April 19, 2014
BOCA RATON, FL – Florida Atlantic University’s women’s golf team will travel to Gulf Shores, Ala. this weekend for the team’s first ever appearance in the Conference USA Women’s Golf Championship. The three-day tournament will take place at the Peninsula Golf and Racquet Club starting on Monday, April 21.
The Owls will face 12 conference opponents, including reigning champion Tulane. The Green Wave secured first place at the 2013 conference championship with a team total of 877 strokes. East Carolina finished second with 904. The individual title was split among three golfers from East Carolina, SMU and Tulane, that each shot 220 on the par 72, 6,246 yard course.
As FAU prepares to face a new crop of competitors, there will be some familiar faces at the championship. The Owls faced in-state rival FIU and North Texas at the 36th Annual FIU Pat Bradley Invitational on October 20-22. The FIU Panthers finished the tournament third with a team total of 12-over 876, while the North Texas Mean Green finished ninth with 38-over 902 strokes. FAU finished fifteenth with 62-over 926. In February, the Owls faced the Panthers again at the JU Amelia Island Collegiate where FIU took the top team and individual finish.
The Owls’ lineup consists of Jacqueline Shelly, Christina Langer, Kayla DeSuza, Nicole Marino and Madden Leen. Shelly, FAU’s leading scorer, will go into the championship with a 76 stroke scoring average. The sophomore transfer carded 69 for her lowest round since joining the team at the Cincinnati Spring Invitational on March 23. That was good enough to earn her seventh place. Shelly was named to Conference USA’s All-Academic Team on Thursday, April 17.
Langer follows Shelly with a 79.11 scoring average, a tremendous improvement from her 86.25 scoring average during the 2012-13 season. The Boca Raton native carded her lowest collegiate round at the Pat Bradley Invitational, shooting 69 in the third round to tie for 19th. DeSuza, Marino and Leen will go into Monday’s opening round with scoring averages of 81.17, 83.80 and 89.17, respectively.
The first round of the championship is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. Monday. The second and third rounds will also begin at 7:30 on Tuesday, April 22 and Wednesday, April 23. Playing partners for the first day have been determined by Golfstat team rankings from the week prior to the Championship. For every succeeding round, team scores will determine pairings. The winner gains the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Championship. FAU will tee off on hole 10 in pairing groups with UAB, starting with Leen at 7:30. Pairing groups will tee off at 10 minute intervals. Live stats will be available at golfstat.com.