September 22, 2011

Lady Saints Set to Play TPC Sawgrass Next Week

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Steve Cunha, sjcunh2033@northgeorgia.edu

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL - The North Georgia women's golf team looks to follow up on their hot start to the 2011 fall campaign traveling to Ponte Vedra Beach, Florid,a to take part in the 2011 Majorie Whitney Invitational September 25-27, hosted by Queens University.

Head coach Leigh Anne Hunter led the Lady Saints to a sixth place finish at their first tournament of 2011-12 season. North Georgia improved their second round score by 36 strokes (378-342) at the 2011 Smoky Mountain Intercollegiate Golf Tournament, jumping past two schools to land in sole possession of sixth place. Hunter is optimistic her team can produce as they did in the final round in Tennessee in compete with the field at the 2011 Majorie Whitney Invitational.

Leading the way for North Georgia is junior Catalina Olarte who looks to continue her impressive play coming off of an 18th place finish at the 2011 Smoky Mountain Intercollegiate. Olarte shot a two-round total of 162 (84-78) to pace the Lady Saints in Tennessee. Abbey Gill, Casey Truelove and Erica Breeden are all coming of quality tournaments as well.

Gill finished out the first tournament of her collegiate career with a two-day total of 183 (81-82) which put her in 41st place overall. Truelove improved on her opening round score at the Highlands course at the Golf Club at Sevierville by 10 shots to jump into a tie for 45th place, while Breeden is coming off the lowest round of her collegiate career with a 14-over-par 84.

The Marjorie Whitney Invitational is hosted by Queens University and is held in honor of Majorie Whitney who was a freshman member of the Lady Royals 2009 women's golf team. Whitney passed away in a car accident over Christmas break of her freshman year. This is the first year the tournament holds this name, it was formerly known as the Queens Invitational.

The Lady Saints did not participate in the 2010 Queens Invitational, and look to make a statement this year, building off their top 10 finish in the opening tournament of the fall season.

In 2010, a field of 13 teams battled it out with Belmont Abbey coming out on top after shooting a two-round score of 640. Coming in second and third were Carson-Newman College and 2009 invitational champion Ashland University.

Last year, Jennifer Gartin of the University of West Florida narrowly edged out the competition and was crowned the overall champion with score of 151 (75-76) with Michele Low of Belmont Abbey finishing just one stroke behind Gartin with a 152. Flagler's Elin Karlsson earned third place honors with a combined score of 153 while Carson-Newman's Erica Ray and Jessica Tarbet closed out the the top five. 

The tournament is contested at the Dye's Valley course at the TPC Sawgrass facility. The course features 6,834 yards of golf from the tips and is a par 72. The course rating is 72.8 and it has a slope rating of 130 on Bermuda grass. Designed by Pete Dye, ASGCA, The Dye's Valley course opened in 1987.