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22 May 2007
JSU's Cox Qualifies for PubLinks Tournament

By Al Muskewitz
Star Sports Writer

Reprinted here in its entirety.

Ashley Cox had to get up well before dawn to make her tee time in the U.S. Women's Public Links qualifier Monday morning, but rising early was well worth it.

Cox earned the last of four spots to the national championship from The Oaks Course in Covington, Ga., when she parred the second hole of a sudden death playoff to beat Evan Jensen of Belleair, Fla.

The four qualifiers advance to the 31st annual U.S. Women's Public Links Championship, June 18-23 at Kearney Hills Golf Links in Lexington, Ky. Jensen is the first alternate.

“This is pretty awesome,” Cox said, “because it was my first USGA event.

“I knew it was going to be tough, a hard challenge, but it was well worth the sacrifice.”

Cox, an Oxford grad and freshman on the Jacksonville State women's golf team, shot 5-over-par 75 in regulation.

Brooke Pancake of Chattanooga was the medalist with a 66.

It was already a long day by the time Cox got to the first tee. She got up at 3:30 a.m. and left the house at 4.

Despite the early start, she started well, making birdie at 3 and 4 to get to 2-under. It started getting away from her in the middle of the round, but she parred her last four holes, getting up and down on each of the last three to make the playoff.

“I knew I had to get up and down,” she said. “I didn't think 5-over would get in. I had to stick it out.”

Cox lipped out birdie putts on both playoff holes. On the first, she lipped out from 15 feet.

On the decisive second hole, she cut the corner with a driver and then hit a sand wedge from 75 yards to 10 feet. Her victory was all but assured when Jansen flew the green and didn't get close coming back.

n The popular Par-3 Contests that have been held at the Oxford Par-3 every holiday during the summer is moving to the Short Course at Silver Lakes. The Memorial Day event is scheduled for May 28.

Registration is 8 a.m., with play beginning at 9. Entry fee is $35 and the field is limited to the first 40 players.

Event organizers hope to run the Contests on July 4 and Labor Day as well.

About Al Muskewitz

Al Muskewitz covers golf and Jacksonville State University sports teams for The Star.

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