From APSU Sports Information
Muscle Shoals, Ala – Some late work by Austin Peay State University’s All-Ohio Valley Conference performers Marco Iten and Anthony Bradley has the Governors still in the hunt for the Ohio Valley Conference Men’s Golf Championship.The Governors, who shot a 1-under 287, Saturday, enter Sunday’s championship still six shots behind Jacksonville State (567).
The Govs are tied with Eastern Kentucky, which shot a 7-under 281, Saturday, to move into contention.
The day’s best round came from UT Martin, which shot a 12-under 276 to sit in fourth place at 575, being played at The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at The Shoals.
But the Governors would not be in contention had Iten and Bradley not come up big over the final five holes.
Bradley birdied both Nos. 13 and 17 to end the afternoon at 1-under 71. Meanwhile, Iten birdied the final three holes to match Friday’s 68 total. At 8-under 136, Iten, in fact, has a one-shot lead on the individual leaderboard.
“Marco and Anthony really stepped up down the stretch to keep us in it,” APSU coach Kirk Kayden said. “Anthony got that birdie at 17 to go 1-under along with a solid par on 18 and Marco went birdie, birdie, birdie to finish off the round.
“As a result, we still have a chance. In team golf, six shots is not that much—we have done it before, you can make up that amount in five or six holes. Hopefully, we can resurrect some of that 2009 magic (when APSU rallied from six strokes down to win) at The Shoals.”
Kayden ran the gamut of emotions, Saturday.
At one point early in the round, the Governors actually had pulled even with the Gamecocks.
The early play was highlighted by Trey Tarpley’s hole-in-one on No. 5. The senior actually was 3-under at one point on the front side but could not maintain that momentum. In fact, he finished at 7-over 79.
Junior Tucker Wallace stood at 2-under until a double bogey on 16 ended some of his momentum. He still finished at even-par 72 while sophomore Chris Baker bogeyed three of the first four holes at the turn and finished at 76.
“Tucker gave us a good, solid round,” Kayden said. “But our guys know that we can’t be counting a 76 on Day 2 of the championship in perfect scoring conditions.”
But the Governors still remain within striking distance and Kayden believes his team understands what it must do Sunday to make it back-to-back OVC championships.
“The key is just to come out and get off to a good start—and maintain that,” Kayden said. “We have to continue to make good decisions on the course. Bottom line it comes down to putting—we have not made as many as JSU or even EKU today.
“We are still in contention—we still are in the final pairing—and our guys know what they need to do. We just have to be ready to play tomorrow and have the round of the year.”