped up their second 18 of the three-round tournament on Sunday morning as play was suspended on Saturday midway through the round due to darkness caused by rain delays. Sakamoto wrapped up her second round with another 2-under par 70 to sit at 4-under 140, trailing Kameron Carter of Longwood by one shot. The senior then posted her fifth-consecutive par or better round in the final 18, shooting an even-par 72 to finish at a career-best 4-under 212, one shot ahead of runner-up Samantha Morrell of Old Dominion. Her 4-under score for 54 holes tied the school record set by Carol Green, the current ODU Head Coach, at the Nittany Lion Women's Invitational during the 2003-04 season. It was Sakamoto's third collegiate victory and first since 2010 as well as her fourth top-five and fifth top-10 finish in nine events this year.
JMU finished its second round, shooting a team season-low 1-over 289 and followed it up with a 12-over 300 in the final round to finish in fifth at 20-over 892, the team's second sub-900 tournament of the season. East Carolina came from behind in the final round with a tournament-best 2-under 286 to finish at 2-over 866, six shots ahead of Old Dominion in second at 8-over 872 and seven shots better than second-round leader Longwood at 9-over 873. Host UNCW placed fourth at 23-over 887.
Sophomore Ginger Mak (North Point, Hong Kong/The International School of Macao) had her fourth-straight top-20 finish and sixth top-20 placing of the year with a tie for ninth at 2-over 218. Her effort included a 3-under 69 in the second round, her first round below 70 in her career and just the 12th since 1993-94. Freshman Shabril Brewer (Herndon, Va./Westfield) returned to action from an injury and shot a 14-over 230 to tie for 28th. Freshman Maria Andrea Legaspi (Quezon City, Phillipines/St. Paul College-Pasig) is tied for 31st at 17-over 233, with senior Valentina Sanmiguel (Bogota, Colombia/Gimasio La Montana) wrapping up the JMU effort in a tie for 40th at 20-over 236. Freshman Nikola Wessels (Muenster, Germany/Marlenschule Muenster) playing as an individual, posted three rounds in the 70s for the first time in her career, including an even-par 72 in the final round, to tie for 24th at 12-over 228.
The Dukes return to the course on Mon.-Tue., April 9-10 at the Knights & Pirates Invitational in Melbourne, Fla.