ORANGE PARK, Fla. - The James Madison University women's golf team posted its best-ever round in its home tournament and is fourth after the opening round of the 2013 JMU/Eagle Landing Invitational, March 8. The three-day, 54-hole event is being played at Eagle Landing at Oakleaf Plantation (Par 72 - 6,282 yards) in Orange Park, Fla., just outside of Jacksonville.
The Dukes posted a 9-over 297 on the first 18, the first time Madison has broken 300 in the four-plus year history of its tournament, to sit in fourth, four shots behind co-leaders Campbell and Elon at 5-over 293. Old Dominion is in third at 8-over 296, followed by JMU and Kennesaw State and Mississippi State tied for fifth at 12-over 300. Of the 17-team field, 12 of them are within 12 shots of the leader after the first round.
Freshman Karishma Thiagaraj (Haymarket, Va./Battlefield) posted her first-under par collegiate round, shooting a 1-under 71 to lead the Dukes' effort in a tie for fourth. Thiagaraj's round included a fairway hole-out eagle from 105 yards on the 14th hole. Sophomore Maria Andrea Legaspi (Quezon City, Philippines/St. Paul College-Pasig) is next in a tie for 17th at 2-over 74, while sophomore Shabril Brewer (Herndon, Va./Westfield) is one shot back at 3-over 75, tied for 21st. Junior Ginger Mak (North Point, Hong Kong/The International School of Macao) is tied for 47th at 5-over 77, while sophomore Nikola Wessels (Muenster, Germany/Marienschule Muenster) is tied for 90th at 14-over 86. Playing as an individual, freshman Kelsey Solan (Lumberton, N.J./Rancocas Valley) shot an 8-over 80, tied for 73rd.
Ally McDonald of Mississippi State and East Carolina's Frida Gustaffson Sprang are tied for the individual lead after each shot a 3-under 69, with Campbell's Tahnia Ravnjak one shot back after an opening round 2-under 70. Thigaraj and Chattnooga's Emily McLennan round out the top five in a tie for fourth at 1-under 71.
The second round will be played off the No. 1 and 10 tees again, with Madison playing with Kennesaw State and Mississippi State off the No. 1 tee starting at 8:40 a.m.