APSU Sports Information
Muscle Shoals, AL – Swirling winds at the Fighting Joe at the Shoals wreaked havoc across the leaderboard in the final round of the 2017 Ohio Valley Conference Men’s Golf Championships and Austin Peay State University men’s golf was not exempt from that fate, fighting the elements to the round’s conclusion, Wednesday afternoon.The Governors dropped a spot into a seventh-place tie with Morehead State, part of a logjam of five schools who finished within two strokes of one another.
Fifth-place finishers Murray State and Tennessee Tech each finished one shot ahead of the Govs, while defending champion and fourth-place finisher UT Martin was just two shots ahead of Austin Peay.
Jacksonville State took the tournament crown at two-over (866), one shot ahead of Eastern Kentucky and four shots up on SIU Edwardsville.
“We fought all week,” said head coach Robbie Wilson. “We gave it our all but our game just wasn’t firing on all cylinders this week. That’s golf; sometimes you can be confident and just not play your best. But we gave it everything we had.”
Junior Hunter Tidwell was one of three Govs with final-round 75s; only a triple-bogey on No. 15 kept him from shooting even par on the round. He finished tied for 13th to lead the Govs with a 220 (70-75-75), a team-high 40 pars and was the Governors leader in par-3 (3.05 strokes per hole) and par-5 (4.83/hole) scoring.
Freshman Alex Vegh acquitted himself nicely in his first OVC appearance. A trio of final-round birdies gave him a team-high 11 for the tournament and he earned his season’s third top-20 finish, tying for 18th at 222 (72-73-77). He also averaged even-par on par-4 attempts for the tournament.
Both senior Erik Hedberg and freshman Austin Lancaster notched final-round 75s for the Govs and tied for 23rd at 224; Hedberg (72-77-75) concluded his career with two birdies, while Lancaster (75-74-75) was possibly the most consistent Governor for the week and equaled Tidwell’s par-5 average of 4.83 strokes per hole.
Sophomore Sean Butscher capped a sharp ascent in the Austin Peay order with a 240 (76-80-84); he sank back-to-back birdies on holes 11-12 to cap his first career OVC Tournament start.
With only Hedberg slated to depart thanks to his impending graduation, the Governors future looks bright.
“Everybody knows what to expect now,” Wilson said. “We’ll come back next year stronger than ever and ready to compete.”