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Braves women’s golf finish fifth at the Coyote Creek Classic

Senior Megan Welch watches an approach shot at the Coyote Creek Classic. Photo courtesy of Bradley Athletics

It had been over four years since the Bradley women’s golf team hosted a tournament, but that stretch came to a close when the Braves hosted the Coyote Creek Classic on Oct. 9-10 at Coyote Creek Golf Club in Bartonville. 

The tournament was dominated by Xavier, Missouri State and Illinois State but the defending Big East champion Xavier finished first overall at seven-over-par. 

Bradley featured seven golfers, two of whom played as individuals, in the tournament and finished fifth against stiff competition. 

After day one, Bradley was in fourth place with a six-shot lead over Green Bay. 

At the conclusion of the tournament, Green Bay had surpassed Bradley as the Braves finished in fifth at 912, one stroke behind the Phoenix and two strokes ahead of Loyola Chicago. 

Senior Megan Welch continued her dominant season, finishing eighth individually at 222 for her second top-10 finish this year. Her classmate, Sarah Nacos, finished at 234 to earn a 34th-place finish. Elyse Emerzian, the last Braves senior who competed, tied for 54th at 246.

Bradley’s lone junior, Mara Flaherty, tied for 21st at 229. 

Arguably the biggest highlight of the tournament was from sophomore Vaijayanti Bharkhada, who played as an individual. The Brampton, Ontario native recorded her first career hole-in-one on the par-three 11th hole. She finished tied for 27th at 231. 

The majestic par-3 11th hole at Coyote Creek Golf Club. Photo courtesy of Bradley Athletics

Freshmen phenoms Kathryn McNease and Maria Perakis continued their great season as Perakis tied for 24th at 230 and McNease tied Nacos for 34th. 

As the fall season wraps up, the Braves have shown consistency in their four tournaments.

The magic number for the Braves this season seems to be five. The Coyote Creek Classic was the second tournament this season that the team has finished fifth, the first coming at the season-opening Redbird Invitational.

The second tournament of the year featured the Braves finishing tied for eighth out of 16 teams. The Payne Stewart Memorial featured a dominant showing from both freshmen, Perakis and McNease, as they both posted top-20 finishes. 

The Johnie Imes Invitational may not have gone as planned for the women’s team, but they still managed to make history. In the final round of the tournament, Bradley shot 293, which was its lowest round in program history. This round was too little, too late and was not enough for the Braves, as they finished 11th out of 13 teams. 

After a two-week break, the Braves will be back in action from Oct. 24-26 at the Little Rock Classic to close the fall season.

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