Nashville, Tenn. --- Tennessee State University head women's golf coach Chris Seibel has announced that Kelly Merkel has signed a National Letter-of-Intent to play golf for TSU.
Merkel, a native of Columbia, Tenn., considered several golf offers before committing to Tennessee State, according to the Columbia Daily Herald.
"For a long time, I have wanted to play golf at a Division I school," commented Merkel. "I'm really looking forward to playing for him (Coach Seibel) and continuing my education at Tennessee State."
Merkel advanced through the District 8-AAA tournament to the Region 4 tournament four consecutive seasons at Central High School. She qualified for the TSSAA State as a sophomore shooting an 82-83-165 at Old Fort (Murfreesboro) and again as a senior when she placed 10th behind a score of 160 (82-78) at Willowbrook Country Club.
In 2011 she was runner-up to eventual state champ of Lawrence County in the District 8-AAA tournament. She placed third in the Region 4 meet at Bear Trace Tims Ford in Winchester.
Central golf coach Chris Lawson had this to say about Merkel: "Kelly worked extremely hard from a young age to develop her golf swing. She never missed any practices and was always ready to work. She showed gradual improvement in the maturity of her game and how she approached it every year."
Merkel also participated on the Tennessee Golf Association Junior Tour the past two summers in the 15-18 Masters Division and tied for ninth place in the tour's postseason state meet at the Cookeville Country Club.
Merkel was the low medalist in the Tennessean Schooldays Tournament at McCabe in Nashville last June, shooting a 68. She also received the annual Joanne Ramsey award for the Outstanding Female Athlete at Central and made All-District 8-AAA in softball for three consecutive years.
"Kelly will be a great leader for the women's golf program," said head TSU Chris Seibel. "She has proven that she can shoot low rounds and compete with other girls. I am excited to bring her in to start building this program to a competitive level in the OVC. I am glad to keep a good player like her in the Nashville area. She will be a top player in the OVC the next four years."