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April 26, 2009

Bradford claims second place, Tech third at OVC Championships

LONDON, Ky. – Junior Megan Bradford earned the highest individual finish in nine seasons by a Tennessee Tech women’s golfer at the Ohio Valley Conference Championships, capturing second place overall to help the Golden Eagles claim a third place tie in the eight-team, 54-hole event.

The Golden Eagles held third place right from the start, and wrapped up play Saturday with a 325 total, leaving coach Brandy Stout’s team in a tie with Morehead State with a 967 tourney total.

Bradford is the 12th Tech player to earn OVC all-tournament honors since the event was established in 1994. Previous all-tournament winners from Tech include Beth Underhill (2006), Sarah Thomas (2004), Julie Smith (2004 and 2002), Kim Spangler (2001 and 2000), Kylie Crouch (2001 and 1999), Cherry Bevis (2000), Ashley Beal (2000), Misty McKee (1996), Melanie Gray (1995 and 1994), Lisa Phipps (1995 and 1994) and Amy Waters (1994).

Bradford scored a tournament-best 11 birdies, and also was the tourney leader on the par five holes along with Denman.

Murray State led from wire-to-wire, claiming the school’s seventh women’s OVC golf crown by eight shots over runnerup Jacksonville State. The win by Murray State snapped a four-year OVC title run by the JSU Gamecocks.

This time, MSU posted a 952 team total, carding daily scores of 312, 319 and 321. JSU shot 319 on the opening day to place fourth, then moved into second place Friday with a 316. The Gamecocks shot 325 on the final day, losing four shots to the leader.

Tech shot 318 Thursday and 324 Friday, before closing with Saturday’s 325. Morehead State shot a final round 314 and climbed into a tie with the Golden Eagles for third.

Eastern Illinois, which featured medalist Carrie Riodan, placed fifth (968) just one stroke behind Tech and Morehead State. Austin Peay, the second place team after the first round, slipped all the way to sixth (972), followed by host Eastern Kentucky (974) and Tennessee State (1,237).

Bradford, a junior from Jackson, Tenn., had a chance to be Tech’s first medalist since Kim Spangler in 2000, but a double bogey on 16 and a bogey on 17, cost her three strokes to par. She finished with 79-73-81—233, just three strokes behind Riordan. The medalist from EIU shot 74-79-77 for her winning 230 total.

Madison Denman, a senior from Riverwatch, Tenn., also earned a Top 10 finish for the Golden Eagles. Denman shot rounds of 77, 84 and 78 to post a 239 total and finish tied for ninth. Ashley Spangler, a senior from Soddy Daisy, Tenn., finished her career tied for 15th. She was Tech’s most consistent scorer, carding rounds of 81, 80 and 81 for her 242 total.

Sophomore Carley Rhyne (81-87-88—256) finished in a tie for 26th place. Junior Diana Carson finished in 35th place (90-89-85—264).

In addition to Crouch, currently the team’s assistant coach, the only other Tech player to win medalist honors at the OVC tournament was Lisa Phipps in 1995.