Women’s Golf Tackles Pinehurst This Weekend
Natalie Schmett (Photo Courtesy of Skip Tapp)
Natalie Schmett (Photo Courtesy of Skip Tapp)
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Tuesday’s final round of the UNF Intercollegiate proved that the Jacksonville University women’s golf team is capable of competing with just about any team they go up against. Now the Dolphins will try to string three of those rounds together as they take their biggest road trip of the spring. Beginning on Sunday – though weather difficulties could move the timetable around – JU will take part for the second straight year at the Pinehurst Challenge at the world-famous Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina. For the first time, the event will be played on the Pinehurst #1 course; a par-72, 5,949-yard layout.

“It is exciting to play at Pinehurst, as it is one of the most well-known resorts in the world,” said Head Coach Jen Borocz. “It is a very special place. We are looking to rebound from the UNF Intercollegiate and feel that we have a good chance to compete against the field that will be there.”

As of now, the schedule calls for 36 holes to be played on Sunday with a 9:45 a.m. shotgun start. The tournament would conclude on Monday with 18 holes beginning at 8:45 a.m. The same five that took part at the UNF Intercollegiate will be back on the course at Pinehurst #1, with juniors Morgan Matchett, Natalie Schmett and Jessica Welch and freshmen Megan Collins and Sabrina Rumbaugh making the trip. Rumbaugh had her best-ever finish at the Jacksonville Golf & Country Club earlier this week, ending in a tie for fifth after a final round 68 that was four shots better than anyone in the field on Tuesday.

The draw of Pinehurst will supply Jacksonville with a chance to test itself against some unfamiliar competition. Of the 15 teams in the field, five will be from far outside the region. Boston University, Bucknell, Illinois State, Siena and Western Michigan represent four different conferences that the Dolphins rarely match up against. On a more local level, another five schools are from either North Carolina or South Carolina, including USC Upstate, the only other Atlantic Sun school in the event. College of Charleston – which plays host for the weekend – is the highest-ranked program, entering the weekend at No. 60 in the Golfstat rankings.

Jacksonville ends a busy month of March and gears up for its event next weekend with the three-day Cincinnati Invitational at the Plantation Inn Golf Course in Crystal River, Fla. The Dolphins will play 18 holes each day beginning March 21 and ending March 23.