SUNDAY, APRIL 18, 2010
Men’s golf prepares for 2010 Atlantic Sun Conference Championship
The JU men’s golf team looks to continue its move up the national rankings as they wrap up the regular season with the 2010 Atlantic Sun Conference Championship at the par-72 Legends Course at Chateau Elan.

The Dolphins have made the sixth-highest move up the national rankings this spring according to Golfweek, improving by 40 spots courtesy of some strong finishes against tough competition. JU took seventh at the JU Invitational hosted by Mark McCumber and third place in the Wendy’s Shootout in Charleston, S.C.

“We’ve played well at times this spring and we had a really good week of preparation leading up to the tournament,” said JU head coach Mike Blackburn. “The golf course is going to be difficult, but it’s going to be the same for everyone. If we focus on saving a shot here and there, I feel like we can do well.”

Jacksonville is coming off a 15th place finish at the 24-team UK Bluegrass Invitational. Senior Justin Jones led the Dolphins with rounds of 72, 71 and 74 to finish 29th individually.

Joining Jones in the starting lineup for the conference tournament is sophomore Bobby Fredeking, junior Gavin Frost and freshmen Taylor Szyndlar and Jamey Salmon.

“Right now, this group have proven that it is our top five,” Blackburn said. “We had a good 36-hole qualifier and these guys have their games in the best shape to give us the best chance to compete.”

Fredeking enters the event as the Dolphins leader in stroke average at 74.21, with six top 20 finishes this season. He had a sensational fall season, putting up four top 20 finishes in the five events, and started the spring with a 10th place finish at the JU Invitational on the PLAYERS Stadium Course at the TPC at Sawgrass.

Frost has been one of the more consistent Dolphins this season and has put together two top 20 finishes. He played well the last two rounds at the UK Bluegrass Invitational, carding a 73 and 74, and sports a career-best 76.23 stroke average.

Szyndlar and Salmon won their spots on the team through a 36-hole qualifier last week. Szyndlar has shown flashes of brilliance at times, such as his one-over par 73 in the final round of the Wendy’s Charleston Shootout.

Salmon has just missed making the travel squad several times this spring, but has played with renewed confidence, carding a two-over par 73 in the final round at Kentucky as well as winning the 36-hole qualifier to make the team.

The Dolphins will tee off at 8:45 a.m. with host Kennesaw State and USC Upstate. Fans can follow along via live scoring through Golfstat.com.