As WKU senior Georgina Blackman put it, the dynamic has changed for the Lady Topper golf team.
The Lady Toppers bring balance throughout their roster into the 2017-18 campaign, spearheaded by experienced seniors who will be expected to lead the way.
“I’m one of the oldest now, which is a bit weird,” Blackman said with a laugh. “But I think we’ve got a good team, and we’re all looking forward to getting started and competing.”
WKU opens its season this weekend at South Alabama’s USA Intercollegiate. The Lady Toppers will be one of 13 teams competing Saturday through Monday at the par-72, 6,002-yard RTJ Magnolia Grove-Crossings Course in Mobile, Ala.
The teams will play 18 holes each day, beginning at 8 a.m. CT for every round.
For WKU, this season is the last for three seniors – Blackman, Katie Story and Elizabeth Cason.
Blackman led the Lady Toppers in six of 11 events last year and notched six top-10 finishes, including the last four events of the season. She was named to the All-Conference USA First Team and became just the second Lady Topper to earn all-league honors in three seasons.
Blackman also tied for seventh at the 2017 Conference USA Championships, which was the best individual finish by a Lady Topper since 2000. She set a new program record for lowest total score in a conference championship by an individual at 220.
“I had a bit of a tough summer and didn’t play as well as I wanted to, but I’ve come back and I feel really confident,” Blackman said. “I want to keep getting top 10s and hopefully win one this year – that’s the aim.”
Story also heads into her final season after a successful junior campaign. She finished in the top 25 on eight occasions and led the team twice.
Also returning are redshirt junior Hannah Turner and sophomores Mary Joiner, Bailey Tyree and Abigail Smee.
Joiner led WKU four times last season with two individual victories in the fall season. Her victory in her debut tournament was the Lady Toppers’ first since 2014-15.
Joiner also placed in the top 15 in seven events, and her career-low 66 at the Idle Hour Collegiate Championship is believed to be the best score ever by a Lady Topper.
WKU’s roster is rounded out by two incoming freshmen, Caroline Cavin and Megan Clarke, who are both among the Lady Toppers’ traveling party to the USA Intercollegiate.
“The freshmen have come in and really added to the team,” Story said. “We all get along, and everything’s been great to this point. It’s been more than we could’ve asked for, really.”
The Lady Toppers are entering their fourth season under head coach Adam Gary. Their victory last year in the Drake Creek Invitational was the program’s fourth win in Gary’s first three seasons at the helm. His four titles are the second-most by a Lady Topper coach, and he’s the second coach in program history to win a tournament in each of his/her first three seasons in charge.
How to follow the Lady Toppers: For complete information on WKU Lady Topper Golf, follow the team on Twitter at @WKUWomensGolf.
WKU Athletic Communications/Media Relations