Merkel Fires 76 On Final Day
CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Kelly Merkel recorded the second best score of her career on day two of the F&M Bank APSU Intercollegiate. Merkel fired a 76 on a cool, windy and overcast day on the Par-71, 5,760-yard, Clarksville Country Club. The mark by the third-year Tiger was a top 10 score on Tuesday in the field of 62 golfers.
Natalie Spicer followed in scoring for the Tigers with an 82 and Amelia Dap with an 87. Imani Stingley, playing as an individual, carded a 94.
Sarah Needleman was disqualified on her second shot of the day for a starting violation. Due to the DQ and the withdrawal of Laura Bremer on day one, the Tigers were not able to post a team score.
Belmont claimed the team title as they outshot Murray State by seven strokes over the final round. Tennessee Tech’s Madalyn secured the individual title on the third hole of a playoff with the Bruins Mallory Sullivan.
Merkel (84-76=160) started the day with a birdie on the fourth hole of the day, the par-4, 18th. Her drive found the middle of the fairway leaving 117 yards. Merkel hit a 9-iron on her approach shot into the wind, landing 15 feet left of the hole. The junior needed one putt to cut a stroke off her score.
The Columbia, Tenn., native closed out the day on the par-4, 14th. She opened with a drive finding the right side in the tree line. Merkel punched out setting up a 25-yard chip shot that would find the bottom of the cup for birdie.
Spicer (83-82=165) carded eight pars on the day, with three coming on up-and-downs. The sophomore finished the round hitting seven greens.
On the par-4, 14th, Dap (86-87=173) registered an up-and-down as she hit her driver left of the fairway, setting up an advantageous angle to the green. With the wind at her back, Dap hit a 6-iron from 176 yards out which landed short, just in front of the green. The redshirt-junior knocked her wedge shot close to the pin for a tap in par.
Due to course conditions from the back-to-back nights of heavy rains, officials turned the par-4, 7th, into a par-3 on the final day. Dap clubbed up to a 9-iron from 110 yards out for a shot into the wind. Her tee shot cleared the green leaving 40-feet to the flag. Dap putted downhill from the fringe which ran by the hole. Dap would drain the 10-foot uphill putt to save par.
Stingley matched her score from day one as she hit 12 fairways and averaged just over two putts per hole.
The Tigers will take a week off before competing in the final tournament of the fall. TSU will travel to Boonville, Ind., to compete in the Braun Intercollegiate hosted by Evansville.