Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Women’s Golf Shows Big Improvement at Bannister Classic
J. Andrew Lockwood
It had been quite a while since Mercer had someone finish a round in the top spot during tournament play. Freshman Lacey Fears did just that after the first round, leading the Chris Bannister Classic at the Silver Lakes Golf Course in Glencoe, Alabama.
Fears would finish 9th in the final standings after finishing +15 for the tournament (72, 77, 82). Mercer would fall one spot on the final day of play to finish 4th behind tournament champion Jacksonville State, Lamar, and A-Sun rival Florida Gulf Coast. Going into the final round, the Bears even had a chance to take the second spot from Lamar, but finished ten strokes back from the runner-ups and four strokes behind the FGCU Eagles. The Gamecocks of Jacksonville State easily won the tournament, posting a 899 to win by an unheralded 28 strokes over Lamar.
“We had a chance entering the day to set ourselves apart and it just didn’t happen for us,” commented head coach Gary Guyer following the season opening match. “We’ll just have to regroup and work harder,” he reported to MercerBears.com.
Fellow freshman Mary Alice Murphy would climb the standings for Mercer’s top individual finisher, taking 7th place at +14 (81, 72, 77). Teammates Kimberly Graff (+23), Aurelie Wiriath (+28), and Kaitlin Marrin (+30) would finish in 21st, 29th, and 31st respectively.
Depsite the sluggish third round finish, the tournament showed improvement from the Belle Bears who finished in the middle of the seven team tournament. The two freshman were especially impressive in their first collegiate tournament.
After the first two rounds, Guyer commented, “I walked with Mary Alice today and she was striking the ball really well. Two freshman shooting the low rounds today is really encourageing.”
The Bears now have two weeks to prepare for the annual Eat a Peach Collegiate tournament, hosted by Mercer at the local Oakview Golf Course. The tournament, geared towards regional in-state competitors, could see the Bears capture their first tournament title after a two year drought.