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 Montpelier Magazine

Senior golfer Jay Woodson leads JMU men's golf into 2004 season

Senior golfer Jay Woodson of Powhatan, Va., won his second straight Virginia State Amateur title 5 and 4 in match play over Brett Chambers in June 2003 on the 6,975-yard, par-72 Kinloch Golf Club. With the win, Woodson joined an elite group of players -- Chandler Harper, Vinny Giles, Curtis Strange, Tom McKnight and John Rollins -- as repeat amateur champions. He is the first since Rollins in 19961997 to win back-to-back titles.

Woodson, the JMU captain, ended the 2003 season ranked fourth in the Virginia State Golf Association player ranking. The VSGA player ranking measures performance in national (United States Golf Association championships), state (VSGA championships) and regional competitions (major invitationals) for amateur players residing in Virginia.

As a junior, Woodson played in all 12 tournaments and finished the year with the best stroke average on the team (73.13). He led his team to a fifth place finish in the Colonial Athletic Association Championship. Woodson posted nine top-20 finishes, picked up his first medalist honor at the Liberty Classic shooting 75-67142 and was runner-up at the JMU Invitational. He placed fifth at the Rutherford with a second round score of 68. Woodson also fired rounds of 67 (three times), 68 (twice) and 69 (once) during his junior year.

In summer 2002, Woodson won the Virginia State Amateur Championship defeating Virginia Tech's Ryan Stinnett 2 and 1 in match-play. Woodson also finished tied for 17th at the Comcast State Open of Virginia and tied for 31st at the rain-shortened Eastern Amateur played at Elizabeth Manor Golf and Country Club in Portsmouth.

As a sophomore, Woodson earned All-CAA first-team honors and was the only member of the team to participate in all 11 tournaments. He finished with a 72.66 stroke average (best on the team) and played 11 rounds at or below par, including a career low 6-under (66) at the Rutherford Intercollegiate. Woodson had the team's best score for 54 holes with 209, was the runner-up at the CAA Championships and finished third at the Georgetown Hoya Invitational. He also garnered a fourth-place finish at the Princeton Invitational with a two-day total of 138 (70-68) and earned a fifth-place finish at the Liberty Spring Classic, carding a 77-72149.

Woodson made an immediate impact on the JMU men's golf team as a freshman and was a solid performer, competing in each of the Dukes' tournaments that year. Woodson recorded a 76.5 stroke average, second-best on the team. He led the Dukes at the VCU Fall Preview with a 77-75152 and recorded his first collegiate top-20 finish at the Fighting Camel Classic after firing a 76-72148 to finish in a tie for 11th place. He captured fourth place at the Liberty Ramada Classic, shooting a season-low 71-71-142 and carded a 77-75-81233 (tied for 22nd) at the CAA Championships.

The men's golf team will play in seven events in spring 2004, including a three-tournament stretch against some of its rival competition in the East Region. The Dukes will open the spring season at the Birkdale Collegiate in Charlotte, N.C., on March 13. Follow Woodson's progress at www.jmusports.comand