OVC Men's Golf Championship to be Played April 27-29 at The Shoals
Monday, April 27, 2009

Nashville --- The 2009 Ohio Valley Conference Men’s Golf Championship will begin Monday, April 27th in Muscle Shoals, Ala.  The three-round 54-hole tournament will be hosted by Jacksonville State University at The Shoals and concludes with the championship ceremony on Wednesday, April 29th.

The OVC Men’s Championship tournament features Austin Peay, Eastern Illinois, Eastern Kentucky, Jacksonville State, Morehead State, Murray State, Tennessee State, Tennessee Tech and UT Martin. Student-athletes will begin with a practice round Sunday before the first round tees off on Monday at 8:00 a.m.

 

Hole-by-hole live scoring for each round of the Championship can be accessed through links at OVCSports.com.

 

This is the second consecutive year that the tournament will be held in Muscle Shoals as the women’s championship was played at the Shoals last year. The teams will play on the “Fighting Joe” course. The Shoals lies between the Wheeler and Wilson dams on the Tennessee River. Wheeler Dam is named in honor of General Joseph "Fighting Joe" Wheeler - the only Confederate General to attain the same rank later in the United States Army. General Wheeler's intense desire to show that Southerners could be counted on as citizens of the U.S. prompted him to volunteer, at age 62, for service in the Spanish-American War.

The east championship course at The Shoals is named after General Wheeler. Fighting Joe was the first Trail course to break 8,000 yards, measuring 8,092 yards from the Black tees. According to the some the spectacular 17th hole is the signature hole on the course, but the 18th green overlooking Wilson Lake on the Tennessee River will distract you with its beauty, if not its treachery.

Murray State will be chasing their first OVC tournament title in 18 years. The Racers will be led by junior Nick Newcomb who last season earned OVC second-team All-OVC, All-Newcomer Team, All-Tournament Team, and Tournament MVP honors. He is coming off a strong regular season with an OVC scoring average of 72.9 which ties him for fourth place this season. Also returning for the Racers is sophomore Cameron Carrico, who also garnered OVC second-team All-Conference and All-Newcomer Team honors last year and senior Mitchell Moore. Carrico and Moore are ranked sixth and seventh, respectively, on the OVC scoring average list.

 

Eastern Kentucky is looking to defend its title and capture its third championship in four years.  The Colonels have two golfers in the top five of the Conference individual scoring average leader board. Leading the way are seniors Trey Bowling and Jesse Massie, both 2008 OVC first-team all-Conference picks, are ranked second and third in the regular season scoring average, respectively.   

 

Austin Peay will try to claim its first OVC title since the Govs won three straight titles from 2001-03.  The Governors have three golfers in the top 10 of the Conference individual scoring average with junior Erik Barnes holding the lowest average (71.6) in regular season play. He will be joined by teammate Luke Sherrod. Sherrod, a sophomore who last season earned All-Newcomer Team honors, is ranked eighth in scoring average at 73.4.

 

Morehead State seeks its first Conference championship in 10 years. MSU senior Shawn Tipton was the 2006 OVC individual medalist and will look to claim individual honors again in 2009. Tipton tied for 12th in the OVC regular season scoring average (74.0). The Eagles are led by junior Jeff Pierce (73.8) in scoring average.

 

Jacksonville State brings back 2008 first-team All-Conference and All-Newcomer member, sophomore Gonzalo Berlin, who has put together a great season. He will lead the Gamecocks along with teammate Mark Whisenant.  Berlin and Whisenant tied for 15th in OVC scoring averages (74.3).

 

UT Martin will be led by senior Brad Stevens. Stevens, a 2006 All-Newcomer team member, finished the season tied for ninth on the Conference’s individual scoring average list (73.8).

 

Tennessee Tech’s senior Greyson Painter finished the season tied for ninth on the Conference’s individual scoring average list (73.8). The team also returns 2007 All-Newcomer Team member Josh Simer and 2008 first-team All-Conference member John Fox.

 

Eastern Illinois had three Top 10 team finishes during the season. Junior Matt Bird led the Panthers in scoring average with 74.3. Sophomore Francisco Cherizola, put in a solid season with a 75.0 scoring average in his second season with the Panthers.

 

Tennessee State junior Chris Seibel led the team this year with a 75.3 scoring average. Seibel finished in seventh place at the Butler Spring Invitational, just seven strokes out of first place.

 

The OVC will honor its annual All-OVC teams, All-Newcomer Team and Freshman of the Year at a banquet on Monday night in Muscle Shoals. The OVC Player of the Year and Coach of the Year, as well as the All-Tournament Team and Tournament MVP, will be presented at the conclusion of the third round of competition on Wednesday.