SJ Sports: SJ`s Sweetest Swing

by SJ Sports Club-Pilar Prassas | Sep 28, 2003
SJ Sports: SJ`s Sweetest Swing Age doesn’t seem to matter when it comes to the experienced South Jersey golfer Meghan Bolger. Last year, this 25-year-old graduate of Eastern High School was named head coach of the women’s golf team at the University of Mississippi. The youngest coach in school history, Bolger entered her first season with the enthusiasm and energy needed to lift the program.

In high school, the trend began and Bolger let nothing stand in her way. She was an athlete in every form of the word. A three-sport participant, Bolger made a name for herself in athletics. Her ability to consistently shoot par brought Bolger to the forefront of the otherwise all-boy’s golf team at Eastern. Being a versatile athlete also enabled Bolger to be named third-team All-South Jersey in basketball, and honorable mention selection in All-Group 4 soccer. But golf is what she came to love most.

“I always played three different sports, but I concentrated really hard on golf in my junior and senior years,” said Bolger.

After accepting a full-scholarship to play women’s golf at Tulane University, Bolger’s dedication was recognized by all. In Louisiana, Bolger led the Green Wave with a 77.20 stroke average and earned All-Conference USA honors. She also finished in the number 26 spot of the NCAA Regional Tournament in 2000. Overall, Bolger collected six top-10 finishes and 11 top-25 finishes in her collegiate career.

After graduating from Tulane, Bolger participated in the 2000 and 2001 U. S. Women’s Amateur and has won the Philadelphia Women’s Match-Play Championship four straight years. Her strategy during competition is simple.

“I take one day at a time,” Bolger said. “One match at a time.”

Three years ago, Bolger began looking at golf from a different angle. After spending a year as assistant coach, Bolger’s knowledge of golf shone through and she was named the youngest head golf coach at the University of Mississippi. Bolger took on this new challenge with open arms and immediately brought success to the program.

In her first season, Bolger’s squad claimed the title at the Beacon Woods Invitational in only the second tournament of the year. The title marked the first tournament win in three seasons for Ole Miss. The score 297-302-286--885 marked the lowest three-round score in Ole Miss history.

“We had so much talent and a team who wanted to learn,” said Bolger. “With a new attitude and coaching style, most girls adapted very well.”

The team more than doubled its number of wins and ended the season with an overall record of 70-60-2. The Lady Rebels also succeeded in the Southeastern Conference by more than doubling their number of wins from the previous season.

Now, in her second season, coach Bolger’s instruction and guidance has not gone unnoticed. Sophomore Nikki Hadd fired the lowest single round score in the history of the program with a 67 at the Suntrust Lady Gator Invitational.

“Nikki showed the confidence we’ve been working on in practice, Bolger said. “This is the start to a very successful season and hopefully the start to a very successful future.”

The performance of the woman’s golf team on and off the course has been on the rise since Bolger joined the program. She has become the first coach at Ole Miss to have an athlete inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s most prestigious academic honorary society.

“Academics are always number one. We have study hall requirements and can only practice 20 hours a week,” Bolger said.

Bolger has left her mark in South Jersey, Louisiana, and now Mississippi and she is only at the beginning of her golf career. With many more years of coaching and playing ahead of her, keep your eyes peeled for South Jersey’s sweetest swing.

Content provided by South Jersey Sports Club.

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Author: SJ Sports Club-Pilar Prassas

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