THE PLAYERS Championship makes big donation to help JU women’s golf team level the playing field

StrongHER TogetHER event raises almost $70,000 to help program with travel, other expenses


The Jacksonville University women’s golf team helped raise close to $70,000 to support the program, with $50,000 coming from THE PLAYERS Championship, at the Tee-Off Reception for the StrongHER TogetHER Alliance on Monday, April 30.

Those who were in attendance at Blue Sky Golf Club heard about the accomplishments of the JU women’s golf team, both from guest presenters and the team members. Regional Director of Operations for the TPC Network Bill Hughes opened the evening by stressing a recurring theme: Women’s athletics unfairly find themselves short of resources, even in 2018.

The evening’s hosts, Donna and M.G. Orender of Generation W and Hampton Golf, addressed the importance of leveling the playing field.

“Today’s talent pool is a global talent pool, and this team is international,” said Donna Orender, a former WNBA standout who went on to head PGA Tour Productions, serve as WNBA Commissioner and currently heads Generation W. “We are preparing these women to compete in the world.”

Each member of the team introduced herself and explained why JU was special to them. Sophomore Hannah Berman, a Jacksonville native, explained the grueling schedule of a college athlete, as well as some unique challenges presented to their program, in particular. She emphasized how fortunate she and her teammates are to have the opportunity they have, stressing that the Alliance’s biggest beneficiaries are future JU women’s golfers.

JU women’s golf coach Jennifer Borocz highlighted four pillars to building a sustainable golf program: a great home tournament, an endowed scholarship fund, a van and involved booster club.

“The main goal of the event was to start a booster club to raise money for our scholarship fund and critical team resources, the first piece of the puzzle being a team van, which we will now be able to purchase,” said Borocz”

Despite the budget constraints not uncommon to a mid-major program, the team is coming off of its best year in program history, winning two tournaments, with four additional top-three finishes.

The success extended outside the ropes, with the team taking home two awards at JU’s annual student-athlete awards banquet, “The JAXSPYS.” They earned the award for the highest GPA among the 20-and-under roster-size squads, and the D.B. Milne Sportsmanship Award. Amanda Detmer earned the Davis College of Business’ International Business Student of the Year honor and Maria Juliana Fueyo was named DCOB’s Student of the Year. The team also earned the WGCA Scholar Award as a team last summer for having the highest team GPA in the country among women’s golf programs and were recognized for their volunteer efforts as well.