OVC Women's Golf Tournament Set for April 23-25 in London, Ky
Friday, April 24, 2009

Courtesy Ohio Valley Conference

Nashville --- The 2009 Ohio Valley Conference Women’s Golf Championship will tee off on Thursday, April 22nd in London, Ky. The 54-hole tournament will be hosted by Eastern Kentucky University and held at the Crooked Creek Golf Course. The event will conclude on Saturday, April 25th.


The OVC women’s golf title will be competed amongst the eight Conference institutions that sponsor the sport – Austin Peay, Eastern Illinois, Eastern Kentucky, Jacksonville State, Morehead State, Murray State, Tennessee State and Tennessee Tech. Student-athletes will begin with a practice round Wednesday before the opening round starts on Thursday at 8:00 a.m. 

Crooked Creek, built in 1993, is a semi-private 18-hole golf course which features five sets of tee boxes measuring 7,007 yards from the longest tees. Yardage for the tournament will be from the middle tee boxes for a distance of 6,020 yards.

Jacksonville State will be looking to claim an unprecedented fifth straight OVC championship.  The Gamecocks’ four consecutive titles, (2005-2008) places them as the only OVC team to win four consecutive championships.  This year’s JSU team will be looked upon as an early favorite as there are four Gamecocks in the top six of Conference scoring average leaders this season, and second in the OVC in team scoring average by one stroke.  Junior Portia Abbott will be a factor as she finished the regular season as the top scoring average leader in the Conference with a 74.4 strokes per round, nearly three full strokes ahead of Tennessee Tech’s Megan Bradford.


The Racers of Murray State will look to claim their first team title since 2004 which was also the last year in which the team claimed the individual medalist title as well.  The MSU team, in will be led by juniors Joyce Trus and Megan McKinney who were the only Racers to finish in the top 10 in Conference scoring average at third and seventh, respectively.


Tennessee Tech finished the regular season third in the Conference for team scoring average and will look to claim their first team title since 2001.  The Golden Eagles’ four OVC tournament titles ties them for second with Jacksonville State in the league behind Murray State’s six overall titles. Bradford, who ranked second during the regular season in individual OVC scoring average, looks to capture the individual title at the tournament.


Morehead State, competing in championship play for the first time, seeks a team title in their OVC Tournament debut. Sophomore Paige Lausier finished the regular season with 78.8 stroke average, which ranked eighth in the OVC.


Austin Peay brings back sophomore Chelsea Harris who last season earned OVC second-team All-Conference and All-Newcomer Team honors is coming off a strong regular season with an OVC scoring average of 78.9. Teammate Staci Lynch, looks to build on the success of her freshman year having finished the 2009 season with an 80.9 scoring average.


Eastern Kentucky, the tournament hosts, will be in the hunt for their second OVC title in school history.  The Colonels have come very close recently, finishing runner-up to eventual OVC tournament champion Jacksonville State by two strokes in 2005 and by five strokes in 2006 (the first and third closest winning margin in OVC Women’s Golf Championship history) and finishing third in 2008. The EKU squad will be led by sophomore Gabrielle Andersson and freshman Linda Hogberg, who will look to bring the championship back to Richmond for the first time since 1996.


Eastern Illinois returns 2008 first-team All-Conference team member Carrie Riordan who has had a strong regular season. With the leadership of Riordan in her senior season and juniors Katie Imburgia and Jaymie Voorhees, the Panthers look to make a strong showing at the tournament.


The Tennessee State Tigers have improved their team score at the OVC Championships every year since the University began sponsoring women’s golf in 2003. Second year head coach, Chip Taylor will look to continue this trend.


The annual awards banquet will be held on Thursday night following the first round of play. The banquet will honor the All-OVC first-team and second-team members as well as All-Newcomer Team and Freshman of the Year. The OVC Player of the Year, Coach of the Year as well as All-Tournament and Tournament MVP awards will be presented at the conclusion of third round competition on Saturday.


Hole-by-hole live results from each day of the championship can be accessed through links at OVCSports.com and EKUSports.com.