Thursday, March 21, 2013
MACON, Ga. – Three Atlantic Sun women's golf teams are in action this week, as FGCU tees it up in the UC Invitational, USC Upstate joins the field at the Low Country Open and Jacksonville travels to Georgia for the John Kirk/Panther Intercollegiate.
Mercer highlighted last week’s A-Sun women’s golf action, winning a team title for the second time this season. The Bears claimed the team championship of the MSU Ocala Spring Break Collegiate and Lacey Fears finished third after leading the first two rounds. Fears’ finish gives her one win, four Top-10s and six Top-25 finishes in 2012-13 to lead all A-Sun women’s golfers.
FGCU’s Georgia Price and Stetson’s Sammi Smith are not far behind Fears, each with a win, three Top- 10 and four Top-25 finishes. Fears’ teammate Mary Alice Murphy also has three Top-10 and six Top-25 finishes this season.
Mercer recorded one of the five Top-10 finishes by A-Sun teams last week. Others included ETSU (8th) at the Insperity Lady Jaguar Intercollegiate, Stetson (2nd) and FGCU (7th) at the MSU Ocala Spring Break Collegiate, and USC Upstate (3rd) at the Monterey Bay Invitational.
Three teams are ranked in the Top 100 national rankings by GolfWeek and Golfstat, with ETSU remaining the highest ranked A-Sun women’s golf team checking in at No. 63 and No. 62, respectively. ETSU joins Kennesaw State and Mercer in the top 100 of both rankings. The Bucs remained in the same spot in both rankings for the second consecutive week.
FGCU looks to improve on last year’s 15th-place finish at the UC Invitational, March 22-24, in Crystal River, Fla. Last year as a freshman, Georgia Price led the Eagles with a Top-25 finish. This season Price (76.30) has led FGCU in six tournaments, claimed the individual title at the JU Courtyard Classic, Oct. 15- 16, and has three Top-10 finishes. The Eagles have placed in the top half of their last three tournaments and look to build on that momentum.
USC Upstate joins the 18-team field at the Low Country Open, March 24-25, hosted by Wofford at the Moss Creek Golf Course in Hilton Head, S.C. The Spartans finished 13th in the event last season, led by Amanda Hall’s 37th-place finish. This season Hall and Taylor Barnes each have recorded a pair of Top-10 finishes and lead the team in stroke average, Hall at 79.38 and Barnes at 79.13.
Jacksonville made the second-biggest jump in the rankings this week, moving up six spots in the GolfWeek rankings. The Dolphins head to Stockbridge, Ga., for the John Kirk/Panther Intercollegiate, March 25-26, hosted by Georgia State at the Eagle’s Landing Country Club. The two-day tournament will see 36 holes played on Monday and 18 holes on Tuesday on the course that is a former home to the LPGA Chik-Fil-A tour event. Jessica Welch leads JU with a Top-10 and four Top-25 finishes this season.
With the 2013 A-Sun Women’s Golf Championship less than a month away, several teams are building momentum toward the April 15-17 event. Mercer and ETSU have finished in the top half of every event in which they have played this season, the Bears finishing no worse than seventh and the Bucs no worse than eighth. The Bears have two wins, while the Bucs have a win and a pair of runner-ups. FGCU is quietly enjoying moderate success, posting finishes in the top half of six of its eight tournaments with a runner-up finish.
Three record scores were set in last year’s championship, all by the top three teams. Mercer shot an 880, which would have claimed the title in any previous championship. ETSU fired an 875 to top the Bears, only to be bested by Kennesaw State’s 871.