FORT MYERS, Fla. – FGCU Women’s golf tees off the fall campaign Friday at the Lady Paladin Intercollegiate from Greenville, South Carolina.
The intercollegiate is a three-day (Sept. 23-25), 54-hole tournament hosted by Furman University. A total of 18 programs will compete at Furman University Golf Course, a par-72 and a 6,256-yard course.
Eighteen holes of competition are scheduled for each day of competition, Friday through Sunday.
Sophomores Posie Farrelly (Lutz Fla.) and Ann Claire Bridge (Collierville, Tenn.) and freshmen Louisiana Gauthier (Uruguay), Leonie Wulfers (Germany) and Grace Rigby-Walder (England) round out the starting five for the Green and Blue under first-year head Coach Shannon Sykora.
Friday and Saturday’s tee times are set begin at 9 am off No. 1 and No. 10 tees. Sunday is a shotgun start also beginning at 9 am
Only two Eagles return from a season ago which saw FGCU win the Spring Break Shootout and finished tied for seventh at the ASUN Championship. FGCU posted four top-five team finishes last year with an average team score of 299.97. The Eagles will also have to replace Laura Edmonds and Haley Yerxaboth of whom left their stamp on the FGCU record book.
Edmonds holds the all-time lowest career average score in program history, a 73.71 over 86 career rounds, and Yerxa is second all-time in career scoring average with a 75.40 through 57 rounds.
Returnee Farrelly competed in 10 events a season ago as a freshman, averaging 77.41 over 29 rounds of play. Farelly carded a season-low round of 72 at the Jupiter Women’s Invitational and posted a season best finish of T19th at the First Coast Classic.
At the time of Gauthier’s official signing with the Green and Blue, she ranked as the No. 1 Amateur in Uruguay. Over the last two years, Gauthier has six tournament wins and 18 top-10 finishes among her 21 countable events. She just narrowly missed out on a top-10 finish at the Women’s Amateur Latin America Championship this past November where she tied for 12th overall.
Bridge, an FAU transfer, competed in four team events with the Owls during 2021-22 and was named to the FAU All-Freshman Team. She ranked fourth on the Squad with a 77.0 scoring average through 11 rounds. She also recorded a season-best finish at the Jupiter Women’s Invitational, tying for 33rd. Additionally, she was a Dean’s List honoree and earned recognition on the Conference USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll.
For Wulfers and Rigby-Walder, the Lady Paladin Intercollegiate will be their first-ever Collegiate event.
LADY PALADIN INTERCOLLEGIATE:
Greenville, SC / Sept. 23-25
Hosted by Furman University
Furman University Golf Course
Par 72 / 6,256 yards
Daytona St. College
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After a highly successful decade leading Barry University, Shannon Sykora was named the FGCU Women’s golf head Coach on June 16, 2022. During his career with Barry, the Buccaneers won the 2017 NCAA Division II National Title, while finishing runner-up in 2014 and placing third in 2013 and 2022. Sykora led Barry to 28 tournament wins in his decade as head coach including four Division I tournament victories. He has produced five WGCA All-America First Team selections, nine WGCA Scholar All-Americans, one Honorable mention All-American, the 2013 NCAA Division II Individual National Champion, and the only D-II player to compete in the Inaugural Augusta Women’s Amateur .
FGCU Athletics sponsors events in November and April to benefit the FGCU Campus Food Pantry (www.fgcu.edu/foodpantry) and the Harry Chapin Food Bank (www.harrychapinfoodbank.org), FGCU Athletics’ Charities of choice. For more information, including how to make a contribution, please visit www.fgcu.edu/adminservices/foodpantry and use the hashtag #FeedFGCU to help raise awareness.
FGCU teams have combined to win an Incredible 92 conference regular season and tournament titles in just 15 seasons at the Division I level. Additionally, in just 11 seasons of DI postseason eligibility, the Eagles have had a combined 45 teams or individuals compete in NCAA championships. In 2022, the men’s golf team became the first program to earn an at-large berth to the NCAA Tournament. Eight FGCU programs have earned a top-25 national ranking in their respective sport – including Women’s basketball (No. 20, 2021-22), beach volleyball (No. 20, 2022) and both men’s soccer (2018, 2019) and Women’s soccer (2018) as four of the most recent. In 2016-17, the Green and Blue posted a department-best sixth-place finish in the DI-AAA Learfield Directors’ Cup and top-100 showing nationally, ahead of several Power-5 and FBS institutions. In 2018-19, the Eagles had an ASUN and state of Florida best seven teams earn the NCAA’s Public Recognition Award for their Academic Progress Rate in their sport. FGCU also collectively earned a record 3.50 GPA in the Classroom in the fall 2020 semester and has outperformed the general university undergraduate population for 26 consecutive semesters. The past five semesters (Fall 2019 – Spring 2022) saw another milestone reached as all 15 programs achieved a 3.0-or-higher cumulative team GPA. The Eagles also served an all-time high 7,200 Volunteer hours in 2017 – being recognized as one of two runners-up for the Inaugural NACDA Community Service Award presented by the Fiesta Bowl.