Women’s golf places first at MSU Invitational; Fears earns her third Atlantic Sun honor

The Mercer women’s golf team recently took home the title at the MSU Invitational.
After day one, Mercer junior Lacey Fears and senior Kaitlin Marrin each fired 71 to help the Mercer women’s golf team wrap up opening play at the MSU Invitational atop the team standings.  Mercer’s team score of 293 on Sunday at the Juliette Falls Golf Course outpaced the next closest team by four strokes.
 Stetson (297) is second while Toledo (298), host Morehead State (302), Western Kentucky (305) and Appalachian State (305) rounded out the top six teams.
 Fears and Marrin were two of just five players to post sub-par rounds, and were both tied for third place overall.  Ohio’s Kara Brinkmann led all individuals after shooting 68 on Sunday.
 Junior Mary Alice Murphy shot 74 and was tied for 10th place while senior Aurelie Wiriath was tied for 32nd at 77.  Sophomore Sarah Louie Brown shot 79 and was tied for 42nd place.
On the second day of competition, junior Lacey Fears posted her second consecutive sub-par round to help the Mercer women’s golf team extend its lead on the field at the Juliette Falls Golf Course.  Through 36 holes, Fears sat atop the individual leader board while the Bears held a 12-stroke lead on the next closest teams.
 Mercer’s team score of 291 on day two was a two-stroke improvement on day one’s total and helped the Bears stay ahead of Stetson (596) and Toledo (596) for the tournament lead.  Host Morehead State (604) was fourth while McNeese State (606) was fifth.
 “This team is really coming together,” Mercer head coach Gary Guyer said. “Our lineup is starting to see how well it can play as a team. Each time we go out, our goal has been to shoot an even-par 288, and we had a good chance at it today. Hopefully, we can focus a little bit more tomorrow and execute well enough to achieve our goal.”
 Fears’ 70 (-2) combined with an opening round 71 placed the Bonaire, Ga. native two strokes ahead of Ohio’s Kara Brinkmann for the individual lead.  Junior Kaitlin Marrin followed day one’s 71 with a 75 and was tied for sixth, while senior Aurelie Wiriath turned in an even-par 72 and was tied for 13th at 149.
 Junior Mary Alice Murphy carded a 78 and is tied for 22nd at 152 while sophomore Sarah Louie Brown was one shot behind her after shooting 74 and is tied for 27th.
Junior Lacey Fears wrapped up a third place finish in the MSU Invitational on Tuesday at Juliette Falls Golf Course while leading the Mercer women’s golf team to the event’s team title.   Mercer’s three-day total of 883 outpaced second place Stetson by seven strokes and marked the squad’s second tournament championship of the academic year.
 On day three, as a team, Mercer booked three sub-300 rounds to maintain a wire-to-wire lead at the event.  The final round score of 299 combined with team totals of 293 and 291 on days one and two to outpace 13 other teams in the field.  The team also captured the Eat a Peach Collegiate title on Sept. 24, 2012.
 “This win gives us a lot of momentum heading into the conference championship,” Mercer head coach Gary Guyer said.  “We started well, stayed focused in the middle of the tournament and closed the deal.”
 Fears’ third place finish was her third top five placements of the academic year and seventh top five finish of her collegiate career.  After shooting 71 (-1) and 70 (-2) in the opening rounds, the Bonaire, Ga. native carded a 77 in the final round to come three strokes shy of tying McNeese State’s McKayla Anderson for individual medalist honors.
 Junior Mary Alice Murphy posted Mercer’s low round of the tournament on the final day of play, shooting 69 (-3) to tie for eighth place at 221.  Senior Kaitlin Marrin also tied for eighth place after following an opening round 71 with a pair of a 75’s.
 Senior Aurelie Wiriath completed her showing with a 79 and tied for 18th at 228.  Sophomore Sarah Louie Brown (231) rounded out Mercer’s competitors with a tie for 32nd after shooting 78 on Tuesday.
 In six seasons as Mercer head coach, Guyer has now led the Bears to eight tournament championships, including two titles in each of the last three years.
On the heels of her tournament victory, Lacey Fears garnered A-Sun recognition as she was named the A-Sun Player of the Week.
Mercer returns to action in the aforementioned Atlantic Sun Championship on April 15.  The three-day event will be contested at Pine Lakes Golf Course in Jekyll Island, Georgia.