KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Against the best field faced this year, the James Madison women's golf team posted a second straight improvement, this time 10 shots better in its final round, and improved to finish 13th at the 2012 Mercedes-Benz Intercollegiate, Oct. 12-14. The three-day, 54-hole tournament, hosted by the University of Tennessee, is being played at Holston Hills Country Club (Par 72 - 6,447 yards) in Knoxville, Tenn.
Playing on the longest course they have seen this year and with seven teams in the top 50 nationally in the field, the Dukes had their best round of the tournament with a 10-over 298, outscoring seven teams in the field, to move up to 13th at 56-over 920. The Dukes had the four scoring players all in the 70s for the first time in the tournament. No. 31 Penn State, who led through two rounds, shot the second-best final round at 1-under 287 to finish at 3-over 867, four shots ahead of host and runner-up No. 27 Tennessee at 7-over 871. No. 26 Purdue was third at 8-over 872, with No. 10 Northwestern moving up a spot to finish fourth at 10-over 874. No. 23 Texas A&M completed the top five teams at 12-over 876.
Junior Ginger Mak (North Point, Hong Kong/The International School of Macao) was the top JMU finisher in a tie for 23rd at 5-over 221. Sophomore Shabril Brewer (Herndon, Va./Westfield) was next in a tie for 47th at 13-over 229 after a final round 3-over 75. Sophomore Maria Andrea Legaspi (Quezon City, Philippines/St. Paul College-Pasig) moved up 16 spots in the last 18 after her 1-under 71 put her at 15-over 231 in a tie for 52nd. Freshman Karishma Thiagaraj (Haymarket, Va./Battlefield) tied for 71st at 24-over 240 with a final round 5-over 77, her first round of the tournament in the 70s. Freshman Kelsey Solan (Lumberton, N.J./Rancocas Valley) was the final Duke in 82nd at 31-over 247. Sophomore Nikola Wessels (Muenster, Germany/Marienschule Muenster), playing as an individual, placed 86th at 36-over 252.
Purdue's Paula Reto was the medalist after her final round 3-under 69 gave her the title at 5-under 211, one shot better than Furman's Laura Weam at 4-under 212. Texas A&M's Mary Michael Maggio was third at 3-under 213, with Hanna Lee of Northwestern and Erica Popson of Tennessee tying for fourth at 2-under 214.
Madison will play its final tournament of the fall on Sun.-Mon., Oct. 28-29 at the Edwin Watts/Palmetto Invitational. Hosted by College of Charleston, the event will be played at Oak Point Golf Club in Kiawah Island, S.C.