MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. – Tennessee State cut 13 strokes from their day one performance on Saturday at the 2014 Ohio Valley Conference golf championships. The Tigers remain in eleventh after shooting a 308 on the Par-72, 7,187 yard Fighting Joe course at The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at The Shoals in Muscle Shoals, Ala.
Temperatures sat in the 70’s all morning and reached 80 by the end of play with the winds ranging from 6-8 mph, setting up good playing conditions for the second round. Jacksonville State continues to at 9-under and is followed by Eastern Kentucky and Austin Peay. EKU made a charge with a 7-under, 281 to tie the Governors and close to within six strokes.
APSU’s Marco Iten took sole possession on the leaderboard at 8-under, with a 4-under, 68, performance. Iten holds a one stroke lead over Camilo Aguado of Jacksonville State.
Blake Burgett and Codie Welborn posted the team low for TSU with a 4-over, 76. Burgett (83-76=159) dropped five birdies and six pars as he cut seven strokes off of his day outing. Burgett relied on good putting, once on the greens, as he sank a 20-footer on No. 10, a six-footer on 11 and a 15-footer on 16 after getting in trouble off the tee. The sophomore found nine greens and seven fairways on Saturday.
Welborn (81-76=157) bounced back after a 9-over in round one to card three birdies and ten pars. The senior notched birdies on the par-4, 2nd, the par-4, 6th, and the par-3, 18th. Welborn hit a 3-wood off the tee down the right hand side of the fairway on No. 2. The Murfreesboro native left a 7-iron just short and left of the green to set up a chip in for his first birdie of the day.
On No. 6, Welborn hit his driver down the middle of the fairway and knocked a 6-iron to 20 feet of the pin. Welborn was able to get the right speed on the uphill putt as he moved to 1-under after six holes of play.
The fourth-year Tiger saved his best for last as he hit a 6-iron off the box to two-feet of the flag on the middle-back portion of the challenging par-3, 18th, just in front of a mound on the green. Welborn was able to tap in for his final one-under of the round.
James Stepp (81-77=158) sat at 6-over after 11 holes despite scoring six pars. The junior returned to his play with six pars and a birdie over the final seven holes to finish the day with a 5-over, 77. Stepp hit a 2-iron off the box to 116 yards at the par-4, 14th. The Cheatham, Tenn., native used a sand wedge on his second shot to three-feet of the hole, for an easy putt for his lone birdie of the day.
Matt Campbell (86-79=165) scored for the Tigers with a 7-over, 79, as hit continued his strong ball striking off the box with 11-of-14 fairways and 13 greens. Campbell carded nine pars and two birdies on Saturday. On the par-4, 2nd, Campbell sank a six-footer after hitting a wedge from 141 yards out. On the par-3, 13th, Campbell hit a 7-iron from 168 out to eight feet to accomplish his second one-under of the round.
Andrew Warner (76-80=156) continues to lead TSU, but did not score for the Tigers during the second round, as he entered the clubhouse with an 8-over, 80. The senior hit eight fairways, 13 greens and registered his only birdie with a 12-footer on 14 after using a gap wedge from 120 yards.
Matt Campbell will be the first to tee off at 8:00am on the final day of play. Blake Burgett will tee-off at 8:10am, ahead of James Stepp at 8:20am, Codie Welborn at 8:30am and Andrew Warner at 8:40am. Hole-by-hole live results from each day of the championship can be accessed through links at OVCSports.com.