Anthony Bradley lines up a shot Saturday afternoon at the OVC Golf Championship at Greystone Golf Club.
DICKSON, Tenn. – After battling back and hanging tough for 53 holes, Austin Peay had positioned itself to win the 2012 Ohio Valley Conference Golf Championship at Greystone Golf Club Saturday afternoon.
Unfortunately for the Govs, a disastrous Friday round and a double bogey on the tournament’s final hole proved to be difference as the club’s three-day total of 862 was one stroke behind tournament champion Jacksonville State.
Entering the final hole tied with the Gamecocks at 855, Govs sophomore and tournament medalist Anthony Bradley hooked a tee shot wide left and out of bounds – potentially opening the door for Tom Robson to win the tournament for the Gamecocks.
After Robson’s shot sliced into the deep rough, Bradley rebounded with an approach shot that landed some 25 feet away from the hole.
Two strokes later, Robson landed safely on the green, putting all the pressure back on Bradley to drain the bogey putt to send the tournament to a playoff.
Playing a late break to the left, Bradley’s putt was on line but stopped less than a foot from the cup.
Robson’s ensuing bogey putt found the bottom of the cup and gave sent the Gamecocks squad into a frenzy on the 18th green.
“We fought so hard to get back into it and actually took the lead through 16 holes,” Govs head coach Kirk Kayden said. “We had control of the tournament and then we had a couple of hiccups down the stretch. But you can’t blame Anthony. We had mistakes throughout the tournament that all played a part in us coming up short.”
The double bogey on marred an otherwise outstanding tournament from Bradley, who birdied three holes on the back nine Saturday to pull the Govs into contention.
“I made a big birdie put on No. 17 and I felt like I had the momentum going,” Bradley said. “I hadn’t been hitting it well off the tee all day but I wasn’t especially nervous or especially non-committed. I just put a bad swing on it at the wrong time and it ended up with us losing by a shot.”
Bradley’s 1-over round gave him a three stroke edge over Eastern Illinois David Lawrence for the tournament’s individual title, but the Govs received solid rounds from the rest of their squad as well.
Dustin Korte fired a 72 to finish with a three-day total of 214 – good enough for a tie for fourth place.
Marco Iten posted a 72 of his own Saturday to finish four strokes behind Korte while Tucker Wallace recorded the low round of the day with a 70 to finish at 224.
Trey Tarpley rounded out the scoring with a Saturday 75 to finish 12-over for the tournament.
After taking a commanding six-stroke lead during Thursday’s opening round, the Govs gave back seven strokes with a 295 on Friday before battling back late on Saturday.
“When you look back at it Friday was really the day that did us in,” Kayden said. “Shooting seven over on this golf course is unlike us and that came back to cost us. We got ourselves back into it but we came up just short.”
As the tournament medalist, Bradley earned the OVC’s automatic berth to the NCAA Men’s Golf Regionals held May 17-19.
As a team, the loss brought an abrupt end to a promising and largely successful season for the Govs, who went 29-0 in head-to-head competition against OVC teams during the regular season.
Despite the loss, the Govs figure to again be in title contention with every player on the 2011 roster scheduled to return.
“We had some guys that came out and played really well,” Bradley said. “A few guys were playing on this stage for the first time and they came up big. This loss is going to motivate us to come back and try and get that much better.”
Kayden echoed Bradley’s thoughts.
“We’ve got everybody back and there are a lot of positives that came out of this week. It’s going to hurt because we had high expectations coming into this but it should hurt. That means you care so much.”
About Wade Neely
Wade Neely comes to Clarksville after previously serving as Sports Director at WKSR AM-FM and Director of Broadcasting at Martin Methodist College in Pulaski, Tenn. Neely is a 2009 Electronic Media Communication graduate from Middle Tennessee State.
You may e-mail Neely at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/wadeneely
Web Site: http://www.clarksvillesportsnetwork.com
SectionsAustin Peay State University, Featured Story, Golf, Ohio Valley Conference
TopicsAnthony Bradley, APSU, Austin Peay, Dickson, Dustin Korte, Govs, Greystone Golf Club, Jacksonville State., Marco Iten, Ohio Valley Conference, Tom Robson, Trey Tarpley