AUBURN, Ala. – Making its first appearance in the NCAA Regionals since 2005, the James Madison women’s golf is currently in 22nd after the first round of the 2013 NCAA East Regional, May 9. The three-day, 54-hole tournament is being played at the Auburn University Club (Par 72 – 6,259 yards) in Auburn, Ala.
Playing in the afternoon wave in the final pairings, the Dukes posted a 28-over 316 and are currently in 22nd, as 17 of the 24 teams in the field are ranked in Golfstat’s top 50 nationally. No. 2 Alabama is the opening round leader at 11-under 277, six shots ahead of No. 5 Arkansas and No. 20 Tulane at 5-under 283, as those three are the only squads under par. No. 8 UCLA is fourth at even-par 288 with No. 23 Texas rounding out the top five teams at 1-over 289. The top eight teams and two individuals on non-advancing teams from each regional move on to the NCAA Championships.
Sophomore Nikola Wessels (Muenster, Germany/Marienschule Muenster) is the top player for JMU through 18 holes, as Wessels shot a 5-under 77, more than four shots less than her season scoring average, and is currently tied for 70th. Junior Ginger Mak (North Point, Hong Kong/The International School of Macao) and sophomore Maria Andrea Legaspi (Quezon City, Philippines/St. Paul College-Pasig) are two shots back of their teammate at 7-over 79 in a tie for 95th. Freshman Karishma Thiagaraj (Haymarket, Va./Battlefield) is next at 9-over 81 in a tie for 109th, while sophomore Shabril Brewer (Herndon, Va./Westfield) completes the Madison effort at 10-over 82 in a tie for 116th. The struggle for the Dukes was big numbers today, as they had six double-bogeys or worse on the day and managed just a combined six birdies.
Alabama’s Emma Talley, Tennessee’s Erica Popson and Emma Lavy of Arkansas are tied for the opening round lead at 5-under 67, one shot better than Emily Penttila of Tulane, Alabama’s Stephanie Meadow and Jackie Change of North Carolina.
JMU will go off in the early wave tomorrow, teeing off No. 1 starting at 8:25 CDT and playing with Alabama State and Eastern Kentucky.