SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2012
Women’s golf tees it up at the USA Women’s Invitational
Looking to build off of its second place finish at the Courtyard Classic, the Jacksonville women’s golf team takes to the links on Monday in the first two rounds of the USA Women’s Invitational.

Played at par-72 Azalea City Golf Club, the Dolphins will face a 14-team field headlined by Samford, Troy, UAB, host South Alabama and Western Kentucky.

“We’ve had some practices leading up to this event,” said JU head coach Ashley Prange. “We’re ready to go out there and see if we can put together two good rounds on Monday.”

The early storyline of the spring is the resurgence of junior Francesca Yong.

After missing all but one round of last season and the entire fall schedule, Yong came out firing in his first collegiate event in 16 months. She carded rounds of 77, 74 and 79 to finish in seventh place at the Courtyard Classic at 12-over par – the best finish by a Dolphin.

The solid start was a welcome sign for the junior who ended her freshman season on fire, finishing the Atlantic Sun Conference championship at five-over par – including a two-under par 70 in the final round to tie for sixth.

“Getting Francesca back healthy is a big boost for our team,” Prange said. “She’s talented and she has experience. Even more important – she has the drive to not only get back out here and play, but to get better and push us as a team.”

Yong’s play in the opener has helped build depth in the lineup for JU. The Dolphins lineup will feature a pair of freshmen in Natalie Schmett and Jessica Welch, a junior in Gaia Olcese and a senior in Morgan Jackson.

The tournament begins with 36 holes on Monday and the final round set for Tuesday morning.