DICKSON, Tenn. – Eastern Kentucky extended its second round lead to double digits and then held on by a lone stroke to claim the 2013 Ohio Valley Conference Women's Golf Championship at GreyStone Golf Club on Tuesday. In addition Colonels senior Kristen Dorsey earned the OVC individual medalist crown.
The title was the second all-time for the Colonels who last won the championship in 1996 (the third season the OVC sponsored women’s golf).
Eastern Kentucky was tied for second after the first round, entered today’s round with a five-shot lead and led by as many as 13 shots during Tuesday’s action. But the lead kept shrinking until Dorsey scored a par on the final hole to secure the victory. EKU finished the event at 916 (+52).
The one stroke victory was the closest in OVC Women’s Golf Championship history, eclipsing a two-shot win by Jacksonville State over Eastern Kentucky in 2005.
With the victory, Eastern Kentucky earned the OVC's automatic bid into the NCAA Championship (its first NCAA berth). The 2013 field will be announced on Monday, April 29 on NCAA.com at 8:00 p.m. CT. The NCAA Regionals will be held May 9-11 and take place in Auburn, Ala. (East Regional), Norman, Okla. (Central Region) and Stanford, Calif. (West Regional). Following the Regionals the National Championship will be held May 21-24 at the University of Georgia Golf Course in Athens, Ga.
Jacksonville State charged back from a seven-shot deficit entering the final round and nearly forced a sudden death playoff. The Gamecocks (+53) have now finished in the top three at the OVC Championship in all nine appearances since joining the conference in 2004. Murray State (+56) carded the top team score (299) of the championship on Tuesday to finish four shots off the lead in third. Morehead State (+57) was fourth and the field was rounded out by Austin Peay (+74), Tennessee Tech (+80), Belmont (+105), SIUE (+122), Eastern Illinois (+138) and Tennessee State (+303).
This year’s field featured 10 teams, the largest field in OVC Women’s Golf Championship history.
Dorsey became the third different EKU women’s golfer to capture medalist honors at the OVC Championship, joining Beverly Brockman (1994, 1996 and 1997) and Brittany Klein (2005). The senior was 17th after her first round score of 79 but in round two carded a 70, the fourth-lowest round in OVC Women’s Golf Championship history to take the lead. She finished today with a two-over round of 74 (which included a triple bogey on 17).
The All-Tournament Team, which is comprised of the top five finishers, included Dorsey, Tennessee Tech redshirt freshman Madalyn Everts, Murray State senior Alexandra Lennartsson, Morehead State freshman Anna Appert Lund, Jacksonville State senior Ornella Arrizon and Murray State senior Delaney Howson.
Eastern Kentucky head coach Mike Whitson was named the Bobby Nichols OVC Coach of the Year in a vote of league head coaches. The award is named in honor of the late Nichols, the former Tennessee Tech golf coach and OVC Hall of Famer. He is the third different EKU head coach to win the award and first since Joni Stephens took home the honor in 2005.
Morehead State’s Appert Lund was voted the OVC Player of the Year by the head coaches following the final round. She led the OVC in stroke average (75.6) during the regular season and had six top 10 finishes (including finishing fourth at this championship). She is the third-straight MSU golfer to win the award. Appert Lund was also named OVC Freshman of the Year, becoming just the second golfer in OVC history to earn both awards in the same season (joining JSU’s Manuela Tarazona from 2007).
In addition to the senior Dorsey, Eastern Kentucky was also powered by a trio of freshmen this week, including Anna Gleixner, who finished seventh, and Becky Sharpe, who was tied for 13th. Gleixner had rounds of 75-76-78 (229, +13) during the week while Sharpe compiled scores of 74-78-79 (231, +15).
Jacksonville State placed three players in the Top 10 with Arrizon finishing tied for fifth with a three-round total of 228 (+12). It marked the third year in a row that she finished in the top five at the Championship. Melania Bajo Geijo was a stroke behind her teammate in seventh place (229, +13) while Maya Parsons was ninth (230, +14).
Abbi Stamper carded an even par round of 72 on Tuesday to lead the Murray State attack as the Racers improved by 10 strokes over their round two team total. Lennartsson was the team’s top finisher overall, placing third after a final round 76. She finished the event with a three-round total of 226 (+10). Howson finished two shots behind Lennartsson in fifth place (228, +12) to earn her second-straight OVC All-Tournament honor.
Morehead State was paced by Appert Lund’s final round tally of 73 (+1), which put her fourth in her first OVC Championship. The OVC Golfer of the Year finished the event with scores of 77-77-73 (227, +11). Fellow freshman Katie Rice, who entered the day with a share of the lead, slipped to ninth after a round of 81 (+9).
Jessica Cathey and Lauren Bond finished in a tie for ninth (230, +14) for Austin Peay. Cathey, who had a hole-in-one on Monday, tallied a final round 78 while Bond had a 5-over score of 77.
Everts fired a 2-under round of 70 (tied for the fourth lowest round in OVC Women’s Golf Championship history) to jump from 14th place to the runner-up spot, two shots behind the medalist. She is the first TTU female golfer to earn OVC All-Tournament honors since the 2009 season when Megan Bradford was the runner-up.
All-OVC selection Janet Steen was the top finisher for Belmont in its OVC Championship debut. The senior had a final round score of 77 (+5) and finished in 16th place (234, +18).
In its first OVC Championship, SIUE was led by Brooks White who finished with a round of 76 (+4) to complete the event at 237 (+21) and place 21st. Teammate Ashton Stair was two strokes behind her in 24th place. SIUE’s team score of 319 was its best of the three-day event and 19 shots better than its second round total.
Lauren Williams led the Eastern Illinois attack for the third-straight day, carding a final round score of 78 (+6) to finish 16th overall with a three-round total of 234 (+18). EIU also carded its best team score of the tournament on Tuesday.
Tennessee State was led by Kelly Merkel who finished 38th (256, +40).
For the week the course played 5,964 yards and was a par 72.
The OVC men's golf championship will take place at the same course beginning on Thursday morning at 8:00 a.m. CT.