Austin Peay Sports Information
Muscle Shoals, AL – The low numbers envisioned by Austin Peay State University men’s golf head coach Robbie Wilson may not have materialized in quite the way he was hoping, but the Govs managed to move up a spot to stay in the fight for a top-three finish on Day Two at the 2018 Ohio Valley Conference Men’s Golf Championships at the Fighting Joe at RTJ at the Shoals, Tuesday.
Austin Peay’s second-round 297, which not only showcased a two-shot improvement on their opening round, was the third-best round of the day and one of just four below 300.
That allowed Austin Peay to take over sole possession of seventh place with a two-day 596; just five shots separate the Govs from third-place Morehead State, with Tennessee Tech (fourth, 593), Belmont (fifth, 594) and SIU Edwardsville (sixth, 595) in a tight middle of the pack in the present standings.
Day Two saw sophomore Alex Vegh make a climb up the leaderboard; the Gahanna, Ohio native fired an Austin Peay-best 72—equaling his career-best in OVC play—thanks to a one-under 35 on the back-nine and a team-high 14 pars on the day, moving up 16 spots into a tie for sixth (74-72—146). For an Austin Peay team still finding its footing on par-4 holes (4.22/hole), Vegh’s 4.05 mark represents the team best.
Also making a move was sophomore Michael Busse, who pulled himself up to a tie for 15th by repeating his first-round performance with another 74 (74-74—148). Busse, who leads the Govs in par-3 scoring (2.88/hole) and birdies (seven) rallied from a day that had him five-over par after 12 holes with birdies on Holes 13, 15 and 17 to close out strong.
“I thought we played much better today,” Wilson said. “We made some birdies early and put ourselves in good position most of the day. I really liked how Mike and Alex finished today. If a couple breaks go our way we’re sitting in a much better position, but we can’t get down; we’ve got to process it and move on to tomorrow.”
Freshman and All-OVC choice Chase Korte was putting together another fine day before running into a road block on the final three holes. The Metropolis native was one-under through 15 holes before a bogey and two doubles on his final three attempts; he had three birdies on the day, including one on the monstrous 611-yard par-5 No. 1 to open the round. He remains in the top-20, tied for 19th (73-76—149) with 18 holes to play.
Sophomore Austin Lancaster moved up 10 spots to a tie for 30th thanks to a three-over 75 (78-75—153). The Hendersonville native is one of four Governors, including Korte, Busse and freshman Garrett Whitfield (78-77—155; t-37th) to average even-par on par-5 attempts, giving Austin Peay a 5.05 average on the course’s longest holes—second only to tournament-leading Jacksonville State among the field.
Whitfield also birdied No. 16, one of just four players to do so on the day and giving the Govs an even-par average on a hole that rated as the eighth-toughest on Tuesday.
“We needed one or two more guys on the back to get hot,” Wilson said. “We’re trying to make up ground and when you’re doing that, you have to be firing on all cylinders. Any setbacks when you’re making up strokes hurts double. All in all, we hit so much better and played so much better today that there are some positives but it’s a shame we couldn’t finish a little stronger.”
Final-round action kicks off at 8:50am, Wednesday, with the Govs slated to be paired with Tennessee State and UT Martin.