Last Thursday afternoon, former Franklin-Simpson Lady Cat and Western Kentucky University Lady Toppers’ senior Mary Joiner spoke to Franklin Rotary Club’s meeting at the Blewett-Bradley Building.
Mary received a call from her dad Terry Joiner, who is a Rotarian, asking her to speak at the meeting. She accepted and talked about her final season at Western Kentucky University and her accomplishments and experiences playing for the Lady Toppers’ golf team. She also spoke about her final season as a golfer for the Lady Toppers.
“I would like to finish my last season strong,” Mary Joiner said. “It’s really strange that my collegiate career is coming to an end. I will miss it a lot. Best four years of my life. I’m really grateful for all the opportunities that WKU has given me.”
Joiner has accomplished so much in three years for the Lady Toppers. In her freshman season, she competed in all 11 tournaments played by the Lady Toppers Led the team in four events, including two outright victories. She started the season at the Drake Creek Invitational, where she shot 217 and clinched an individual win — the first by a Lady Topper since 2014-2015. She shot a career-low score of 66, the best score by a Lady Topper in several seasons, at the Idle Hour Collegiate Championship, winning her second title with a score of 213. Was named Conference USA Golfer of the Week after both victories. She placed in the top-15 in seven events, finished the year with a stroke average of 75.4, which was the second-best on the Lady Topper’s team.
As much as Mary Joiner accomplished in her first season, her sophomore season was phenomenal. She participated in all 11 tournaments for the Lady Toppers, led the team in four events and led the team with a 73.9 stroke average, the best single-season stroke average in program history. She was selected to the All-Conference USA First Team and the All-Academic Team. Accomplishments include that she had nine top-25 performances, five top-10 finishes, four top-fives and two individual victories, giving her a program-record four in her career. She won the Spring Break Shootout title by a commanding eight strokes and also claimed the EKU Colonel Classic crown with a birdie on the first playoff hole. She set new career best for scores for 36 holes with a score of 142 and for 54 holes with a score of 212 back-to-back at the UNF Collegiate and Spring Break Shootout, the latter of which tied for the second-best 54-hole score in program history. She finished in the top three on four occasions, including three times in four tournaments. Was named Conference-USA Golfer of the Week three times in a five-week span during the spring and Tied for 17th at the 2018 Conference USA Championship.
Mary Joiner’s junior season was even more incredible. She was named to the President’s List in the fall semester of 2018 and the spring semester of 2019. Mary competed in all 10 tournaments, recording the best score on the team in six tournaments. Selected to the All-Conference USA Third Team by breaking her own single-season record for stroke average at 71.4. She won back-to-back individual victories to start the season, winning the USA Intercollegiate and the Boston College Intercollegiate which gave her six career individual victories, which is a Conference-USA and program record. Joiner was named Conference USA Golfer of the Week twice, tying her for the second-most career weekly honors at seven. For her career, she has recorded eight top-25 finishes with three top-10 finishes. She set new new school records for 36-hole score, with a score of 139, and 54-hole score of 208 at the USA Intercollegiate to open the season. Mary earned sixth-place honors at the Memphis Women’s Intercollegiate and finished 25th at the Conference USA Championship with a 54-hole score of 222, good for second-best on the team.
“Everything I accomplished in college was unexpected but it really means a lot,” Mary Joiner said. “It is really cool and a humbling experience. My accomplishments will sink in more once the season is over, I just want to finish the season strong, work hard and I’ll process everything once the season is over.”
With her final season coming up, Mary Joiner still has more goals to achieve which would further establish herself as the greatest women’s golfer in program history. Getting a win would be nice but she just wants to play well, be in contention, improve her putting and break the single season scoring record again.
Mary Joiner is majoring in finance.