Fairleigh Dickinson University’s women’s golf team is a real contender for the MAC Conference championship this year, thanks to freshman Jordan Durham.
Durham has had a season to remember, averaging a score of 81 per match. The impressive freshman has finished in the top five in every tournament the Devils have participated in this season.
The young golfer had some Division I schools contact her, but Durham decided to attend FDU.
“I had a couple of D-1 offers,” Durham said. She went on to explain, “I went to visit other schools and I actually didn’t like them. I didn’t like their program, so it wasn’t worth me being there.”
Durham is from California, which she said has different golf courses, but she is beginning to adjust smoothly to the New Jersey venues.
“The courses (in New Jersey) are different,” Durham said. “Here everything is tree lined and very fluffy grass, compared to California which has linked-style courses and hill-style courses which doesn’t have the trees to make it hard.”
Although there is a change in landscape for the courses, her results during tournaments have not changed, especially during the fall when she single-handedly carried the team.
During Durham’s first tournament of her collegiate career on Sept. 5 at Misericordia University, she fired a tournament high 79. The next closest golfers were Erin Kain and Alexe Rice from Misericordia; they both tied while finishing with scores of 96.
Durham out-did her first performance on Oct. 3, while shooting a 67 in the following match, which was once again against Misericordia University.
FDU controlled the tournament, having golfers place in the top three spots. Alena Ramos and Sherri Morrell followed Durham with scores of 93.
The Devils also placed sixth out of 12 teams in the Alvernia University Tournament on Sept. 17.
Durham said about the team’s play, “We should have been undefeated in the fall.”
The winter was a tough time for Durham. Normally she could play year-round in the comfortable conditions of California, but due to the cold weather of New Jersey, she could rarely practice.
Hurricane Sandy also swept through the Mid-Atlantic causing significant property damage.
Between the historic hurricane and cold weather, Durham said it was tough to practice during the five month time period between the storm and the start of the season.
Durham picked up where she left off in the fall during the first tournament of the spring season.
She had a match best 87 in a loss against Misericordia. Junior Megan Heintz followed with a 101, and Morrell shot a 113.
FDU followed the loss by placing third out of seven teams in the Misericordia Invitational. Durham shot her spring-high with a score of 81. Heintz followed with a 96 and Morrell fired a 100.
The Devils continued their hot play with two wins on April 17 against Arcadia University and Manhattanville College.
“It was shocking because we had no idea we won, and none of us played that well that day, but apparently everyone else played a lot worse,” Durham said about the two victories over Arcadia and Manhattanville.
“It was not the best conditions. It was a good win for the team.”
During the two victories, Durham shot a 91, while Heintz followed with a 109.
Durham still does not believe she has played her best golf, saying, “In the fall it wasn’t too bad, I was still getting used to the area and all that.”
Durham added, “In the spring time, I’m not really happy with my scores at all. Especially after taking a five month break because of Hurricane Sandy and the winter.”
The team is coming off two good victories and looks like they have a strong chance of winning the MAC Conference. Durham is a big reason why the Devils are in a position to win every match.
“I feel like I push the team to want to win sometimes, I know they work hard,” Durham said.
Durham’s life revolves around golf. She plays for the school’s team and teaches golf at a country club when she is not in the classroom studying.
Durham is a competitor who wants to win and the women’s golf team is better because of it.
They begin the MAC Invitational on April 27 and cap off the season with the MAC Championships on April 28. If the Devils win the MAC Conference, they are in a good position to move on the Division III NCAA Tournament.
Durham said, “To win the MAC Championship I think everyone will have to have their low score of their life. Really, our only competition is Misericordia, so it’s possible.”