Women's golf ready for Lady Jaguar Intercollegiate
Play in Augusta, Ga., set to begin on SundayMarch 12, 2011 · Athletic Communications
In last year's event, three Blue Raiders finished in the top 20 to lead Middle Tennessee to a fifth-place finish.
This season, the field features 10 teams ranked among the top 100 according to Golfstat.com, including eighth-ranked Purdue. Familiar foe and fellow Sun Belt member UALR is also in the field.
"Well, we'll be going up against a strong field this year," head coach Chris Adams said. "I don't think the field was as strong last year as it is this time around, so it should be a pretty good test. It's a tough golf course and the greens are really challenging. It's a good tournament, and I really like going there."
Olivia Love will look to build on her outstanding outing in last month's Edwin Watts Kiawah Island Classic. The sophomore fired an even-par 72 in the opening round en route to tying for 13th (of 168) at eight-over.
Karisa Akin, who posted a 12th place finish at the Lady Jaguar last season, is looking to build on a strong ending at Kiawah, where she shot a three-over 75 and a one-over 73 over the final two rounds to finish tied for 33rd.
Morgan Hale and Ashley Haggard will also be making the trip. Hale opened at Kiawah with a one-over 73, but ultimately finished tied for 39th. Haggard, who led the team in stroke average in the fall, will be looking to get back on track after tying for 104th at Kiawah.
"Our top four have really kind of solidified themselves in the lineup," Adams said. "Although nothing is set in stone. Karisa is very consistent, Morgan strikes the ball very well, Olivia has really turned the corner this spring, and Ashley is starting to get back on track here recently. Those four know what we're after, and what could happen if they all play well in this event."
Steph Gough is going to be making her return to the lineup after leading the Blue Raiders in qualifying. This event will be her first of the season, and Adams believes she is capable of staying with the squad for more as the spring wears on.
"She earned this opportunity," Adams said. "With her, it's always been getting her confidence up. If you watch her on the driving range, there's no reason she shouldn't be in the top five. I think it's nice to see her making the trip and earning the spot outright. She deserves it, and I think with this stretch of four tournaments in a row, she has an opportunity to make the team for all of them."
First round play at the Lady Jaguar Intercollegiate will begin on Sunday. Live scoring will be available at www.GolfStat.com with daily coverage available at GoBlueRaiders.com.
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