Birdies tough to come by for Golden Eagles on first day of OVC tourney

Birdies tough to come by for Golden Eagles on first day of OVC tourney

DICKSON, Tenn. -- Golden Eagle golfers managed just two birdies Thursday during the first day of the 2011 Ohio Valley Conference women's golf championships, and Tennessee Tech is seventh in the team standings following 18 holes of play at GreyStone Golf Course.

Coach Brandy Stout's team wrapped up play Thursday with a score of 337, putting them at 49-over par and ahead of eight-place Tennessee State (365).

Morehead State grabbed the tournament lead by posting a 292 team total, earning a five-stroke edge on defending champion Murray State (297). Jacksonville State (304), Eastern Kentucky (305) and Austin Peay (319) round out the top five, followed by Eastern Illinois (327), Tech and TSU. 

Freshman Brandy VanEtten claimed a birdie two on the par 3, 16th hole, while sophomore Katherine Bell managed a birdie three on the par 4, 13th hole. The Golden Eagles recorded 36 pars, 38 bogeys and 14 holes at double bogey or higher.

Senior Carley Rhyne holds Tech's highest spot on the individual leaderboard, finishing the day at nine-over 81 to put her in 25th place. Rhyne had 11 pars on her scorecard.

Bell and VanEtten were next, each scoring 13-over 85 to place them in a tie for 31st. In addition to her birdie, VanEtten managed six pars, while Bell scored par on eight holes in addition to her birdie. Freshman Katy Beth Glover was one shot back at 86, tied for 33rd place, after scoring seven pars on the day. Tech's fifth entry in the tourney, senior Lindsay Spradlen, is in 36th place with a score of 91.

Individually, Swedish import Emma Johnsson from Morehead State toured the course in two-under 70 to take the early lead. She had five birdies and 10 pars during Thursday's round and was at five-under before closing with three straight bogeys. Three players are tied at even-par 72, two shots back including Murray State junior Morgan Cross, and Morehead State teammates Marisa Kamelgarn and Paige Lausier.

The second round tees off Friday at 8:30 a.m. Follow the live stats by clicking here.