UNCG at JMU Eagle Landing Invite (hosted by James Madison), March 11-13, Eagle Landing GC, Jacksonville, Fla.
By Rob Daniels
UNCG's women's golf team remains in Florida for the JMU Eagle Landing Invite, which will be played at the Eagle Landing Golf Course in Jacksonville from Friday-Sunday.
FINISHING STRONG: After struggling on the opening day of the event, UNCG sophomore Courtney Taylor delivered a 4-over-par 74 to conclude the SunTrust Gator Women's Golf Invitational at the University of Florida on Monday.
The performance was reminiscent of the spring of 2010, in which Taylor fired a 216 at Florida to set a school record for a 54-hole event. That standard had been held for more than a decade by Becky Morgan, the most accomplished Spartan in history and a 10-year member of the LPGA Tour and other professional circuits.
BEE OUT OF THE GATES: Begonia "Bee" Sarabia, the newest Spartan, authored a 73 in her first 18 holes for UNCG. The University of Miami transfer couldn't continue the hot play throughout the Lady Gator event, but the first 18 suggested the Spartans have the pieces in place to compete in future tournaments. Coach Emily Marron said it's a matter of timing.
THE BOTTOM LINE ON GAINESVILLE: UNCG finished 15th in the 17-team field, which featured nine top-50 programs. The Spartans did defeat Stetson and Missouri.
LANDING ON THEIR FEET: The Spartans will have only one common opponent in the season's first two events: Stetson. This week's tournament, hosted by James Madison University, doesn't have the national depth of the Lady Gator, but it should still provide a viable measuring stick for UNCG.
The Spartans will take on Campbell, Elon, Illinois, Longwood, Stetson, Central Arkansas, Florida Gulf Coast, Jacksonville, Maryland, Chattanooga, Georgetown, Miami, East Carolina, Illinois State, Kennesaw State, South Florida and the host JMU Dukes.
FUN BREAK: The Spartans have been in the Sunshine State for a week but haven't missed any class time. The university is on spring break this week. Marron has sought to balance the need for solid competition against the rigors caused by missed class time, and this is an example of how things can work out. UNCG is among the national leaders in academic achievement by NCAA women's golf programs. Its APR in the most recently released survey was a perfect 1,000.
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