OWENS CROSS ROADS, Ala. – The Tennessee State women’s golf team struggled on the opening day of the Ohio Valley Conference Championship. The Tigers are in 10th place after carding a 65-over as a team on the Par-72, 6,050 yard, Hampton Cove as part of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail just outside of Huntsville, Ala.
Eastern Kentucky leads after day one at 3-over and is led by Anna Gleixner who tied the championship record for low score with a 4-under, 68.
Natalie Spicer led the Tigers with a 10-over, 82, and was followed by Sarah Needleman (13-Over, 85), Kelly Merkel (91) and Paige Harlin (95).
Spicer attacked the front nine with solid play, recording six pars to make the turn at 3-over. The junior used a 9-iron to chip to a foot to convert an up-and-down to save par on the par-5, 3rd. Spicer used up-and-downs on the par-4, 7th, and the par-3, 8th, to aid her efforts during morning play. The Springfield, Tenn. native pitched over the bunker with a gap wedge, setting up a 15-footer on No. 4 and chipped to within a foot on No. 8.
Spicer finished play with eight pars, as she hit 11-of-14 fairways and seven greens in regulation.
Needleman got off to a rough start with a double bodey to start the day, but came back and recorded her lone birdie of the day on the par-4, 2nd. The senior knocked her second shot to four feet of the flag from 115 yards out to set up the makeable putt. Needleman found 11-of-14 fairways, while hitting 12 greens on the day.
Harlin, playing in her first OVC championships, hit 10 fairways and averaged two putts a hole. The freshman highlighted the day as she hit a 9-iron from 110 out on the par-4, 2nd, and stuck the approach a foot from the pin for a tap in birdie.
Harlin will lead the Tigers out on Tuesday morning at 8:00am. Merkel will take to the course next at 8:10am, followed by Needleman in 8:20am and Spicer at 8:30am. TSU will be paired with Eastern Illinois for the second consecutive round.