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Golden Eagles in Dickson for OVC Women's Golf Tournament

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Tech women's golf team heads to Dickson, Tenn., this week for the 2011 Ohio Valley Conference women's golf championships. The 54-hole tournament will tee-off at the GreyStone Golf Club on Thursday, with the second round Friday and the final decision riding on Saturday's closing round.

The course will be a par 72, with the yardage running 6,049 yards. Tennessee State will serve as the host for the championship.

Eight teams will compete for the OVC women's golf title - Austin Peay, Eastern Illinois, Eastern Kentucky, Jacksonville State, Morehead State, Murray State, Tennessee State and Tennessee Tech. The student-athletes will begin with a practice round on Wednesday before the opening round starts on Thursday at 8 a.m.

The annual awards banquets will be held following the first round of play Thursday evening. The banquet will honor the All-OVC first-team and second-team members as well as All-Newcomer Team and Freshman of the Year. The OVC Player of the Year, Coach of the Year as well as All-Tournament and Tournament MVP awards will be presented at the conclusion of the championship.

Designed by PGA Tour pro Mark McCumber, GreyStone Golf Club offers a great championship course and great staff. Located in historic Dickson, the golf course is a short drive from Nashville and is easily accessible from throughout middle Tennessee. Opened in 1998, GreyStone Golf Club is a public course that has hosted numerous high profile events including PGA Tour qualifying, Senior PGA Tour qualifying and the Tennessee State Open.
 
This marks the second year in a row that GreyStone has hosted the OVC Men's and Women's Championships and the course will also host the event each of the next two seasons. Last year the Murray State men's and women's teams claimed championships, marking only the second time in OVC history one school had swept both Championships.

Hole-by-hole live results from each day of the championship can be accessed through links at OVCSports.com or by clicking here.
 
A year ago, Murray State continued a recent trend of teams repeating as champions as the Racers won their second-straight OVC women's crown and record eighth overall title. Murray State trailed by a stroke after 18 holes but regained the lead on the second day of the championship and went on to top Jacksonville State by five strokes in an event that was shortened to 45 holes due to poor weather. If history is any indication, Murray State would be a favorite to win this year's crown, as every time the Racers have won a title, they have gone ahead to win three-straight championships (1997-99 and 2002-04).
 
Individually Austin Peay's Chelsea Harris won her first OVC medalist crown by shooting a 45-hole total of 180, five strokes better than second place; it was the first time a Lady Gov had won the title since 2001.

This season Jacksonville State has the best team stroke average (303.1) in the OVC, bettering Morehead State by half a stroke (303.6). The Gamecocks won four-straight OVC crowns from 2005-08. Morehead State, who re-established its women's golf program prior to the 2008-09 season, is looking for its first-ever crown. The Golden Eagles bring a team scoring average of 324.7 strokes into the tournament, which ranks fifth in the league.
 
Individually Jacksonville State junior Lucia Fernandez Valdes leads the OVC in stroke average, averaging 74.9 strokes per round in 24 total rounds this season. Morehead State had the next three leaders during the regular season, including last year's OVC Freshman of the Year Marisa Kamelgarn (75.5), Paige Lausier (75.8) and Emma Jonsson (75.8). Harris, the defending champion, was fifth in the league (75.9).

Tech's scoring leader this season has been senior Carley Rhyne with an average of 80.1 through 19 rounds of tournament play. Both Rhyne and Katherine Bell have fired rounds of 69 this season, which is tied for the best score in the OVC during 2010-11. Bell notched her career-low 69 in the first round of the Great Smokies Invitational on Sept. 19, while Rhyne's 69 came a day later in the second round of the same tourney. Tech's second round of that event is the seventh-lowest team round of the year at 293.