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JEKYLL ISLAND, Ga. – Seniors Lacey Fears and Mary Alice Murphy turned in scores of even-par 72 and 1-over 73, respectively, to help the Mercer women's golf team finish Monday's opening round of the Atlantic Sun Championship atop the leaderboard.

Mercer's team score of 294 was six strokes over par and places the Bears three shots ahead of Kennesaw State for the tournament lead. East Tennessee State (300), North Florida (305) and Northern Kentucky (306) round out the top five.

Fears started strong with a birdie on the 501-yard par five first hole and never looked back en route to her even-par round. Fears' 72 leaves her just one stroke off the pace of tournament co-leaders, Kaew Preamchuen (Kennesaw State) and Jessica Welch (Jacksonville).

Murphy is tied for fifth place overall after carding back-to-back birdies on the 12th and 13th holes and shooting 35 (-1) on the back nine. Her 73 positions her as part of a four-way tie for fifth place.

Freshman Katy Harris is tied for ninth place after signing for a 74 on Monday. Junior Sarah Louie Brown shot 75 and is tied for 12th place while freshman Marin Hanna is tied for 18th place after using 76 strokes on Monday.

The second round is set for an 8 a.m. start on Tuesday morning. Live scoring is provided by Golfstat.com.

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