Rylea Marcum and Terri Doss lift Lady Toppers to victory in first competition; Adam Gary achieves most wins in program history

Pictured left to right. Senior Olivia Reed, graduate Mary Joiner, redshirt senior Teri Doss, senior Megan Clarke, freshman Rylea Marcum, freshman Rachel Rich, and sophomore Sarah Arnold pose following the first tournament the Lady Toppers have played in since COVID-19 pandemic began. 

Matthew Hargrove

The first WKU sport to take place this fall went better than expected, when the WKU women’s golf program finished in first place at the USA Intercollegiate at the University of South Alabama over the weekend. 

It was freshman Rylea Marcum who led the way for the Lady Toppers shooting a tournament second best 5-under. 

“I’m so proud of how the team played today, especially Rylea being her first college event and shooting the scores that she did,” head coach Adam Gary said.

For the rest of the club, redshirt senior Terri Doss was the only other player to shoot below par going 3-under. Graduate Mary Joiner shot even, Meagan Clarke shot 2-over, and Rachel Rich shot 16-over. 

The total score that WKU put up in the three round contest was 858, beating the host Jaguars by nine strokes. That 6-under team score ranked as the second best 54-hole performance in program history. 

Monday afternoon’s victory gave Adam Gary the crown for most tournament wins for a head coach in WKU women’s golf history with eight. 

Day 1: 

The Lady Toppers started the weekend affair on fire, taking a first place spot when it was all said and done on Saturday.

Rylea Marcum cemented her first collegiate round in the record books that very afternoon by putting up the second best individual round in program history.

Marcum shot a 5-under 67 that saw the gifted freshman scratch eight birdies in a string of 13 holes to help her achieve the rare accomplishment. That breathtaking round earned her not just a first place spot for her team, but an individual top spot as well. 

Day 2: 

On Sunday, it was the upperclassmen who kept that WKU lead intact. Clarke and Doss both shot 1-under, while Mary Joiner shot even. In total, the team shot an even par 288. 

Day 3: 

The final day saw one of the best team rounds in Lady Topper history. The squad scored 4-under 284 tying the record for best ever team round. Marcum shot 2-under 70 to cap off a second place individual finish. 

After coach Gary put out into the open that his 2020-2021 team could be the best team in school history, they definitely started off on the right foot with the win in Mobile, Alabama. 

It seemed like everything was another record being broken, and the best part was most of those records were being pursued by none other than a freshman in Marcum. 

Having Joiner and Clarke already makes you a title contending team. Now with Marcum and Doss showing out in their first stints with the Lady Toppers, coach Gary may have a hidden gem roster in the mix the rest of the way. 

The WKU Women’s Golf Team will be back in action on Sept. 20 when they play in the Hoover Country Club Invitational hosted by conference rival the University of Alabama at Birmingham. 

Women’s golf beat reporter Matthew Hargrove can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewHargrov1