SUNDAY, APRIL 20, 2008
Men's golf set to tee it up in conference championship

April 19, 2008

BRASELTON, Ga. - At the end of a roller-coast season, the JU men's golf team looks to take its game to an all-new level at the Atlantic Sun Conference Championship.

Played at the par-72 Chateau Elan Golf Club, the Dolphins are seeking their second conference title in the past three years.

This is JU's second time around the course, having played in the Larry Nelson Invitational hosted by Kennesaw State a month ago. The Owls won the team event and will be looking to claim their first A-Sun title on their home course.

JU finished ninth in the tournament in March and finished sixth among the seven A-Sun teams in the field. Matt Kleinrock had the best finish for JU, tying for 22nd at 18-over par.

"This is a difficult golf course and our guys understand that they must raise their game for us to compete for the title," said JU head coach Jim Taketa. "We played in the Larry Nelson and I expect that experience will help us when we tee it up this week."

The A-Sun Tournament features possibly its deepest field ever. ETSU is ranked in the top 25 and UNF is ranked in the top 50, with Kennesaw State jumping into the top 100 in the GolfStat rankings.

"The league is incredibly balanced and there are a lot of good teams that are playing well," Taketa said. "It will be a great tournament that will have a very worthy champion."

PLAYER PREVIEWS

1. Matt Kleinrock: The lone senior to qualify for the A-Sun trip, Kleinrock is teeing it up for the final time in college. His senior season has seen highs and lows, the high being a six-under par 66 and a second place finish at the North-South Intercollegiate. A member of the 2006 A-Sun champions, his leadership and experience will be used frequently throughout the event.

2. Justin Jones: Jones has stepped into the starting lineup and shined this season, ranking second on the team in stroke average (75.3) and has played in nine events this season. The junior developed his game over last summer and has turned into one of the Dolphins' top players.

3. Christian Martin: Martin enters the league championship with the best stroke average on the team (74.75) and is coming off a brilliant performance against Charleston Southern, going 4-under par for the 36-hole event. He has played in seven tournaments this season, really stepping up his game this semester. His experience from winning the A-Sun Championship two years ago will be called upon this week.

4. Stephen Healy: The freshman from Ireland has turned his game around in recent weeks in preparation for this tournament. Healy hits the ball a mile and has shown flashes of brilliance this season as he still adjusts to golf in the United States. His best round thus far is a 71 and he has a tie for sixth on his record. With some confidence early, he could be a major factor in the Dolphins' chase for the title.

5. Tim Adams: Another freshman from overseas (England), Adams has developed into a top five player this spring. He has played in four tournaments this spring, with a 77.75 stroke average. He has the ability to go low and is learning how to grind out a score when his game isn't as sharp.