Newcomb, Racers capture OVC golf crown


WPSD Sports

DICKSON, Tenn. - Murray State completed a start-to-finish lead in capturing the 2010 Ohio Valley Conference Men's Golf Championship which concluded on Wednesday at the GreyStone Golf Club. Racer senior Nick Newcomb, the 2010 OVC Golfer of the Year, finished as the individual medalist, winning his second OVC title in three years.
The Racers, last year's runner-up by a single stroke, had combined rounds of 286-295-284 to win by 18 strokes over Morehead State and bring home its fourth OVC Championship and first since 1991. The Racers have also been OVC Men's Golf Champions in 1971, 1987 and 1991.

It marked the third time in the last four years that the team championship had been decided by more than 10 strokes. It also marks the fourth different school to win the OVC Men's Golf Championship over the last four seasons.

The Murray State women's golf team also claimed the OVC Championship this year (winning on the same course four days earlier), marking only the second time in OVC history that a school has swept the golf championships in the same season (Jacksonville State in 2007 was the other).

Murray State head coach Eddie Hunt was named OVC Coach of the Year for the second-straight season. Newcomb was voted OVC Player of the Year by the league head coaches. He is the sixth different Racer golfer to win the award (a total of seven times) and first since Brandon Henson took home the honor in 2001.

With the victory, Murray State earned the OVC's automatic bid into the NCAA Championship. The 2010 field will be announced Monday, May 10 at 5:00 p.m. CT on The NCAA Regionals will be held May 20-22 and take place in Notre Dame, Ind. (Central Region), Alpharetta, Ga. (East Region) and San Diego, Calif. (West Region).

By improving its score in each of the three rounds of the championship Morehead State finished as the runner-up after being in eighth place after the first round. The field was rounded out by Jacksonville State, Eastern Kentucky and Tennessee State (who tied for fourth), Tennessee Tech, Austin Peay, UT Martin and Eastern Illinois.

After being tied for ninth place after a first round score of 73, Newcomb finished the OVC Championship with rounds of 69-73 to finish at 215 (-1) and claim his second medalist honor in the past three years (2008). He is the eighth different Racer to win the OVC Championship. Newcomb finished one stroke ahead of teammate Jared Wolfe, marking the third time in the last seven years that teammates have finished 1-2 at the championship.

Newcomb's win marks the eighth time a player has won multiple OVC individual medalist titles in the 63-year history of the event. He is the first to do so since Middle Tennessee's Brett Alexander won three in a row from 1998-00. Murray State's own Billy Graham also accomplished the feat, winning in 1962 and 1963.

The All-Tournament Team, which is comprised of the top five finishers (with ties), included Newcomb, Wolfe, Austin Peay's Erik Barnes, Murray State's Chris Griffin, Tennessee Tech's Jake Heatherly, Morehead State's Crit Reddick and Jacksonville State's Andres Schonbaum.

Murray State placed four players in the top eight overall, with Newcomb, Wolfe and Griffin each making the all-tournament squad by finishing in the top three. Day one leader Cameron Carrico rebounded after a second round score of 79 to shoot a 2-under round of 70 on Wednesday and move from 16th to eighth in the final standings.

Morehead State also placed three golfers in the top 10 overall with Reddick's three round total of 218 (+2) leading the way. Alex Wright had the low round of the day, firing a 3-under score of 69 (which included seven birdies) to finish ninth overall (221, +5). Alex Misback also finished in a tie for ninth place. It was the Eagles best performance at the event since winning the 1999 OVC Championship.

Jacksonville State freshman Andres Schonbaum paced the Gamecocks who finished third for the second straight season. Schonbaum had a final round 72 (which equaled his first round total) and carded a three-day total of 218 (+2). Last year's individual medalist Gonzalo Berlin and sophomore Tom Robson finished tied for ninth overall (221, +5).

Eastern Kentucky saved its best for last, shooting 13 strokes better than it did on Tuesday and finishing in a tie for fourth place with Tennessee State. After rounds of 75-76 to open play, sophomore Billy Peel, Jr. had a 2-under round of 70 on Wednesday to jump from 23rd to ninth overall.

Tennessee State captured its best finishing since joining the OVC in 1988. Ryan Smith and Richard Gill were the top golfers for the Tigers, finishing in a tie for 16th overall with three round totals of 222 (+6). Chris Seibel, the day one and 27-hole leader, finished in 24th overall with a final round score of 78 (+6).

Heatherly led the way for Tennessee Tech. The senior was actually within two shots of the lead on the final three holes but bogeyed three of the final four holes to finish the day at 73 (+1). He still finished just three strokes back at +2 for the championship, which placed him in a tie for fifth.

Austin Peay, the defending champion of the event, was led by Barnes, who claimed his first top five OVC Championship finish in his solid four-year career. He placed third after a final round even par score of 72 to finish at 217 (+1). Dustin Korte also finished in the top 10, placing ninth after a final round score of 74.

UT Martin had a pair of golfers finish tied for 20th overall. Jonathan Martin and Sam Hinson each fired 73 on the final 18 holes to finish at 223 (+7) for the championship.

Eastern Illinois was paced by Gino Parrodi who finished out the championship with a 3-over score of 75 (+3) to finish at 221 (+5) for the 54 holes. That was good enough to place him ninth place.

OVC All-Tournament Team
Nick Newcomb, Murray State (MVP)
Jared Wolfe, Murray State
Erik Barnes, Austin Peay
Chris Griffin, Murray State
Jake Heatherly, Tennessee Tech
Crit Reddick, Morehead State
Andres Schonbaum, Jacksonville State

OVC Player of the Year: Nick Newcomb, Murray State
OVC Coach of the Year: Eddie Hunt, Murray State
OVC Freshman of the Year: Zack Butler, Eastern Kentucky