Sunday, April 11, 2010
Bucs hope to return to top after winning 2008 title
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (April 9, 2010) - The ETSU women's golf team will open play in the 2010 Atlantic Sun Conference Championship on Monday, looking to return to the top of the league. The Buccaneers will take on the rest of the A-Sun at the Venetian Bay Golf Club in New Smyrna Beach, Fla.
Each of the last three champions, Campbell in 2007, ETSU in 2008 and Stetson a season ago, won as the host of the event. Campbell also won as the host in 2004. Prior to 2004, no host had won the Women's Championship since UCF in 1990. The Hatters return both the reigning individual champion, Danielle Jackson, and runner-up, Lauren Cate. Lauren Darnell, who tied for 10th a year ago returns for the Hatters. Eight times a defending team champion has won the next year, most recently accomplished by Campbell in 2006 and 2007. Four individuals have captured back-to-back titles with Campbell's Alejandra Shaw, also in 2006 and 2007, the last to do so.
Like Stetson and Campbell, ETSU returns plenty of fire power for the 2010 A-Sun Championships. Sophomore Nina Muehl (Vienna, Austria) excelled in February when she shared first place at the Edwin Watts/Kiawah Island Classic and tied for fourth at the Hurricane Invitational. Sinead O'Sullivan (Galway, Ireland), who has finished inside the top 10 at each of the last two A-Sun Championships and earned the Golfer of the Month award for March, as well as Laura Jansone (Jurmala, Latvia), the 2008 Medalist and runner-up at the 2007 Championship also return for the Buccaneers.
The Hatters added freshman Alexandria Buelow, the conference's top rated golfer, according to both Golfstat and the Golfweek/Sagarin ratings to the lineup. In 10 events, she has finished no worse than a tie for sixth while picking up a pair of victories. Buelow won the Hatter Fall Classic in November and the Cincinnati Spring Invitational last month.
While the Hatters eye a second straight title, Campbell and ETSU stand as two of the top challengers as both hover around the top 50 in the Golfstat and the Golfweek/Sagarin ratings. The Camels, the most successful women's golf program in league history will try for its ninth title in its 16 years in the conference. Only once, in 2003, have the Camels finished outside the top two and never had the Camels gone three years without a team title. Belen Diaz Cisneros and Mary Mattson, both of whom own three top-10 finishes in A-Sun Championship play and have earned All-Conference honors all three years return as does Sandra Angulo, the 2008 Freshman of the Year.
Venetian Bay Golf Club hosts the A-Sun Championship for the first time. The two nines have a different natural character. The front nine plays through more of the wooded portion of the property and the back nine with fewer trees and more parallel fairways, gives it more of a links look. One of the main features of the course is the plethora of strategically placed bunkers, 114.
As part of a multi-year agreement with the Central Florida Sports Commission, the Women's Championship will remain in the Sunshine State through 2012. The Championship will return to Venetian Bay Golf Club in 2012. Victoria Hills, which has hosted in 2005 and 2009, will host in 2011.
Play begins at 8 a.m. Monday with USC Upstate and Lipscomb opening play off the first tee. Fans can follow the action at Golfstat.com.
Fans can follow the Atlantic Sun on Twitter and on Facebook. Visit twitter.com/AtlanticSun to begin receiving updates on conference news, weekly awards, and from A-Sun championships. Atlantic Sun followers with a Facebook account can become a "fan" of the conference by visiting facebook.com/AtlanticSunConference.
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