Improved APSU Lady Govs Golf set to open season in Golfweek Program Challenge
APSU Sports Information
Pawleys Island, SC – Austin Peay State University women’s golf team will open the 2015-16 golf season, Sunday-Tuesday, as part of the Golfweek Program Challenge, being held at the Caledonia Golf and Fish Club.
The Golfweek Program Challenge consists of women and men’s teams from 18 NCAA Division I schools playing 54 holes on separate courses.
After the completion of the final round, women and men’s team champions will be crowned. But so, too, will be the Program Challenge winner – the school (both men and women’s teams) that has the lowest cumulative score.
Austin Peay Lady Govs Golf’s Jessica Cathey. (APSU Sports Information)
The three-day tourney will be played on the par-70, 6,121-yard Caledonia Golf course. Caledonia has been described as having “18 signature holes,” with holes set around majestic oaks and meandering streams. The picturesque 18th hole borders the Plantation’s old rice field, and requires a precise tee shot that sets up a difficult second shot that will end on a green bordered by the antebellum-style clubhouse.
Austin Peay will open the season with a youthful yet veteran roster, sprinkled with two freshmen. The Lady Govs’ only senior is Jessica Cathey, the Hixson native whose first college tournament was in the 2012 Golfweek Program Challenge. Cathey is a two-time OVC selection.
“We are excited to get the season started and looking forward to playing at such a great venue,” APSU coach Sara Robson said. “The ladies came back to school ready to play and have stayed very focused and determined in our qualifying rounds.”
In fact, with the deeper roster Robson made sure the opening-match lineup was reflective of her team’s offseason work. They completed six rounds of qualifying, Thursday, and will be taking the top five performers to South Carolina.
In addition to Cathey, the lineup will feature sophomore AnnaMichelle Moore, who finished third during qualifying, along with the two junior Morgans…Gardner and Kauffman. The final spot belongs to El Dorado, Ill., freshman Taylor Goodley, who finished first in qualifying (448) after closing with rounds of 71-71 and 74—the final two coming at the Clarksville Country Club.
Just falling short of qualifying were junior Amber Bosworth, who missed all last spring with a leg stress fracture; Ashton Goodley, Taylor’s twin sister. In addition, the Lady Govs also have junior Kelsey Sshutt, who played her career’s best golf last spring; sophomore Anna Pope, who narrowly missed qualifying for last spring’s OVC tournament, and sophomore Sarah Struble, who has improved steadily since walking on last fall.
“We have the potential to be much, much improved this year with a lot of depth,” Robson said. “We had some good playing and great scores by everyone at some point during qualifying. It was extremely competitive.
“The competition that will happen during practice is going to sharpen our skills and show us that we can play well under pressure. With 10 players they are having to make sure they bring their ‘A’ game every day and that alone will allow us to improve.”
Despite the South Carolina location, the tourney field has a strong Ohio Valley Conference feel. In addition to the Lady Govs, Jacksonville State, Morehead State and Tennessee Tech all will be there along with Bethune-Cookman, Campbell, Elon, Gardner-Webb, Houston Baptist, IUPUI, Jacksonville, James Madison, Marshall, Mercer, Old Dominion, Radford, Stetson and Valparaiso. Furman is the defending women’s champ while Old Dominion was the overall champion.