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February 6, 2014

Tech men's and women's golf teams picked fourth and sixth in preseason poll

By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information Coordinator

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – With just a few weeks remaining until the beginning of spring seasons, the Tennessee Tech golf teams will look to put the finishing touches on what promises to be a great year on the links.

And it's not just the Golden Eagle teams who believe they can be contenders this season. In a vote of the Ohio Valley Conference head golf coaches, the Tech men's team and women's team were picked to finish fourth and tied for sixth, respectively, when all is said and done at the end of the season.

The Tech men's team put together three top five finishes this fall, including a fourth-place finish at the Bearcat Invitational and another one at the Hummingbird Intercollegiate.

Leading the way in the first half of the year was sophomore Mitch Thomas, who collected three top 10 finishes to wrap up the fall season. He earned adidas® OVC Male co-Golfer of the Week after tying for second place at the Bearcat Invitational, as well as All-Tournament honors.

Junior Lee Whitehead also played exceptionally well for the Tech team, grabbing a top three finish at the Hummingbird Intercollegiate, earning him All-Tournament and adidas® OVC Male co-Golfer of the Week honors.

On the women's side of the course, the Golden Eagles also put together a solid foundation for the spring season, recording two top five finishes at the MSU Drake Creek Invitational and the CSU Wendy's Invitational.

Three players collected top 10 finishes, including freshmen Whitney Robertson and Lydia Triplett as well as sophomore Maddi Everts.

On the men's side defending champion Austin Peay received eight of 11 first-place points to finish with the most points (96). That was eight points ahead of second-place Belmont who received the other three first-place votes (88 points). Jacksonville State was third (82) and followed by Tennessee Tech (69), UT Martin (66), Eastern Kentucky (63), Murray State (41), SIUE (38), Tennessee State (24), Morehead State (20) and Eastern Illinois (18).

Morehead State was picked the preseason favorite on the women's side for the second year in a row; the Eagles, who won the 2011 OVC Championship, finished fourth a season ago, just five strokes out of first place. MSU picked up seven first-place votes and 79 total points in being picked the favorite. Jacksonville State received two first-place votes and 71 points to be tabbed second while Murray State picked up the final first-place vote and was picked third (68). Defending champion Eastern Kentucky was picked fourth (58) and followed by Belmont (43), Austin Peay and Tennessee Tech (40 apiece), SIUE (24), Eastern Illinois (18) and Tennessee State (9).

After four years in Dickson, Tenn., the OVC Men's and Women's Championships will move to The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at The Shoals in Muscle Shoals, Ala. The OVC held the women's championship there in 2008 and the men's championship in 2009. This year's women's championship will be held on April 21-23 while the men's championship is set for April 25-27.

2013-14 OVC Golf Preseason Predicted Order of Finish
(as voted on by the league head coaches)

Men's Predicted Order of Finish

1. Austin Peay (8 first-place) 96 points
2. Belmont (3) 88
3. Jacksonville State 82
4. Tennessee Tech 69
5. UT Martin 66
6. Eastern Kentucky 63
7. Murray State 41
8. SIUE 38
9. Tennessee State 24
10. Morehead State 20
11. Eastern Illinois 18

Women's Predicted Order of Finish

1. Morehead State (7)

79 points
2. Jacksonville State (2) 71
3. Murray State (1) 68
4. Eastern Kentucky 58
5. Belmont 43
6. Austin Peay 40
    Tennessee Tech 40
8. SIUE 24
9. Eastern Illinois 18
10. Tennessee State 9