OWENS CROSS ROADS, Ala. – The Tennessee State women’s golf team opened play at the 2015 Ohio Valley Conference golf championships with a 51-over, 339. The Tigers will enter day two in 10th place at the Par-72, 6,050 yard Hampton Cove on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail.
Jacksonville State leads the team competition with a 13-over, 301. Eastern Kentucky is second, one stroke back.
Whitney Robertson of Tennessee Tech leads the field of 50 with a 2-under, 70. Robertson holds a one stroke lead over Mallory Sullivan from Belmont.
Natalie Spicer led TSU on day one as she matched her career best with a 5-over, 77. In doing so, she also registered the lowest score by a Tiger during any OVC Championship round. Spicer is currently tied for 12th, which marks the first time a golfer from TSU finished in the top half of the standings in any round.
The sophomore recorded 13 pars on Monday, which was the second highest amount of all competitors. Spicer accomplished the hitting just seven fairways and ten greens. Spicer converted on four up-and-downs to save par.
Merkel shot an 8-over, 80, and was one of two Tigers to card a birdie during round one. The junior would stick a wedge shot four feet from the hole on the par-4, 2nd. Merkel hit eight fairways, 12 greens and used 36 putts for the round.
Needleman and Stingley each finished with a 91 over the first round. Needleman hit 11-of-14 fairways and seven greens, but averaged just over two putts per hole. The junior highlighted her day on No. 2, as she chipped over the corner of the bunker landing five feet from the cup for an up-and-down to save par.
Stingley’s play on No. 5 helped her join Merkel in the birdie club on day one. The freshman hit her driver off the tee box to the right and received a fortunate bounce off the barn leaving her 20-yards. Stingley hit a wedge setting up a 15-foot downhill that the Brown Deer, Wis., native would sink.
Laura Bremer finished with a non-scoring 93, but found her stroke late in the round with three pars over the final four holes. The junior hit a 107-yard approach shot on No. 15 that left her four feet to save par.
Hole-by-hole live results from each day of the championship can be accessed through links at OVCSports.com.