DICKSON, Tenn. – The Ohio Valley Conference men’s
golf tournament is the season’s last hurrah for the five
seniors who make up the lineup for Tennessee Tech.
Seniors Blake Garrison, Jake Heatherly, Wes Korth, Preston Marshall and Josh Simer (pictured) were among the first players on the course today. Nine teams are bidding for an OVC title in the three-day, 54-hole event that will crown a champion Wednesday afternoon.
The tournament is being played at the 6,858-yard, par 72 GreyStone Golf Club in Dickson, Tenn., with 18 holes scheduled for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
A year ago at the men's OVC championship, Austin Peay outlasted
two weather delays to come from five strokes down and edge Murray
State by a single shot.
It was the seventh OVC Championship for the Governors and first since the 2003 season. Austin Peay's win marked the fourth different team to win the OVC men's championship in the last five years. Individually Jacksonville State's Gonzalo Berlin took home medalist honors, edging Morehead State's Lee Chaney by one shot.
This year Murray State has had the top team stroke average, netting 291.4 strokes per round in 32 total rounds. That is nearly three strokes better than Eastern Kentucky (294.3), the 2006 and 2008 champions. Jacksonville State (297.7), Eastern Illinois (298.0), Tennessee State (298.0), Tennessee Tech (298.1) and Morehead State (298.8) are in the next group of balanced teams.
Individually Murray State's Nick Newcomb had the top stroke average during the season, averaging 72.4 strokes per round in 32 total rounds. That just barely topped 2009 OVC Golfer of the Year Erik Barnes of Austin Peay who averaged 72.6 strokes per round.
Tennessee State's Chris Seibel and Murray State's Cameron
Carrico (a three-time OVC Golfer of the Week this season) were tied
for third (72.8) while Eastern Kentucky freshman Zack Butler (73.0,
and also a three-time OVC Golfer of the Week) rounded out a tight
group amongst the top five golfers.
Simer owns Tech’s low average (73.7) heading into the tournament, with Heatherly (75.6) and Korth (75.8) second and third.