BUIES CREEK, N.C. (April 8, 2007) - The Atlantic Sun Conference Women's Golf Championship returns to Buies Creek, N.C., and the Keith Hills Country Club for the second time conference history on Monday, and the ETSU women's golf team hopes to ruin the homecoming for the defending champion and host Campbell Fighting Camels.
However, the Lady Bucs - who are enjoying their most successful season in school history - will be battling against history when play opens early Monday morning. In the last visit to the Keith Hills Country Club for an A-Sun Championship event, the home team walked away with their sixth title. Since then
For more on the upcoming championship, see the preview information located below.
CLIMBING TO THE TOP
Top-10 finishers from a year ago look to move up
Six top-10 finishers from the 2006 field are returning to battle for the 2007 individual crown and give their respective teams a boost in the standings.
The defending champs, Campbell, return the most with three of last year's top-10 returning. Along with the 2006 individual champion, Alejandra Shaw, the Lady Camels return Maite Ortiz de Pinedo and Emily Simpson.
Ortiz de Pinedo finished sixth last season at the championship event and looks to move up in the standings as a junior. Earlier this spring, she captured medalist honors at the Fighting Camel Spring Classic.
As a team, ETSU finished second last season and returns two of its three top-10 finishers. Although the Lady Bucs lost Ashley Barton to graduation, they return Natalia Giraldo (
The remaining top-10 finisher from a year ago hails from
FIRST TIME CONTENDERS
Driving to the top of the leader board
Led by two rookies, ETSU and Stetson have looked on as freshmen Laura Jansone (Jurmala, Latvia) and Lauren Darnell, respectively, have been key contributors to their success in 2006-07.
Jansone is part of a freshman class of four on a roster that includes just three upperclassmen. She has not allowed her youthfulness to hinder her playing abilities, however, as she quickly wrote her name in the school record books, recording a team and league low round of 69, one stroke off of the Atlantic Sun Championship record.
She also holds ETSU's only first place finish of the season, earning medalist honors at the Lady Pirate Fall Intercollegiate. Jansone's lowest three-round stroke total of 216 is tops on her team and is the third lowest by an A-Sun competitor this season.
Darnell has enjoyed similar success on her Stetson squad, recording four first place finishes during the season, making her the most decorated A-Sun golfer entering the 2007 championships.
Although Darnell is only a freshman, she is playing like a seasoned A-Sun veteran. During the spring season she posted a three-round stroke total of 212, a mark that has never been accomplished in the championship and one that leads all other Atlantic Sun golfers entering the conference event.
The championship record for the lowest three-round total was set in 1999 when
Darnell's 212 established a new Stetson record for lowest three-round total and also anchored a new team record for lowest 54-hole total (887).
SOPHOMORE TRIO LEADS BELMONT, LIPSCOMB
The Atlantic Sun Conference features a very talented young group of freshmen and sophomores that are making an early impact for their respective schools.
A sophomore class consisting of
Across town in
Catlin is the top-returner for the Lady Bisons and statistically, is tied with teammate and fellow sophomore Brie Rowden for lowest shot totals on the season.
Rowden and Catlin have, on more than one occasion, tied each other for Lipscomb's best finish in an event. The two have recorded the best individual finishes for Lipscomb this season and both have shot a three-round 236 to lead their team.
Sun Women's Golf Championship as one of the favorites. After all she is the reigning champion and helped lead the Lady Camels to four consecutive first-place finishes during the regular season.
Catlin has shot a low round of 73 at the Belmont Invitational to break a tie with Rowden as they enter the tournament.
HISTORY COULD REPEAT ITSELF WITH REPEAT
Shaw leads her team with the lowest round (69) and the lowest three-round stroke total (214). Her round of 69 ties her with ETSU freshman Laura Jansone for the lowest round in the Atlantic Sun this season as the two enter the A-Sun Championship.
Her three-round low of 214 is second-best in the conference behind Stetson's Lauren Darnell (212).
A repeat for Shaw would be nothing new for the Atlantic Sun or
During a four year span from 1997-2001, student-athletes from
The only other repeat champion was Moira Dunn from Florida International. Dunn captured individual honors from 1991-1993.
History is in favor of Shaw, who has coninuously improved in each of her three appearances in the event. In her rookie campaign, 2003, the freshman finished sixth (227). The following year she shaved off two strokes and earned a second place finish before taking home medalist honors at the championship event one year ago.
BY THE NUMBERS
Lowest total of 2007 entering the tournament
Individual Low 18
Laura Jansone, ETSU (69)
Individual Low 54
Lauren Darnell, Stetson (212)
Team Low 18
Team Low 54