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Redbird Invitational brings eighth place finish for women’s golf

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

The Bradley Braves women’s golf team took eighth place out of 15 schools last weekend at the Redbird Invitational at Illinois State University. The team shot a total of 922 between the three rounds. 

Junior Harriet Barker led the way for the Braves, although she played as an individual, and shot a 54-hole total of 233. The mark was good enough for sixth among individuals and 36th place overall among individuals.

The Braves’ eighth-place finish included sophomore Maria Perakis leading the way with a 10-over-par 226 and senior Mara Flaherty five strokes behind with a combined total of 231. Freshman Allison Pacocha shot a 3-over-par 75 in the second round on her way to a 232 in her first collegiate tournament.

Junior Grace Aromando and fifth-year senior Megan Welch rounded out the scoring with 54-hole scores of 233 and 237, respectively. The team shot a collective 306 in round one, 302 in round two and a 314 in the third round, leading to the total score of 922.

Head coach Halley Morell likes the team’s depth, knowing that the Braves’ work ethic will provide great competition among themselves. She believes that the new golfers in the lineup now understand the pressure and can go out there and perform.

“We didn’t quite perform how we wanted to, [but] we definitely saw glimpses of greatness,” Morell said. “There was a point in our second round where we were five under … We saw a lot of good things and a lot of things that we need to work on as we move along in the season.”

Pacocha finished third among the Braves in her debut with Bradley, shooting rounds of 77, 75 and 80.

“I didn’t really look at where I placed in relation to everyone else, but more my personal score,” Pacocha said. “I wish I could take some shots back, but it’s golf.”

Pacocha is motivated to keep improving her game in hopes of increasing her scores and has a specific goal in mind for how to improve this week.

“[I’ll be] working a lot on putting and short game, because that is where my score went up,” Pacocha said.

In her fourth year with the Braves, Morell knows that every competition is close. Her squad finished three shots behind IUPUI for seventh and Drake finished one stroke behind them, taking ninth. The top six teams in the tournament finished within 12 strokes of each other. This gave Morell the mentality that every swing really does count for more than what is realized.

“Every shot really does matter, and that’s over three days and four players,” Morell said. “So, when you ask them to find a couple shots here and there, don’t make it a lack of mental focus or something that they could have controlled. We’re going to hit bad shots, but [we should] make sure we’re thinking the correct ways and trying to save as many shots as we can around the golf course, because we know it’s that close.”

The team will head to the Nittany Lion Invitational, hosted by Penn State, starting on Saturday.

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