The James Madison University women’s golf team departed for the NCAA Regional tournament in Auburn, Alabama at 8:15 a.m., Tuesday morning. The bus pulled out of rainy Harrisonburg in style, a charter bus with seats, couches, beds, satellite TV and Wi-Fi. It didn’t take long for the ladies to get comfortable and fall asleep. After a few stops along the way, the team finally arrived at the Auburn Hotel and Dixie Conference Center at 6:30 p.m. The hotel is walking distance from the downtown area, so the team walked to the Mellow Mushroom for dinner. Coach Paul Gooden pulled the team together for a quick meeting before the end of the night to discuss the time table for the day and game plan.
Wednesday morning at 9:00 a.m. the team had breakfast together before getting ready to leave for the practice round at 10:45 a.m. When they arrived, the team went straight to the driving range and putting green for 45 minutes before breaking for lunch. The team was loose and ready to play going into the practice round at 12:52 p.m. High 70’s and sunny, the weather was some of the best they have played in tournament play this season. Coach Gooden worked with each player individually throughout the day giving guidance about the course and the tournament. Coach Hollandsworth passed along her NCAA experiences as a collegiate golfer at the University of Maryland to the women. After a long day, the team went out to eat at a seafood & steak house and got back to the hotel. An ice cream social and rules meeting wrapped up the day for the Dukes.
The NCAA First Round schedule for the team will be similar to the practice round. The team will wake up, eat, arrive to the club for practice, and tee off. JMU is the last group to leave the club house. The Dukes will be paired with Alabama State and Eastern Kentucky at the 10th hole. Nikola Wessels will start off for the Dukes at 12:55 p.m. CT, followed by Karishma Thiagaraj (1:06 p.m. CT), Shabril Brewer (1:17 p.m. CT), Maria Andrea Legaspi (1:28 p.m. CT), and Ginger Mak(1:39 p.m. CT).