Clarksville, TN – So much for easing into the 2013-14 men’s golf season for Austin Peay State University.
A few short months after a record-setting campaign that included an Ohio Valley Conference tournament championship and a program-best seventh-place tie in an NCAA Regional, the Governors will travel to Columbia, MO, to play in the Columbia Regional Preview, hosted by the University of Missouri.It will be third time in the last two years the Governors have played at The Club of Old Hawthorne, a par-72, 7,221-yard layout. This same course, opened in 2007, will serve as host to an NCAA Regional next spring.
The 11-team tournament field includes teams from powerhouse leagues like the Southeastern Conference (host Missouri and Ole Miss), the Big 12 (Iowa State and Kansas State), the Big 10 (Nebraska), the new American Athletic Conference (Memphis) along with Tulsa, South Alabama, Louisiana Lafayette and San Francisco in addition to the Governors.
The tournament will consist of 54 holes, with 36 played Monday and the final 18 played Tuesday.
“The guys are looking forward to getting the season underway and the opportunity to play a great golf course in Old Hawthorne,” APSU coach Kirk Kayden said. ”We will have to be well prepared for this week, because the quality of the field is very strong. It is an extremely challenging field for our season’s first tournament.
“What a terrific field. We are going to be paired with Ole Miss and Iowa State on the first day.”
The Governors enter the contest after a historic 2012-13 season that saw them capture six tournaments and finish with the program’s highest Golfstat ranking (66th). They lost just one player from that team but it was their leader, Dustin Korte, who not only was medalist twice in tournaments last season—including last spring’s COG Mizzou Intercollegiate—but played in the NCAA championship in Alpharetta, Ga., as well.
Back, however, are two seniors who have combined to have played in 67 events for the Governors in their previous three seasons. Anthony Bradley pretty much has played at No. 1 for the Govs since his sophomore season. Last season he averaged 72.8 strokes per round while capturing medalist honors twice.
Meanwhile, Marco Iten, after a shaky start to the 2012-13 season, became the Governors most consistent golfer, including a 13th-place finish in the Tempe Regional that saw him shoot two subpar rounds.
The rest of the lineup at Columbia will see a trio of golfers who have experience on Old Hawthorne. Senior Trey Tarpley appears to have shaken off a forgettable 2013 spring with a strong summer that has carried over through tourney qualifying.
Fellow sophomore Austin Kramer played a solid tourney last spring at Missouri and captured the last qualifying spot for the return trip to Missouri. Junior Tucker Wallace, who was part of the lineup when APSU made its stretch run a year ago, will play as the individual.
“We are bringing a very experienced group to the first event,” said Kayden, the 10th-year head coach. “All of the starting five have played the golf course before, which can be very helpful in our preparation.
“The guys are looking forward to getting the season underway and playing a great golf course in Olde Hawthorne. The qualifier was very close and it was very competitive for the last few spots.”
The tourney will be the first of five straight tournaments weeks for the Governors.
Live scoring will be available for the Missouri tournament via www.GolfStat.com.