Owens Crossroads, AL – The end comes to every season, and thus did 2021 come to a close for Austin Peay State University (APSU) women’s golf team at the Ohio Valley Conference Women’s Golf Championships, Tuesday, on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail stop at Hampton Cove.
It was not the end envisioned—paired with the final group, the Govs final-round 317 coupled with the best showings from three other programs dropped Austin Peay State University down to sixth for the event.
But given the youth involved—four APSU Govs were making their first appearance in conference championship play—the future remains bright for Jessica Combs‘ program.
“Obviously this wasn’t the result we wanted for the day,” Combs said. “We fought hard all day long; unfortunately, we just kept getting bad break after bad break. The girls kept pushing, but it just wasn’t our day today.”
Much of the wattage for that bright future was on display for Shelby Darnell this week. Making her league championship debut, Darnell secured a seventh-place finish with a 221 (73-73-75) after starting her day with 13 straight pars. She finished as the No. 3 scorer in the entire tournament on par-4 holes (4.03 strokes per hole) and led the Govs with 36 pars, sixth-most in the field.
Taylor Dedmen (78-76-79—233; t-21st), Riley Cooper (75-78-82—235; t-25th), and Kady Foshaug (78-76-82—236; 28th) each fought to the final hole on Tuesday. Dedmen’s two-over 38 tied for the team-best on the back nine, while Foshaug had one of only two Tuesday birdies on the daunting 342-yard par-4 at No. 14, and Cooper retained her tournament-leading stroke average on par-5 holes at 4.75 strokes per hole.
“I’m so proud of Shelby for finishing in the top-10,” Combs said. “She had such a strong outing today and was consistent throughout the entire tournament. Overall, we need to be mentally stronger going into next season. We learned a few key things we need to work on in our games as well. We’re already looking forward to this fall and coming back stronger and ready to win.”
In her final appearance for the APSU Govs, senior Andrea Presilla shook off a rough start and sank three birdies for the day, including back-to-backs at No. 12 and No. 13. She finished her final collegiate event at 245 (85-79-81; 35th).
“I want to thank Andrea for being a Gov and these last four years,” Combs said. “She gave her all for Austin Peay. We will miss her leadership, her enthusiasm, and her bright smile.”
Cooper, Darnell, Dedmen, Foshaug, and sophomore Payton Elkins are scheduled to return for APSU next fall.
Ohio Valley Conference Championship
Hampton Cove – Owens Crossroads, AL
Dates: April 18th – April 20th
|Finish||School – Players||Round 1||Round 2||Round 3||Totals|
|3||Austin Peay State University||304||303||317||924|
|T 7||Shelby Darnell (2)||73||73||75||221|
|T 21||Taylor Dedmen (1)||78||76||79||233|
|T 25||Riley Cooper (4)||75||78||82||235|
|28||Kady Foshaug (3)||78||76||82||236|
|35||Andrea Presilla (5)||85||79||81||245|