Clarksville, TN – With one of the finest regular seasons in program history in the books, the Austin Peay State University (APSU) women’s golf team is set to tee off at the Ohio Valley Conference Women’s Golf Championship, Sunday-Tuesday, on the Fighting Joe course at The Shoals on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.
The OVC Women’s Golf Championship has been on the Fighting Joe Course twice previously (2008, 2014) and was held on The Shoal’s Schoolmaster Course in 2018 and 2019. The par-72 Fighting Joe Course will feature an approximate yardage of 6,027 for the conference title.
After a fourth-place finish last week, senior Shelby Darnell will lead the Governors off the tee at the OVC Championship. Darnell has posted a 76.86 stroke average this season, which ranks seventh in the OVC, and has seen 18 of her 22 rounds count towards the team score, which is tied for second-most by a Governor this season.
Next in line is senior Taylor Dedmen, who has played just a dozen rounds this season, but all 12 of them have counted toward Austin Peay State University’s score. The senior from Plant City, Florida ranks second in the OVC with a 75.25 stroke average this season. Dedmen was also the only APSU Gov to win a tournament this season, claiming Southern Illinois’ Diane Daugherty Invitational with an eagle on the final hole.
Next on the tee box is freshman Erica Scutt, who leads the OVC with a 75.18 stroke average this season. In the 22 rounds she has played during her debut season, Scutt has had a team-leading 20 rounds count towards the team score and she leads the team with six rounds at even or under par this season. Scutt has been even better late in tournaments this season, averaging just 74.50 strokes in the second and third rounds.
Graduate Riley Cooper is next in line for third-year head coach Jessica Combs. Cooper has a 78.75 stroke average this season, which ranks 17th in the OVC, and is averaging just 77.0 strokes in the third round of tournaments. The Clarksville native has seen nine of her 16 rounds count towards Austin Peay State University’s score this season.
Rounding out Austin Peay State University’s lineup is freshman Kaley Campbell, whose 78.67 stroke average ranks 12th in the OVC. Campbell has seen 18 of her 22 rounds count towards the team score, which is tied for the second-most by a Governor this season. The Ethridge, Tennessee, native also has four rounds at even or under par this season, which is the second-most by a Gov.
Due to a new rule that was adopted by the NCAA for women’s golf competition this season, Payton Elkins will serve as an alternate for the Governors at the OVC Championship. Elkins is allowed to be subbed into any spot in Austin Peay State University’s lineup at the conclusion of the first or second round. The Valdosta, Georgia product has a 79.43 stroke average this season and finished tied for 29th at the Jan Weaver Invitational last week while competing as an individual.
Austin Peay State University enters the OVC Championship with an OVC-leading 303.6 scoring average as a team. Morehead State’s 304.2 average ranks second in the league and Murray State sits in third place with a 309.0 average. Six of the 10 best team rounds in the OVC this season belong to the Governors.
In last season’s OVC Championship, the Governors posted a sixth-place finish on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at Hampton Cove, led by a seventh-place finish from Darnell. The last time the OVC Championship was contested on the Fighting Joe Course in 2014, the Governors finished in sixth place and were led by Tala Mumford and head coach Jessica Combs – then Jessica Cathey – with the duo finishing tied for eighth.
The OVC Championship will play one round each day on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, starting at 8:00am each day. GolfStat.com will have live scoring for the event.