April 3, 2010
Spartanburg, S.C. - After nearly three weeks off from competition, the USC Upstate women's golf team will hit the links Sunday and Monday at the WCU/Mimosa Hills Intercollegiate hosted by Western Carolina. The 54-hole event will have players playing 36 holes on Easter Sunday and 18 holes on Monday at the Mimosa Hills Golf and Country Club. The course is a par-72, 5,869-yard layout.
Upstate will be one of 15 teams competing in the tournament. In addition to the Spartans and host Western Carolina, Appalachian State, The Citadel, Elon, Gardner-Webb, High Point, Jacksonville State, Presbyterian, Radford, Richmond, Tennessee Tech, Western Kentucky, William & Mary and Wofford will participate in the tournament. N.C. State is sending two individuals to compete, but will not field a team in the event. Three teams are ranked in the top 110 in the latest Golfstat ranking with Western Carolina coming in at No. 87, Elon at No. 98 and William & Mary at No. 108. Augusta State, which is not playing in this year's tournament, won the team championship last year, edging Elon by a stroke. Upstate is making its first appearance in the tournament.
Upstate and head coach Todd Lawton will send the lineup of Jennifer Judge, Cheryl Lo, Johanna Ebenhag, Marissa Clontz and Natalie Buch into the tournament. The five are coming off of a solid showing at the Winthrop University Invitational March 15-16. The Spartans finished ninth in the tournament with Jennifer Judge claiming a tie for 11th to lead the Spartan individuals. Judge leads Upstate with one top 10 finish this season and a 79.4 stroke average. Lo ranks second on the team with an 83.9 stroke average. Upstate will open the tournament playing with The Citadel and High Point on Sunday.
Looking Back At The Winthrop University Invitational
Jennifer Judge nearly pulled off her second top 10 finish of the season, but a final round 81 moved her into the second 10 as the junior from Hurley, Miss., settled for a tie for 11th at the Winthrop University Invitational on March 15-16 at the Rock Hill Country Club. Judge helped lead Upstate to a ninth-place finish in the 12-team tournament. Upstate turned in rounds of 356, 338 and 346 to finish 25 strokes ahead of Wisconsin-Green Bay and 20 shots behind Marshall. Johanna Ebenhag was the second-lowest Spartan in the tournament, tying for 43rd-place in the event.
Judge Continues To Lead
Junior duffer Jennifer Judge continues to show the way for Upstate. She finished tied for 11th at the Winthrop University Invitational to finish as the low Spartan. She has played in seven of the eight tournaments this year and has finished as the low Spartan in all seven events. She narrowly missed finishing in the top 10 at Winthrop, which would have been her second top 10 effort of the season after claiming a tie for 10th at the Boscobel Invitational in the fall. She tops the club with a 79.4 stroke average for the year and owns an 80.3 stroke average for her career at Upstate.
Building Toward The A-Sun Championships
After not competing for nearly three weeks, Upstate will use the WCU/Mimosa Hills Intercollegiate as a tune-up for the upcoming A-Sun Championships April 12-14 in New Smyrna Beach, Fla. The Spartans have shown a resurgence in the last two tournaments and turned in a ninth-place performance at the Winthrop University Invitational. All five players in the lineup have shown the ability to post low scores needed for the team to move up on the leaderboard, but need to be more consistent throughout each round of tournaments.
Judge In The Upstate Record Books
A year and a half into her career at Upstate and junior Jennifer Judge is cementing her name as one of the top golfers in the history of the program. She currently ranks second all-time with an 80.3 stroke average, trailing Richelle Wedzik. Wedzik owns a 79.4 stroke average and finished her career at Upstate last spring. Judge ranks ahead of Richia Wedzik, who finished her career last spring with an 81.3 stroke average. Judge also ranks second with a .680 winning percentage. Judge's current 79.4 stroke average this season is the second-best mark in the history of the program behind the 77.8 stroke average turned in by Richelle Wedzik in 2006-07. It stands as the lowest season stroke average in the Division I era at Upstate.
Upstate Signs Two During Early Signing Period
Two of the Upstate's top women's golfers signed to become Spartans in the fall as Dorman High School's (Spartanburg) Taylor Pleier and Fort Mill High School's (Tega Cay, S.C.) Amanda Hall will begin their careers at Upstate in the fall of 2010. Pleier, who graduated from Dorman in December and is currently enrolled at Upstate this spring, helped develop Dorman as one of the top high school programs in the state. She led the Lady Cavaliers to three straight second-place finishes in the 4A state tournament. She is a three-time All-State selection. Hall is an All-State player as well and has led Fort Mill into the 4A state tournament the last two years. She finished 11th at the 2009 tournament and claimed a 13th-place finish in the 2008 tourney.