BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Coming off a team win in Boston and two straight individual
victories by junior Mary Joiner, WKU Lady Topper Golf returns to action this weekend
at Kentucky’s Bettie Lou Evans Invitational.
The Lady Toppers will take all seven golfers on the roster to the 12-team event at
the par-72, 6,221-yard Big Blue Course at the University Club in Lexington, KY. This
is the 29th season for the tournament.
Joiner, juniors Abigail Smee and Bailey Tyree, and freshmen Lizzie Loy and Caroline
Waldrop will represent WKU in team competition. Sophomores Megan Clarke and Caroline
Cavin will participate as individuals.
Teams will play 18 holes each day Friday through Sunday. Friday’s first round is
slated to begin at 8 a.m. CT.
“University of Kentucky is going to have a strong field – Notre Dame, Penn State –
we’ve got some in-state schools in Eastern (Kentucky) and us,” WKU head coach Adam
Gary said. “Middle Tennessee, so we’ve got a Conference USA school as well. It’ll be
nice to step up the competition a little bit, obviously to play a team like Kentucky
at their home course is going to be tough, but weather’s looking good and everybody
seems to be coming into form, so I feel like we’re going to carry our momentum over
into this tournament this weekend.”
WKU has plenty of momentum after winning the team title at the Boston College
Intercollegiate last week – the sixth team championship in Gary’s five seasons at
In addition to Joiner’s co-medalist performance, the Lady Toppers also got top-20
finishes from Clarke and Loy, who was competing in her second college event.
“Last week at Boston, the conditions were obviously pretty tough because it was
windy and cold and rainy,” Loy said. “But I thought over the three rounds, as a team
I thought we played pretty great. We all played pretty consistent and for me, a
top-20 finish in my second tournament was pretty exciting because coming off of the
first one it was definitely an adjustment. … But I was pretty proud of us and I hope
we continue to turn corners and continue to do well for the team.”
Joiner has picked up the win in both of WKU’s tournaments so far this season, giving
her six individual career victories – a Lady Topper and Conference USA record.
For the second straight event, Joiner came from behind for the win, this time
charging back from a six-stroke deficit to start the day to share the individual
“In the past couple years, I’ve played all right, but I’ve really been able to limit
more mistakes this year,” Joiner said. “A lot less stumbles, a lot less dumb bogeys.
Now if I make a couple bogeys in a round, it’s all right because I can bounce back
with a couple more birdies too, so I feel like I’m playing more consistent, and I
hope that continues going forward.”
Joiner has now moved onto the all-time NCAA list for most career wins. Coming into
the season, only 81 other women’s golfers on record had at least six career
“If you want to relate it to other sports, it’s almost like she wants the ball,”
Gary said. “She wants to take the last shot. She’s not afraid of the situation. If
she’s near the lead, she’s going to do whatever she needs to do to win. If someone
beats her, they did just that, they beat her – she’s not going to beat herself.”