Women's golf caps fall with 7th place finish at Hawaii's 'Rainbow Wahine Invitational'

Mercer’s women’s golf team finished up their fall season during the first week of November at the Rainbow Wahine Invitational in Hawaii. The Lady Bears took on three of the nation’s top 10 programs and finished in a respectable seventh place.
The Lady Bears opened the tournament on Nov. 1, looking to post a solid performance as they competed against the NCAA’s number one, five and nine ranked golf teams in UCLA, University of Southern California, and Washington respectively. Coach Guyer of the Lady Bears expected a performance from his players saying, “We have worked and trained very hard the past two weeks and the team is prepared.”
The Lady Bears played two rounds on opening day in Hawaii, and junior Kimmy Graff once again led the way for Mercer. Graff opened the day shooting three over par and notching a 75 after the first round. Graff finished her second round similarly to her first, shooting a 76 and finishing the opening day with a 151 total score. Graff’s 151 was good enough to secure 22nd in a field of 66. Freshman Sarah Louie Brown and sophomore Mary Alice Murphy shot identical opening rounds for the Bears as both ladies notched a 77 on the first round followed by a 78 on the second round. Their combined, individual scores of 155 put them in a tie for 34th place. Mercer’s opening day of play was rounded out by Junior Aurelie Wiriath, who shot a 157 overall (80-77) and sophomore Lacey Fears, who shot a second round 75 after being disqualified from the first round of play.
Mercer finished the day tied for seventh place with Sacremento State, four strokes ahead of ninth place team CSU Fullerton and nine strokes behind sixth place BYU. Top ranked UCLA led the way after the opening day, finishing 18 strokes ahead of second place Washington.
The Lady Bears looked to build upon their opening day performance during the second round of competition at the Rainbow Wahine Invitational and the Lady Bears did so in remarkable fashion, improving on their opening day total by 12 strokes. Mercer was led by sophomore Lacey Fears, who shot Mercer’s only under-par round of the tournament with a 71. Aurelie Wiriath had Mercer’s second best score of the day, shooting a 73 overall, placing her in a tie for 32nd place. Mary Alice Murphy finished one stroke behind Wiriath on the day, shooting a 74 overall and finishing in 27th place. Kimmy Graff and Sarah Louie Brown rounded out Mercer’s day shooting a 76 and 77 respectively and finishing in 37th and 24th place overall.
During Mercer’s stellar final round performance, the Lady Bears shot a team total of 294 overall. Mercer’s 294 was the third best team score on the day, only 11 strokes behind tournament winner UCLA’s final round score of 283. Mercer finished the tournament as the sole possessor of seventh place, only four strokes behind sixth place team BYU and 11 strokes ahead of eighth place Sacramento State.  Number one ranked UCLA won the Rainbow Wahine Invitational, finishing an impressive 20 strokes ahead of second place Washington.
Mercer’s seventh place finish at the Rainbow Wahine Invitational signals the end the Lady Bear’s fall schedule and the beginning of their break. Disappointingly so, the seventh place finish in Hawaii was their worst result in the fall schedule.
The Lady Bears will look to build off their solid fall performances as they kick off a busy spring season in February.