This Week in Atlantic Sun Women's Golf, March 15th

Friday, March 15, 2013

MACON, Ga. - ETSU remains the highest ranked A-Sun women’s golf team in the GolfWeek/Sagarin and the Golfstat.com rankings, checking in at No. 63 and No. 62, respectively. ETSU joins Kennesaw State and Mercer in the top 100 of both rankings, and the Bucs and the Owls will see each other this weekend in the field at the Insperity Lady Jaguar Intercollegiate in Augusta, Ga.

The pair joins the 19-team field comprised of several Top-50 teams among others that includes host Augusta State, Charleston Southern, Coastal Carolina, Columbia, East Carolina, Georgia State, Illinois, No. 32 Kentucky, Lamar, Maryland, Memphis, No. 27 Notre Dame, No. 15 Purdue, Southern Miss, No. 25 Texas, No. 43 UTSA and No. 12 Vanderbilt.

The Bucs have finished no worse than eighth in any tournament this season and claimed a team title at the UNCG Starmount Forest Tournament Oct. 1-2. They have recorded four straight top-five finishes and are led by the A-Sun defending individual champion Gabriela Wahl (75.3) and fellow Buc Sian Evans (75.5). Five Bucs have at least one top-five finish in 2012-13 that includes Evans’ second at UNCG and freshman Vivienne Chin’s second at the Palmetto Intercollegiate, Oct. 28-29.

A-Sun defending champ Kennesaw State has three top-10 finishes in its six tournaments and is led by sophomore Kaew Preamchuen (74.6). Preamchuen has four top-10 and a pair of top-10 finishes and posted the team’s low round and 18-hole school record of 67 at the Dale McNamara Invitational, Sept. 17-18. The Owls placed 10th in their last event, the JMU Eagle Landing Invitational last week led by Ines Lescudier, who has led the team in the last two events. Lescudier finished 12th at the UCF Challenge Feb. 10-12 and placed 18th last week.

Mercer, Stetson and FGCU head to Ocala to join the field at the Morehead State Ocala Spring Invitational, March 17-19. The Bears are ranked 87th in the GolfWeek/Sagarin rankings and 76th by Golfstat.com, and have fared no worse than seventh in any tournament this season. Lacey Fears leads the team with a 75.0 stroke average, followed closely by Mary Alice Murphy at 75.41. Fears was medalist at the LPGA Xavier Invitational.

Stetson has finished in the top half of two tournaments this season, including a win at the Holiday Inn Express/Hatter Classic. Sammi Smith (77.78) leads the team and also posted a win in that event, and has two top 10 finishes individually. The Hatters finished 11th out of the 17-team field at the JMU Eagle Landing Invitational last week.

Sophomore Georgia Price (76.30) has led FGCU in six tournaments and claimed the individual title at the JU Courtyard Classic, Oct. 15-16. Price has three top-10 finishes in 2012-13 and the Eagles have broken the Top-25 five times with a pair of Top-10 finishes as well.

Senior Rachel Brown has led the Norse in five of their seven tournaments this season, posting her best finish (T/12th) at the Benbow Invitational. The Norse look to change their fortunes as a member of the 13-team field at the Bobby Nichols Intercollegiate, March 18-19, hosted by Tennessee Tech at Sevierville Golf Club.

The USC Upstate women’s golf team will knock off the rust from not playing in a month when it opens play in the Monterey Bay Invitational Sunday in a 54-hole tournament which will conclude Tuesday. Upstate has not played since finishing 10th at the Le Triomphe Collegiate on Feb. 19, its only tournament so far this spring. The tournament is being hosted by Drake with six teams in the field. Joining Upstate and Drake in the tournament is Cal State Bakersfield, Northern Colorado, South Dakota and Western Illinois. Taylor Barnes tops the team with a 79.1 stroke average this year, 2.8 strokes better than her career average. She has a Top-5 finish on her resume for the season. Amanda Hall is right behind her at 79.4 for the season, 1.2 strokes better than her career average. She also has a Top 5 finish to the season.