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Balthrop helps Govs past OVC rivals for eighth at Bearcat Invite

 

APSU Men’s Golf

Austin Peay State University GovernorsHebron, KY – Led by two under-par scores in round three, Austin Peay State University men’s golf team finished eighth at the Bearcat Invitational, Tuesday. The final-round 290 allowed the Govs to pass Ohio Valley Conference rivals Eastern Kentucky and Morehead State.

Oakland won the event with a three-round 871, followed by Northern Illinois (873), Ball State (874), Marshall (877) and Northern Kentucky (879) rounding out the top five. Austin Peay’s 886 was the best OVC team score, ahead of Morehead State (888) and Eastern Kentucky (891).

APSU Men's Golf (Courtesy: Austin Peay Sports Information)

APSU Men's Golf (Courtesy: Austin Peay Sports Information)

Senior Luke Sherrod and freshman Anthony Bradley fired a pair of 71s in the final round to aid the Govs ascension, while senior Brian Balthrop shot a 73 and freshman Marco Iten a 75 to help the cause.

For the tournament, Balthrop led the Govs with a four-over 220 (73-74-73) for a 15th-place finish. It was the first time Balthrop led the team since he had a 10th-place finish at the BSU Cardinal Collegiate, March 29th, 2009.

“Brian had a resurgence over the past four rounds and that’s great to see,” head coach Kirk Kayden said. “It’s especially big because he needs some confidence heading into our home tournament. He’s hit the ball really well over the past couple of days and that’s been the key.”

Sherrod was one back with a five-over 221 (74-76-71), with a strong finish to move to 20th, which was even with Bradley who shot 73-77-71=221. Iten, meanwhile, played through a tough first round to finish 37th (80-70-75). Junior Logan Loftus battled a shoulder injury to finish 84th.

“We had a good team effort with a couple of guys under par in the second and third rounds,” Kayden said. “Anthony had a good final round and Marco really finished the second round strong this morning. He made four birdies in a row (three on Tuesday) to shoot 31 on the front nine.”

The Govs were in 12th when the second round was suspended, late Monday, with all four Govs struggling down the stretch. When the Govs came out to finish, Tuesday morning, Iten rolled off three straight birdies and carried the momentum into the final round. As freshmen, Bradley and Iten have been two of the Govs biggest contributors through the season’s first four events.

“They’re making a big impact and getting a lot of experience at the same time,” Kayden said. “They’ve had some good rounds and that’s important for the team and also important for to see the young guys have some confidence.”
Austin Peay will need that confidence when they host the F&M Bank APSU Intercollegiate, Monday and Tuesday, at The Links at Novadell, in Hopkinsville, KY. It’s there that Kayden hopes to see a landmark team round.

“I still like we haven’t had that round where everything clicks,” Kayden said. “We’ve had bits and pieces of it, but I know we can have four guys shoot under par in the same round. We’ve been consistent with the 73s and 74s, but we haven’t had that one guy shoot 67 or 68. That really helps the team out. If we keep grinding, it’ll come.”


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