APSU Lady Govs Golf set for OVC championship run at The Shoals
APSU Sports Information
Muscle Shoals, AL – Austin Peay State University women’s golf team will travel to The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at The Shoals, Monday-Wednesday, to participate in the 2014 Ohio Valley Conference championship.
The three-day, 54-hole tourney—18 holes per day—will be played on The Fighting Joe course, a par-72, 6,203-yard layout.
Austin Peay Lady Govs Golf. (APSU Sports Information)
This is the second time the women’s tournament has been held in Muscle Shoals, the first occasion in 2008.
The Lady Govs finished fifth in last season’s tournament and will take a mixture of experience and youth to the event. APSU will feature a lineup of seniors Tala Mumford and Rachel Deaton, sophomore Jessica Cathey and freshmen Morgan Kauffman and Amber Bosworth. The Lady Govs will tee off 9:40am, Monday.
“I am looking for our upperclassmen to utilize the experience they have in the OVC tournament—I think this will be at least the third time for both Tala and Rachel to have played in the OVC championship—to lead us,” APSU coach Sara Robson said. “I am looking for them to play one shot at a time and playing the golf course.”
With weather hampering the Lady Govs preseason practice, they were unable to take advantage of their strong fall finish. In fact, it literally has been a rollercoaster ride for the Lady Govs much of the spring.
They have displayed signs of quality play but have unable to finish rounds.
“We are really close,” Robson said. “Last weekend (at Huntsville), again we played 12 good holes. We just have to go out and finish. When we get to the last four holes we have to tell ourselves we have four holes left, stay mentally strong and finish the round.”
“We get going, we have a great round going and we lost momentum.”
The Lady Govs played last week’s tri-match with Murray State and Belmont at Hampton Cove, a Robert Trent Jones course. Robson believe her team will benefit from that experience along with the fall-opening event at the RTJ Trail Course, Silver Lakes Golf Club, in Glencoe, AL.
“It hurt us last week playing without a practice round,” Robson said. “There were three holes that we would have benefitted from playing a practice round, knowing where to hit it. But just being down there and being on the greens and being on some green grass in the fairways—our fairways are still dormant—will help us.
“The course there (Hampton Cove) is in very similar shape as The Fighting Joe. Being on the greens is going to be the most important thing. We had a very good feel and we really didn’t putt that bad (at Hampton Cove).”
The Fighting Joe course is one of two 18-hole championship courses at The Shoals and lies between the Wheeler and Wilson dams on the Tennessee River.
Wheeler Dam is named in honor of General Joseph “Fighting Joe” Wheeler – the only Confederate General to attain the same rank later in the United States Army.
The Fighting Joe course was named one of the top new courses in 2004 by Travel + Leisure Golf.
The layout includes four par-five holes for the women’s championship, including two (No. 1 and No. 7) that will play at more than 500 yards.
Eastern Kentucky is the defending champion. The Colonels, Jacksonville State and Morehead State are considered the favorites entering the week.
Robson believes her Lady Govs can compete with the league’s top echelon.
“We are all going to have to play our best,” Robson said. “We will need all five to be on their ‘A’ game for us to be successful. It is always our goal to be in that last group on the last day. We are capable of doing that but we will need all five playing their best for three days.”