Muscle Shoals, AL – On a rainy Easter Sunday, a pair of freshmen led the Austin Peay State University (APSU) women’s golf team to a four-shot lead after the opening round of the Ohio Valley Conference Women’s Golf Championship at The Fighting Joe course at The Shoals on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail.
With a team score of 295, the Governors sit atop the leaderboard, four shots ahead of both Belmont and Murray State. Fourth-place Tennessee Tech is 10 shots behind, while Morehead State is a dozen strokes back and Eastern Illinois is 36 shots behind.
Kaley Campbell scattered a tournament-best five birdies to finish the round tied for third with a one-over 73. With three holes left to play, Campbell was three-over, but birdied No. 16 and No. 17 and closed with a par on the 18th hole to finish with the second-best score in the field.
“Our game plan today was to play relaxed and try to have some fun out there, and I think we accomplished that goal,” said head coach Jessica Combs. “For the most part, everyone did a great job today in setting us up for success the rest of the tournament. Kaley and Erica did a fantastic job making birdies and getting the ball in the hole. We just need to do a better job at limiting the big numbers and bogey runs the next couple rounds.”
Graduate student Riley Cooper carded a three-over 75 in the first round of her final OVC Championship. The Clarksville native birdied the 17th hole before adding a par on the 18th to finish the opening round tied for seventh.
The final counting score for the APSU Govs came from senior Taylor Dedmen, who shot a four-over 76 at the par-72, 5,942-yard track. Dedmen closed with a birdie on the par-three 18th and is tied for 11th after 18 holes.
After leading Austin Peay State University last week at Murray State’s Jan Weaver Invitational, Shelby Darnell battled through the rain to record an eight-over 80 in the opening round. The senior from Madisonville, Kentucky posted a team-high 11 pars in the first round and is tied for 23rd in the field.
“Riley played so consistent and I couldn’t be any more proud of how she shot today,” said Combs. “She and Taylor both finished strong for us when we needed them to. Shelby will definitely bounce back the next couple of days, and I’m excited to see her come through for us in a big way.”
Austin Peay State University carded a tournament-best 13 birdies in the opening round of the OVC Championship, Murray State and Belmont each recorded nine birdies in their first rounds. The Governors also led the field in par-four scoring, going eight-over as a team on the par fours, which was five shots better than the next two teams.
As the tournament leaders, Austin Peay State University will be paired with Belmont and Murray State in the final five pairings of the second round. Set to tee off at 9:22am, Darnell will lead the Governors off the first tee, Monday, followed by Dedmen, Cooper, Campbell, and Scutt, respectively. GolfStat.com will have live scoring for the event.
For news, updates, and results, follow the Governors women’s golf team on Twitter and Instagram or check back at LetsGoPeay.com.