Joiner's dominant play leads to individual, team wins

Former Franklin-Simpson Lady Cat and sophomore Mary Joiner dominated her second tournament in a row as she led the Lady Toppers to a 24 strokes victory over Jacksonville. Individually, she had an eight strokes victory for her third win of her career and first in her sophomore season, at the Spring Break Shootout hosted by Western Kentucky University.

Her score of 212, four under par, was the same score she shot in last week's University of North Florida's Collegiate Golf Tournament, where she tied for the second best 54 holes score in program history. It was her fifth top-three finish of her career and good enough for an eight stroke victory over her teammate, senior Georgina Blackman, who shot a four over par score of 220 for her highest finish of her career.

"It's been a great tournament," Joiner said. "I'm so excited for the team and it feels great to get it done as an individual as well. I'm looking forward to the next tournament and seeing what else we can do."

Joiner led wire-to-wire throughout the tournament. She shot an opening round 69 followed by a 73 and finished with a final round with a 70 for the victory. She had nine pars on the front nine in the final round at the par-72, 6,239-yard Lake Jovita Golf Club before scoring three birdies and a bogey on the back nine. She played par-4s and par-5s better than anyone in the tournament and had a tournament high of 12 birdies.

Blackman shot an opening round of 71, trailing Joiner by two strokes and by five strokes after shooting a 76 in the second round. She finished the final round with a 73 to finish eight strokes off the lead. Senior Katie Story also tied her best finish of her career with a fifth place finish with a score of 224 (73-77-74), and sophomore Bailey Tyree tied for 16th by shooting a score of 229 (78-75-76). Freshman Megan Clarke set her new career high finish by tying for 18th at 230 (76-81-73).

"I'm so proud of the team this week," Lady Toppers Golf Head Coach Adam Gary said. "They were focused and prepared while I was busy running the tournament. To win by 24 over a good field is a real confidence boost. Mary Joiner's eight-shot victory was very impressive. I'm glad to see her hard work paying off."

Because of her dominant victory, Joiner was named Conference USA's Golfer of the Week for the second week in a row. The award is the fourth of Joiner's career. She was named Conference USA Women's Co-Golfer of the Week last week after finishing third in the UNF Collegiate Golf Tournament.

The Lady Toppers are back on the course at Georgia State's John Kirk Panther Intercollegiate Tournament March 25th - 27th in Atlanta, Georgia.

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