SUNDAY, APRIL 08, 2012
Women’s golf finalizes preparation for the Atlantic Sun Conference Championship
Throughout the season, the Jacksonville women’s golf team has shown flashes of brilliance.
On Monday morning, the Dolphins will look to put together those flashes for 54 holes as they tee off in the Atlantic Sun Conference Championship on the par-72 Venetian Bay Golf Club.
JU tied for sixth in the event on this course two years ago, with Francesca Yong earning all-conference honors by tying for sixth place at five-over par, the lowest 54-hole total in program history.
“We’ve had some good practice since our Marsh Landing event,” said JU head coach Ashley Prange. “We know the golf course and have some positive experiences here. The key for us is to be patient and take it one shot at a time.”
For Yong, it’s been a long a road back.
After her stellar finish at this event two years ago, the sky seemed to be the limit. Unfortunately, there were other plans for her.
Returning for her sophomore season, Yong teed it up in the Dolphins Labor Day Classic on the PLAYERS Stadium Course. Her back started bothering her then and that would be the last round she would play until this spring.
She was never able to get healthy last season and missed this fall season as she rehabbed to get ready for the spring. It wasn’t until this past December that she was cleared to hit balls again. From there, she’s shown glimpses of the young freshman who took the conference by storm.
“I’m so proud of Francesca to be here playing this week,” Prange said. “She’s put a lot of time, energy and effort into getting back on the golf course. I know she’s excited to be back playing here with the memories of how well she played here the last time.”
The event also marks the final event for senior Morgan Jackson. She’s been a stalwart for the Dolphins all season and has rounded her game into fine shape for the conference championship.
Joining the two elder stateswomen in the lineup is sophomore Carlie Gehlhausen and freshmen Natalie Schmett and Jessica Welch. The freshman duo is ranked as the 25th best freshman class in the country by Golfstat.
Stetson, who won the Marsh Landing Intercollegiate last week, is the three-time defending champions and won the title on this course two years ago.