Women’s golf performs well in first two tournaments of fall season

The Mercer Women’s Golf Team participated in the Terrier Intercollegiate on Sept. 10 and 11. Thirteen teams competed in this tournament, held at The Country Club of Spartanburg in South Carolina. Mercer finished the opening round in fourth place with a team score of 304 and wrapped up the final round in fifth place with a score of 301. The Bears’ total score of 605 fixed them in fifth place overall, only one stroke behind their host Wofford College in fourth place and nine strokes ahead of Elon University in sixth place. The Terrier Intercollegiate was a successful start to the season, as Mercer’s final score of 605 was only ten strokes behind tournament champion, UNC-Pembroke with a score of 595.
The Mercer Women’s Golf Team as a whole should be commended for the success of the tournament. However, there are several players whose performances were especially strong, including junior Mary Alice Murphy, who tied for second place overall, along with Wofford’s Anne Marie Covar. Murphy ended the opening round with 74 strokes and made a nice comeback in the final round with a score of 70. Her total score of 144 was only one point behind first-place Mary K. Donovan of Gardner-Webb University. Murphy’s effort marks the seventh time in her career she has achieved a top-five finish and the third time earning runner-up honors.
Murphy was not alone in her skill and effort – junior Lacey Fears and senior Kaitlin Marrin both turned in 76’s, tying for 17th place in the opening round. Senior Aurelie Wiriath carded a 78, while sophomore Sarah Louie Brown wrapped up Mercer’s first round with a score of 79. For the final round, Fears remained in 17th place, carding a 75 in the second round and posting a total of 151. Marrin and Brown both posted 78’s, tying for 21st place in the final round and 32nd overall. Wiriath rounded out Mercer’s competitors with an 82 in the final round, ranking 46th individually. Senior Jessica Arthur finished first among players competing as individuals on the strength of a score of 75 in the final round. Her 75 combined with an opening round of 80 placed her tied for 25th overall.
The Bears then traveled to Jekyll Island, Georgia to host their annual Eat-A-Peach Collegiate on Sept. 22-24. The women’s golf team had won the past two Eat-A-Peach Collegiate tournaments, so the pressure for a three-peat was high.
On day one, Mercer junior golfer Mary Alice Murphy fired a 1-under par to lead all players at Pine Lakes Golf Course.  As a team, Mercer’s opening round 295 placed the Bears atop the five-team leaderboard.
“We played okay today,” Mercer head coach Gary Guyer said.  “Our goal is to get better every round, so that’s what we’ve got to go out and do tomorrow.”
Murphy leads her classmate Lacey Fears by just one stroke on the individual leaderboard.  Fears’ day one even-par score equaled the effort of North Florida’s Tess Huber, leaving them in a tie for second place.
Senior Kaitlin Marrin turned in a 1-over 73 on Saturday and was tied for fifth overall.  Sarah Louise Brown and Aurelie Wiriath both shot 79 and were tied for 16th place after the first day of play.
On day two, Mercer saw a light drop in their play as they posted a team score of 296 just one stroke shy of the previous day’s 295.
For the second-straight day, Mercer junior Mary Alice Murphy entered the clubhouse with a hold of the overall individual lead. Both Murphy and Lacey Fears shot 73 on day two to maintain positioning as the tournament’s top-two players. Murphy’s 73 paired with her day one’s 71, while Fears’ 73 followed her opening round 72.
Sophomore Sarah Louise Brown and senior Aurelie Wiriath both used 75 strokes in the second round, marking the second-straight day the players have had mirroring scores, putting them in 11th place overall.
Senior Kaitlin Marrin fired a 78 on day two and was in ninth place overall with a tournament total of 151.
Day three saw the Mercer women’s golf team capture its third-straight Eat-A-Peach Collegiate title on Monday, booking a combined team score of 300 in the final round at Pine Lakes Golf Course.  Mercer junior Lacey Fears took home Mercer’s top finish, a tie for second place overall, on the strength of her season-best 70 in the final round.
Fears went into the event as the two-time defending individual champion, but ultimately her bid at three-straight Eat-A-Peach trophies was denied by Seminole State’s Chanya Angwarawong.  Angwarawong put together a tournament low 67 on the final day to beat out Fears by just one stroke.
Fears used 215 strokes over three days to earn her fourth career top-five finish.  Her classmate Mary Alice Murphy also took home a top-five finish, placing fourth with a three-day total of 220.  Murphy’s fourth place standing marked her eighth top-five placement and second-consecutive event in the top-five individuals.
Senior Kaitlin Marrin (229) signed for a 78 for the second-straight day and finished 11th overall.  Her classmate Aurelie Wiriath shot 76 on the last day, finishing one stroke behind Marrin and in a tie for 12th place overall.  Sophomore Sarah Louise Brown (233) rounded out Mercer’s team participants with a final round 79 and a tie for 16th place.
Mercer returns to competition at the LPGA Invitational in Daytona Beach, Florida on Oct. 12.  The three-day event is hosted by Xavier at the LPGA International Legends Course.