Mercer’s women’s golf team had a historic season as the Lady Bears captured their second ever Eat-A-Peach Collegiate during the 2011 fall campaign.
Mercer began their fall schedule during the first week of September as they traveled to Huntsville, Alabama to participate in the Chris Bannister classic. The Bears finished the tournament in fourth place out of eight teams after the second and third rounds of play were canceled due to inclement weather. The Bears were led by Mary Alice Murphy who shot a 73 and tied for second place. Also participating in the tournament were golfers Aurelie Wiriath (76), Kaitlin Marrin (79), Kimberly Graff (79), Sarah Louie Brown (79) and Lacey Fears (81).
Despite only playing one competitive round before hosting the Eat-A-Peach Collegiate, the Lady Bears’ performance did not suffer as the Bears took their second consecutive Eat-A-Peach title by nine strokes with a 295. Lacey Fears led the Bears with a 145 final score, finishing the tournament one stroke over par. Also making their second competitive appearance of the season were golfers Mary Alice Murphy (147), Sarah Louie Brown (147), Aurelie Wiriath (149) and Kimberly Graff (149).
On Oct. 7, the Lady Bears then traveled to Daytona Beach, Fla. to participate in the LPGA Invitational, looking to build on their impressive home victory. The Bears posted a strong first round performance of 310, but they were once again foiled by the weather as the final two rounds of the LPGA invitational were canceled due to heavy rains. The Lady Bears took fifth place in the 13 team field and were once again led by Mary Alice Murphy, who shot a 73 and tied for third place overall. Lacey Fears (77), Aurelie Wiriath (79), Kimberly Graff (81) and Sarah Louie Brown (82) all made their third consecutive competitive appearance of the season.
The Lady Bears wrapped up their fall season on the first of November at the Rainbow Wahine Invitational in Hawaii. The Bears finished with an overall score of 909 and tied for seventh place in the 12 team field. Kimberly Graff finished atop the leader board for the Bears for the first time of the 2011-2012 season with a 227 overall and tied for 24th place. Also scoring for the fourth consecutive tournament were golfers Mary Alice Murphy (229), Aurelie Wiriath (230), Sarah Louie Brown (232) and Lacey Fears (146 – one round was disqualified).
The Bears finished a strong first half of the season culminating in their second consecutive Eat-A-Peach title. When asked about the team’s performance during the first half of the 2011-2012 season, junior Aurelie Wiriath said, “We had a really good season, and we beat some of the top teams in the country during the competition. We are doing all that we can to prepare for the A-Sun and we have a tough spring schedule that should help us get ready. We are looking forward to the new season,” added Aurelie.
The Lady Bears kick off their spring season on Feb. 5 in Jacksonville, Fla. They will be competing in the JU Classic at the Hidden Hills Country Club.
In the spring semester, the women’s golf squad will participate in four tournaments over the course of the semester before teeing off in the Atlantic Sun tournament in April. This year’s Atlantic Sun Championship will be held in Daytona Beach, Fla. The NCAA Championships begin on May 10. They will take place in College Station, Pa.