Round 1: Sunday, April 22 (8:39 a.m. Double Tee)
Round 2: Monday, April 23 (TBD, Double Tee)
Round 3: Tuesday, April 24 (TBD, Single Tee)
BRASELTON, Ga. – Looking to take home the title for the first time since 2006, the Jacksonville University men's golf team heads to Georgia this week to take part in the 2018 ASUN Championship. The Dolphins look to improve upon a pair of top-3 finishes over the past two years in the 40th edition of the tournament.
"The Legends Course at Chateau Elon is a great golfcourse, and we always look forward to competing there," Head Coach Mike Blackburn said. "The course is in outstanding shape, and the boys are excited to be playing."
The home of the ASUN Championships in each of the last even seasons and eight of the previous 10, the Legends Golf Course at Chateau Elon was crafted from the minds of golfing champions Gene Sarazen, Kathy Whitworth, and Sam Snead. Serving as the home of the Sarazen World Open Championships from 1994-1998, the course has housed many of golf's top names, including Jack Nicklaus, Ernie Els, John Daly, and Vijay Singh.
The Tournament will begin Sunday morning at 8:39 a.m. with a double tee start. Rounds two and three will tee off on Monday and Tuesday, respectively, with the start times for each weather pending. Live stats are available for all three rounds of tournament play on GolfStat.
Where They Stand
Enjoying a bye week after competing at the Gary Koch Invitational in North Carolina on April 9-10, JU was tabbed as the No. 60 team in country according to the latest GolfStat rankings released on April 18. The team has been ranked as No. 57 during the spring season, it's second-highest mark in program history since reaching as high as No. 44 last year, in the midst of its first-ever NCAA Championship appearance. The mark puts Jacksonville as the #3 seed in this year's tournament, behind #1 North Florida (No. 26) and #2 Kennesaw State (No. 51)
Last Time Out
In their only regular-season competition in the month of April, the Dolphins placed seventh out of 13 teams at the Gary Koch in Gastonia, North Carolina two weekends ago. In the team's first-ever competition at the par 17, 7042-yard course at the Gaston Country Club, they recorded a seven-over, 871 (293+291+287), beating out Coastal Carolina and Gardner-Webb by 11 strokes and falling behind Georgia Southern by one.
Meet The Players
Holding the third-lowest adjusted stroke average in the league (71.08), senior #38 Raul Pereda enters his fourth ASUN Championship sporting the highest-ever GolfStat ranking for a Dolphin in program history. The Cordoba, Mexico native shot par or better on all three rounds at the Gary Koch, tying for 10th place after shooting five-under, 211 (69+71+71). Pereda posted an average score of 70.13 over eight regular-season competitions this year, compiling three top-5 individual finishes, and shooting 17 rounds of par or better, with eight of those landing under 70.
The second member of the 'Phins five-man team with previous postseason experience, fellow-senior Elliott Fullalove enters his second ASUN Tournament with an average score of 72.30, almost identical to that of sophomore Eduardo Carrete (72.29). The pair have seen action in all eight events this season, with each posting their best 54-hole scores at the Tar Heel Intercollegiate in October 2017. Fullalove tied for 29th (two-over 218, 76+73+69) in the team's last competition, while Carrtte concluded play knotted for 34th (three-over 219, 73+71+75).
Rounding out JU's competing squad are freshman Michael Sakane and Aaeri Krishnan, who have each seen action in seven tournaments this year. Sakane made his mark on the ASUN with a breakout performance at the Seminole Intercollegiate back in February, shooting three-under 212 (68+71+73) to tie Pereda for fifth place, earning both golfers ASUN Player of the Week honors. Krishan's best performance came at the SunTrust Gator Invitational, where he clocked in three rounds in the low-70's to card seven-over 217 on the weekend.
Turning in third and second place finishes over the past two seasons respectively, Jacksonville will aim to take home a conference title for the third time in school history, and the first since 2006. The team was paced by standout David Wicks over the last two years, who tied Pereda and Sam Uhland for eighth last season, and took home individual medalist honors in 2016. Fullalove tied for 63rd last season, while Pereda finished in a tie for 15th in 2016, and a tie for seventh in rookie season.
Scouting The Field
The two-time defending champions, Kennesaw State looks to pull off the first three-peat in ASUN history since Houston Baptist did so from 1984-86. The Owls enter competition with a pair of players ranked among the top in the nation, with Jake Fendt at No. 82 and Wyatt Larkin at No. 130. 2017's individual medalist, No. 17 Dawson Armstrong of Lipscomb won the title last year by four strokes, carding six-under 210. He will now look to become just the sixth-ever two-time medalist in league history, and the first since East Tennessee State's Seamus Power did so in 2007 and 2010. With another win in the #RiverCityRumble on the line, cross-town rival North Florida enters the week as the No. 26 team in the country, and with three individuals ranked in the top-250 (No. 36 Phillip Knowles, No. 95 Andrew Alligood & No. 155 Travis Trace)
The Field (by order of GolfStat rankings released on April 18, 2018):
26 North Florida
#51 Kennesaw State
#162 USC Upstate
Jacksonville Day 1 Tee Times: