Austin Peay Sports Information
Muscle Shoals, AL – It is said you cannot win the conference golf championship on the first day of a tournament, but you can sure lose it.
In Austin Peay State University men’s golf case, Friday, in Day 1 of the Ohio Valley Conference tournament, the Govs clawed their way around the course and find themselves in third place, four shots back of Belmont heading into the final two tournament days, being played at The Shoals, a Robert Trent Jones Trail Course.
Led by juniors Chris Baker (3-under 69) and Austin Kramer (1-over 73), the Govs shot a 5-over 293. Belmont sot a 1-over 289 to lead the pack, with Tennessee Tech in second (290). Jacksonville State and UT-Martin are tied for four 6-over 294.
“I think we got off to a real nice start—I think we had nine birdies in the first seven holes as a group—and that was good to see,” APSU coach Robbie Wilson said. “Right around holes 9 through 12, we lost some shots, kind of threw some stuff away, missed some putts we should have made. But seeing guys like Chris Baker and Austin Kramer make some birdies at the end of the round puts us in a good spot heading into moving day tomorrow.”
Kramer, who was sitting at 3-over, made birdies on 16 and 17 and then made a long par-saving putt on 18. Baker had two birdies on each and his only bogey, Friday, came on the second hole. Senior Tucker Wallace, playing his final tournament as a Gov, had a trio of birdies but five bogeys, including one on 18, when his chip off the green caught the top of hill and rolled back below his feet. He saved par with a steady putt.
As a team, the Governors led the entire field with 16 birdies. Freshman Justin Arens and sophomore Erik Hedberg each had 77s. Arens had as many birdies (four) as Baker but his scorecard proved colorful with bogeys—all on the back nine—and two double bogeys. Hedberg played the front nine at even par, but the back side saw him tally three bogeys and a double bogey. It was the first OVC tourney appearance for Kramer, Hedberg and Arens.
“I am glad for Austin, Justin and Erik they got this first round out of the way,” Wilson said. “They now can settle in and relax. We are going to need them to play well.”
Wilson appreciated the team’s grinding effort, especially late when things could have easily got away from them after the team played holes 9-12 at seven-over par. Now the Govs hope to take Friday’s lessons and put them in use Saturday in hopes of playing in the final group, Sunday.
“We need to continue to make the birdies, but those three, four, five double bogeys we made today we need to find a way to eliminate those—or at least turn them into bogeys,” Wilson said.
“It will be softer Saturday and it will be interesting to see how the pins play,” Wilson said. “The greens probably will play a little bit slower and the course, already long, will play longer. It should allow the guys to fire at more pins with everything being softer. The X-Factor could be the wind.”
2015 Ohio Valley Conference Men’s Golf Championship
Robert Trent Jones at the Shoals – 2015 OVC Men’s Championship Par: 72 Yardage: 7258
April 24th-26th, 2015
|Pos.||Team/Player (seed)||Round 1||Total|
|3||Austin Peay State||293||293|
|T2||Chris Baker (1)||69||69|
|T11||Austin Kramer (2)||73||73|
|T18||Tucker Wallace (3)||74||74|
|T33||Justin Arens (4)||77||77|
|T33||Erik Hedberg (5)||77||77|