Muscle Shoals, AL – It’s not the start, it’s the finish. This was true for the Austin Peay State University (APSU) men’s golf team’s opening round showing at the 2021 Ohio Valley Conference Men’s Golf Championships, and will hopefully be true of the next two days for the Govs as well as they try to maneuver up the leaderboard.
At 307 through the opening 18 holes, the Govs sit in eighth with 36 holes to go.
But after three scores in the 40s after the front nine, the APSU Govs must be heartened by an improved showing on the back to take into Monday and the tournament’s remainder.
Senior Michael Busse heads into the second round as Austin Peay State University’s leader, tied for 17th with a one-over 73 thanks in no small part to six birdies, one short of the tournament lead. He was particularly exceptional to close the round, with three straight birdies at No. 15-17, and enters the second day of competition as Austin Peay State University’s leader in both par-4 (3.90 strokes per hole) and par-5 (4.75 strokes/hole) scoring.
Perhaps no Governor had a round that so acutely mirrored the team’s performance as junior Micah Knisley. After a 43 on the front nine, he was an even-par 36 on the back, playing the final five holes at one-under. Senior Garrett Whitfield got to 78 in a similar fashion as Knisley to 79, backing up a front-nine 41 with a back-nine 37; he also leads APSU with a 2.75 stroke average on par-3 holes, aided by a birdie at No. 12, which played as the most difficult hole on the course Sunday and yielded just four birdies all day.
Austin Lancaster was the lone APSU Gov to suffer an increase in strokes on the back nine, backing up a 37 going out with a 40 coming back. True to form, Lancaster’s 14 pars were a team-high in the opening round.
Chase Korte rounded out the lineup in the first round with an 81; he was at 38 on the back-nine, with just one of the round’s five birdies at No. 10 jump-starting his renewed form on the back.
Austin Peay State University will go out beginning 8:40am alongside Eastern Kentucky and Murray State for Monday’s second round. Live updates from the course can be found on Twitter @AustinPeayMGO.