Clarksville, TN – Last season’s success provided the opportunity for Austin Peay State University men’s golf coach Kirk Kayden to strengthen his team’s schedule in 2013-14 and he did so as evidenced by the presence of four tournaments hosted by teams that reached the NCAA regionals last season.
The Govs return four golfers from last season’s team that won the Ohio Valley Conference championship and finished a program-best seventh in the NCAA Championship’s Tempe Regional. That group will be put to a test in the fall with five tournaments over five consecutive weeks.
That curtain-raising quintet of tournaments will be highlighted by the season-opening Columbia Regional Preview hosted by NCAA regional participant Missouri, September 16th-17th. The Govs annual trip to the Cardinal Intercollegiate, hosted by Louisville, follows the next week.
Austin Peay then will make a trip to the far north when they compete at the Badger Invitational hosted by Wisconsin, September 30th-October 1st. The Govs then return to the site of last season’s first victory when they participate in the Bearcat Invitational, hosted by Cincinnati, October 7th-8th.
“I believe you have to look at what type of team you have before you schedule,” said Kayden. “We have four starters returning from last year’s OVC Championship. That depth and being as competitive as we have been the last two years got us a lot of quality invitations this season. Ultimately, our schedule is due more to our players playing so well the past two seasons and that is encouraging.”
The fall portion of the schedule concludes with the Govs hosting the F&M Bank APSU Intercollegiate, October 14th-15th, at The Links at Novadell in Hopkinsville, KY. Austin Peay will host the 12th edition of the event after winning last season’s event – its seventh event title all-time.
After a 20-week break, Austin Peay will begin the spring portion of its schedule – a slate that will not see the Govs travel north of Clarksville. They start the spring with the Samford Intercollegiate, March 3rd-4th, in Birmingham, AL.
The Govs will conclude the schedule’s regular-season portion with consecutive outings in Mississippi. First is NCAA regional participant Mississippi State’s Old Waverly Collegiate Championships, April 7th-8th, in West Point. One week later, they return to the Magnolia State for Mississippi’s BancorpSouth Intercollegiate, April 14th-15th, in Madison.
That stretch of three tournaments in three weeks will prepare the Govs for the Ohio Valley Conference Championships, April 24th-26th. This season’s tournament will be played in Muscle Shoals, AL, at The Fighting Joe.
“The fields we are going to face this year will be comprised of a lot of teams from the SEC, Big Ten, Big 12 and Conference USA,” said Kayden. “We always run into those teams and I preach to our team that we can play with those teams – it doesn’t matter what name is on the bag.
“I believe our guys like playing against some of the best teams in the country. I also believe playing a tough schedule at some of the nation’s best courses prepares us for our own conference tournament and ultimately for the (NCAA) regionals and national championship.”