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February 19, 2013

Men's golf spring schedule features tournaments in four states

View the complete 2012-13 men's golf schedule

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- The 2013 Spring schedule for the Tennessee Tech men's golf team, which gets underway this weekend, features six tournaments in four Southern states, all leading up to the Ohio Valley Conference Championship in April.

Head coach Polk Brown said he believes the fall season prepared his squad well for the spring slate.

"We have experience under our belts now," he said. "I think we can be really competitive and can make a run at the conference [title]."

The men kick off their spring season on Saturday (Feb. 23) with a trip to the Augusta State Invitational for a 36-hole tournament, hosted by the 2010 and 2011 NCAA Champion Jaguars

"The Augusta State tournament was a late addition," Brown said. "But any time a team of that caliber asks us to play and it works in our schedule, I don't want to pass up an opportunity like that."

Tech will then head to Birmingham, Ala., to play in the Samford Intercollegiate, one of the largest in the region. The 54-hole tournament will be held at Hoover Country Club, March 4-5.

"Samford is our first big tournament as far as the number of teams goes," Brown said. "It has a great field and a great course. I'm looking forward to going back and doing some good things there."

The Golden Eagles stay to the west a week later to participate in the Grover Page Classic in Jackson, Tenn., before hosting their own tournament. The Bobby Nichols Intercollegiate, held March 18-19 at the Sevierville Golf Club, is the first Tech-hosted event in recent memory.

"All tournaments lead toward the conference championship," Brown said. "But the most exciting is to have our tournament with both the men and women."  Named after Brown's former coach, the Intercollegiate is scheduled to feature nine men's and eleven women's teams.

"It means a lot to have it named after coach Nichols," Brown said. "He did so many great things for golf here at Tennessee Tech and for the state as well. When I became the coach here, one of the things I wanted to do was have a tournament in his name. It's an honor to do this for the University and for him."

Nichols took over the Tennessee Tech men’s golf program in 1979 and was responsible for establishing the Golden Eagle women’s team in 1986. A Hall of Famer for both Tennessee Tech and the Ohio Valley Conference, he lost his battle with cancer in 2008 at the age of 66.

To open April, Tech travels to Arkansas to take part in the ASU Red Wolf Intercollegiate, hosted by Arkansas State before returning to Tennessee for Tennessee State's Big Blue Intercollegiate April 15-16.

All of those rounds lead up to the ultimate test, the OVC Championship Tournament in Dickson, Tenn., April 25-27. Held for the fourth consecutive year at GreyStone Golf Club, the tournament determines which team will represent the OVC in the NCAA Division I Championship in Atlanta at the end of May.

More information on the OVC Tournament can be found at OVCSports.com