Lady Toppers place second in Hoover Invitational

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers women’s golfer Sarah Arnold plays a practice round at Olde Stone Country Club. 

Matthew Hargrove

With a five stroke lead and 18 holes left to play, the WKU Women’s Golf team fell apart Tuesday afternoon finishing in second place at the Hoover Invitational in Birmingham, Alabama.

The club shot an 8-over 296, which ruined their chances to get back-to-back tournament wins to begin the season.

After not qualifying to compete with her teammates in match one, sophomore Sarah Arnold put up the best scores for the Lady Toppers shooting a 219 (3-over par). This result gave her a No. 8 individual finish.

Fresh off of her Conference USA Player of the Week award, freshman Rylea Marcum put up an uncharacteristic 9-over (81) for the first round before shooting even in the final 36 holes.

The Lady Toppers tournament score of 878 was six strokes shy of the top spot held by the University of Indianapolis.  

Day 1:

Despite the 7-over 295 score, the Lady Toppers finished Sunday’s first round in second place behind the eventual winners in the Greyhounds.

Every member of the WKU Women’s Golf team finished over par except for senior Meagan Clarke, who shot a 1-under 71.

Day 2:

The second round was more enlightening though, as the Lady Toppers moved up to first place after a 1-under 287.

Arnold led the way shooting a 2-under 72, while redshirt senior Terri Dose and Marcum helped WKU gain a five stroke lead with even pars.

Day 3:

For the last 18 holes, the Lady Toppers went back to their first round playing ways to shoot a team total of 296 (8-over par). 

The Greyhounds took advantage of the WKU Tuesday mistakes to shoot a 3-under 285, coming all the way back from five strokes down to hand the Lady Toppers their silver medal.

Clarke was back at it again despite the rough day for WKU shooting a 72-even par. This gave her a 221 (5-over par) individual finish, which was the second best result for the Lady Toppers. 

Marcum as well hit even on the final day, finishing the tournament with a 225 (9-over par).

Graduate Mary Joiner went on to shoot an 8-over 224 with Doss finishing out the WKU lineup with a 10-over 226.

A hard pill to swallow in regards to blowing a five stroke lead, yet this Lady Toppers team still has had one of their better starts in program history with a first and second place finish to begin fall play.

Head coach Adam Gary and his players are now going to have to wait almost a month to redeem themselves, when they go to Arkansas State University on Oct. 12 to compete in a two-day contest.   

Football beat reporter Matthew Hargrove can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewHargrov1