Women’s golf finishes 3rd at LPGA Invitational


The Mercer women’s golf team recently visited the LPGA Invitational located in Daytona Beach, Fla. After the team’s most recent success winning the Eat-A-Peach Collegiate, head coach Gary Guyer and his team looked to take their momentum into the LPGA Invitational and came back with an impressive performance.
After the first day of play, the Bears saw themselves on pace for a top finish. With a team score of 312 the Bears were only two strokes behind the tournament leaders in the first round.
“Today’s conditions were perfect,” Mercer head coach Gary Guyer said. “The course is in great shape and ready for good ball striking. If you strike the ball well then you will score well. If you do not strike the ball well then it can bite you. It bit a couple of our players today.”
Junior Lacey Fears scored a 73 in the opening round, which gave her second on the individual leader board and one stroke behind the overall leader. Fears’ classmate Mary Alice Murphy booked an opening round 77 and was tied for 11th place.
“We are too good a team to be shooting scores in the 80s,” Mercer head coach Gary Guyer said. “Thank goodness for Lacey and Mary Alice. These two continue to perform when they are not playing their best.”
Sophomore Sarah Louise Brown is tied for 23rd overall after shooting 80 on Friday.  Senior Kaitlin Marrin used 82 strokes and is tied for 37th place while senior Aurelie Wiriath signed for an 83 and is tied for 44th place.
The second day of play saw Lacey Fears shoot a 75 to pace her team to retain their third place standing and move into a tie for first place overall individually.
Senior Aurelie Wiriath shaved eight strokes off her day one total, carding a 75 to move into a tie for 18th place individually.  Junior Mary Alice Murphy, sophomore Sarah Louise Brown and senior Kaitlin Marrin all shot 83 in the second day of play.  Murphy’s 36-hole score of 160 positions her 27th on the individual leader board, while Brown is tied for 36th (163) and Marrin is tied for 45th (165).
The final day of play saw Lacey Fears take home the individual trophy by shooting a 76 in the final round.  As a team, Mercer’s Sunday total of 311 slotted the Bears third of 14 teams. Mercer’s 311 combined with scores of 316 and 312 in the opening two rounds helped the Bears record their fifth-straight top-five finish dating back to last season.
Head coach Gary Guyer was very pleased with Fears’ performance on the week.
“Lacey played very consistent all three days,” Guyer said.  “The course was set up pretty tough so you had to have a lot of patience to score well. She putted very well this week and that was her key to her victory.”
“This tournament had a very good field and a lot of top players were coming after Lacey today,” Guyer said. “She withstood the challenge and finished strong.  She continues to excel in her college career and I’m proud of her.”
Junior Mary Alice Murphy and senior Aurelie Wiriath both tied for 19th place overall with tournament scores of 236.  Murphy carded a final round 76 while Wiriath shot 78.
Sophomore Sarah Louise Brown fired an 81 on Sunday and tied for 35th place with a 56-hole score of 244.  Senior Kaitlin Marrin rounded out Mercer’s competitors with a tie for 51st after shooting 87 in the final round.
“For some reason the team could not get it on track this week,” said Guyer.  “I need to do a better job preparing us for competition.”
The Bears wrap up their fall season at the Lady Paladin Invitational on Oct. 26-28 in Spartanburg, S.C.