Muscle Shoals, AL – Trailing by as many as eight shots on the back nine, the Austin Peay State University (APSU) women’s golf team played the last five holes at even par, shooting a final-round 301 to chase down Belmont and Morehead State and win its first-ever Ohio Valley Conference Women’s Golf Championship, Tuesday, at The Fighting Joe course at The Shoals on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail.
By winning the OVC Championship, the Governors have earned the conference’s automatic bid to the 2022 NCAA Women’s Golf Championship. The selection show is scheduled for 4:00pm, April 27th on the Golf Channel.
Austin Peay State University, which led after all three rounds, won the closest OVC Tournament ever, with three teams separated by just a single shot. Belmont matched the Governors’ third round with a team score of 301 while Morehead State fired a tournament-best 294 to move within a single shot of the title. The Bruins and Eagles finished tied for second with three-round scores of 902.
Murray State and Tennessee Tech finished tied for fourth with scores of 918, with Eastern Illinois shooting a 1,029 to finish sixth. Tennessee State did not record a team score in the event.
Taylor Dedmen, who earned OVC All-Tournament Team honors, led the Governors on the final day, shooting a one-under 71 to climb seven spots on the leaderboard and finish in fifth place. The senior from Plant City, Florida birdied a pair of holes on the front nine but gave a shot back on both the 10th and 13th holes. Sitting at even par with five holes left to play, Dedmen parred four-straight holes before birding the 18th hole to post her best round of the tournament.
Scutt used an even-par 72 to close out the championship for the Governors, finishing third while playing in the tournament’s final pairing. With a pair of birdies and a pair of bogies on the card, Scutt closed the final four holes with four-straight pars and moved the Govs back atop the leaderboard with a par on the 17th hole.
On the par-three 18th, Scutt hit her tee shot to the fringe on the back of the green before nearly hitting a birdie putt to clinch the tournament. With a foot left for par, Belmont and Morehead State both missed tournament-tying birdie putts before Scutt tapped in to clinch the championship.
Riley Cooper posted her third-straight counting score for the Govs, shooting a seven-over 79 to finish the tournament tied for 12th with a score of 232. The graduate student from Clarksville also closed with five-straight pars, including a remarkable par save on the 18th. After hitting her tee shot short of the green, Cooper chipped off a steep incline onto the green, nearly sinking the shot, before hitting the par putt to keep the APSU Govs championship hopes alive.
Shelby Darnell also carded a seven-over 79 in the final round and finished the tournament tied for 17th with an aggregate score of 233. The senior from Madisonville, Kentucky recorded her second-straight counting round and closed with five-straight pars to help keep the Governors in contention.
Freshman Kaley Campbell carded an 83 in the final round of her first OVC Championship, finishing the event in 23rd place.
Pars were the difference for Austin Peay State University, with the Govs carding a tournament-leading 179 pars in three rounds, which was a dozen more than Belmont.
The Governors also averaged a tournament-best 4.16 shots on par fours, which was 0.5 strokes better than both Belmont and Tennessee Tech.
Next Up For APSU Women’s Tennis
The Austin Peay State University women’s golf team now turns its attention toward the NCAA Women’s Golf Championship Regionals, May 9th-11th, at various sites around the country.
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