Fri, Oct 16, 2020 - [Women's Golf]
McLaughlin named Jessica Smith Endowed Scholarship recipient

COLUMBIA, Ky. -- Lindsey Wilson women's golf sophomore Claire McLaughlin has been named the Jessica Smith Endowed Scholarship recipient.

McLaughlin is the second recipient of the endowed scholarship named after former Blue Raider Jessica Smith, who tragically passed away in an automobile accident on October 2, 2016.

McLaughlin, a Kilwinning, Scotland, native, says she is honored to be chosen for the scholarship.

"I am incredibly thankful to receive the Jessica Smith Endowed Scholarship," McLaughlin said. "This scholarship provides me an opportunity to continue my education here at Lindsey Wilson while playing a sport I truly love. I am forever grateful to the Smith family for their generosity to our golf program and for selecting me for this scholarship."

Earl and Marlene Smith created the Jessica Smith Endowed Scholarship -- affectionately called "The Jessica" -- to benefit a women's golf student-athlete. The $25,000 endowed gift is pledged in the memory of their daughter who played three seasons for the Lindsey Wilson women's golf program, graduating in 2010.

"Jessica enjoyed her time at Lindsey Wilson and as parents, we were so proud to watch her walk across the stage for her graduation," Earl Smith said. "The Jessica Endowment is very close to our hearts and we look forward to meeting with Claire."

Lindsey Wilson golf coach Eric Wyrick said the Smith's generosity is overwhelming.

"It is such an honor and I am beyond appreciative of all that Earl and Marlene have done to continue Jessica's legacy with the scholarship," Wyrick said. "I know Claire is excited to receive it in Jessica's name. The fact that we get to honor Jessica in this way is truly heartwarming and something that reminds us of the bigger picture every day. I want to say a huge thank you again to Earl and Marlene, their generosity is beyond appreciated."

Jessica Smith was a two-time NAIA All-American (2008, 2010) while playing at Lindsey Wilson. She concluded her collegiate golfing career with a 78.9 scoring average -- second-best in LWC women's golf history. She won six individual tournaments while helping Lindsey Wilson win 20 team titles, including three conference championships and three top-10 finishes at the NAIA National Championships.

Smith was the 2009-10 Mid-South Conference Player of the Year and the 2008 NAIA Region XI Player of the Year. She earned all-tournament honors at the 2010 NAIA National Championship.

McLaughlin owns a 78.2 career scoring average in 10 events over two seasons, including a win and five top-10s. This season, McLaughlin finished third at the Lindsey Wilson Fall Invite in early October and fifth this week at the Campbellsville Fall Invite.

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