OWENS CROSS ROADS, Ala. – The Tennessee State women’s golf team cut seven strokes from their day one results on the second day of play at the Ohio Valley Conference Championship. The Tigers remain in 10th place after shooting a 58-over, 346, at Hampton Cove.
Eastern Kentucky is soundly in front at 11-over, 587, 20 strokes ahead of second place Jacksonville State. EKU’s Anna Gleixner continues to lead the field of individuals, but is now joined by Moa Folke of Murray State atop the leaderboard at 2-under, 142.
Sarah Needleman turned in the top score of the day for the Tigers with a 6-over, 78. The Fishers, Ind. native played even-par for the first eight holes and made the turn at 1-over. Needleman ran into trouble with bogeys on three consecutive holes followed by a double bogey on No. 12. The senior finished the day six over as she registered three pars and a birdie over the last six holes.
Needleman hit 11-of-14 fairways and nine greens on the day. The senior birdied the par-5, 15th, as she sank a six foot putt after knocking stiff her approach shot from 135 yards out and made the putt. Needleman also converted on six up and downs on Tuesday.
Natalie Spicer started strong and found herself at 1-over after a birdie on the par-4, 6th, when she hit a 7-iron on an approach shot from the fairway bunker to 15 feet. She secured the one-under by draining the downhill slider. Spicer hit 10 fairways and found 11 greens in regulation on her way to an 83 on the day.
Kelly Merkel struggled for the second consecutive round, but played even-par golf over the final four holes to close out play. Merkel hit her tee-shot to five feet of the pin on the par-3, 16th, and hit the uphill putt for her lone birdie of the day. On No. 18, the senior seemed to be in trouble as she was plugged in a sand trap, but she managed to stick the shot three feet from the flag for an up-and-down to save par for a second round 91.
Paige Harlin recorded a non-scoring 94 as she hit 10-of-14 fairways and seven greens. Harlin’s best hole came at the par-5, 15th, as she hit a hybrid on the approach shot to find the green. The freshman would put a 50 foot putt to six feet of the hole to save par.
Harlin will tee off at 8:00am on Wednesday morning to kick-off the final round. Merkel will be in the second groping to take the course at 8:10am, just ahead of Spicer at 8:20am and Needleman at 8:30am. TSU will be paired with Eastern Illinois for the third consecutive round.
34. Sarah Needleman 85-78=163
39. Natalie Spicer 82-83=165
47. Kelly Merkel 91-91=182
48. Paige Harlin 95-94=189