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Braves turn in lowest 18-hole team score in nearly two years at Johnie Imes Invite

Bradley capped a successful weekend at the Johnie Imes Invite. Photo courtesy Bradley Athletics and Josh Schwam.

The Bradley women’s golf team wrapped up a three-day tournament at the Johnie Imes Invitational held Sept. 27-29. The team played its best golf down the stretch in the third round, firing the team’s lowest 18-hole score in almost two years with a five-over par 293. The mark was good enough for 11th place. 

The Braves were again paced by freshman Maria Perakis, who carded a team-best 71 in the final round. All five players scored in the 70’s in the last round of the tournament. 

“Our last two rounds this week really showed our potential to compete with some of the best teams in the country,” head coach Halley Morell said.  

The Braves improved as a team in each day of the tournament and Morell was pleased to see the trend. 

“The golf course that we played was one of the more challenging courses that we have seen this season so far,” Morell said. “As a result, we made some course management mistakes in the first round that cost us. We were able to correct those mistakes and have more confidence going into the last two rounds.”

The field was full of top teams in the area as well as the nation. Missouri protected its home course and took home the team title. Ragga Kristinsdottir of Eastern Kentucky won the individual title at 12-under par, 204. 

“Playing against highly ranked teams like those that were in the tournament this week gives us a chance to see how we stack up against them and learn what we can do to improve,” Morell said. “We learned that we can absolutely compete with some of the best teams in the country, but also need to minimize our mistakes and capitalize on birdie opportunities if we are going to be able to beat them regularly.”

Fellow freshman Kathryn McNease followed Perakis with a total score of 227. McNease carded a personal best 74 in the second round of the tournament. 

Right alongside McNease was senior Megan Welch, who totaled a 227 as well. Welch improved every round, carding a 76 and 74 in her last two rounds. 

Senior Sarah Nacos made her first start in two years and led the Braves in round one with a score of 76. The native of Washington, Iowa finished tied for 53rd this week. 

Junior Mara Flaherty carded the second best score for the Braves in the final round of the Imes Invitational, with a score of 73. Flaherty was able to bounce back after an opening round 83, tying for 57th. 

The Braves are off until Oct. 9 when they host their own tournament at Coyote Creek Golf Club in Bartonville. The tournament is scheduled to tee off at 8:30 a.m. 


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