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Tabitha Beard, Holly Batey lead veteran Austin Peay Lady Govs Golf into GolfWeek Challenge


Written by Brad Kirtley
APSU Sports Information

Austin Peay State University Lady GovsPawleys Island, SC – Austin Peay State University women’s golf team will open the 2012-13 golf season, Sunday-Tuesday, as part of the Golfweek Program Challenge, being held at the Caledonia Golf and Fish Club.

Austin Peay Women's Golf. (Courtesy: Austin Peay Sports Information)

Austin Peay Women’s Golf. (Courtesy: Austin Peay Sports Information)

The Golfweek Program Challenge consists of women and men’s teams from 12 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.

The tourney will be played over three days, Sunday-Tuesday, on the par-70, 6,121-yard Caledonia Golf course. Also participating will be Boston College, Stetson, Campbell, Troy, fellow OVC foe Jacksonville State, James Madison, Northern Iowa, Central Arkansas, UMKC, Western Carolina and Georgetown.

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.

For the most part Austin Peay will be taking a veteran team to South Carolina, led by an interim coach. Assistant coach Chelsea Harris, the Lady Govs all-time best player, is leading the team to Pawleys Island with head coach Sarah Robson on maternity leave after giving birth to her first child, Kaitlyn, earlier this summer.

Seniors Holly Batey and Tabitha Beard led the Lady Govs qualifying efforts. Batey enjoyed a strong Fall 2011 but could not maintain the momentum last spring, partly due to illness. Beard, who has battled wrist issues much of her career, finally put them behind her last spring. She finished the season strong, taking eighth place in the OVC tournament.

In addition, a third senior, Lauren Bond, also qualified for the tourney along with junior Rachel Deaton, who was enjoying a strong season until foot problems created some late-season issues.  The final spot was earned through qualifying by freshman Jessica Cathey, the Hixon native who starred at Soddy-Daisy High School.

“I am proud to say the girls have been working hard over the summer; they made some changes and big improvements,” Harris said.” The weather wasn’t great for them during the four rounds of qualifying, but they persevered through the remnants of Hurricane Isaac to qualify for this tournament.

“I’m looking forward to starting the season off well in Pawleys Island.”




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