Golden Eagles set for fall opener at Chris Banister Classic

Tech returns five from 2010-11 roster

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. —  Polk Brown will make his coaching debut when the Tennessee Tech women’s golf team begins its fall season Sunday at Jacksonville State’s Chris Banister Golf Classic.

Brown, who was hired to lead the program in July, is charged with replacing graduated senior No. 1 Carley Rhyne but returns a lineup with more overall experience than that of last year.

The Golden Eagles return five golfers from 2010, including junior Katherine Bell, who paced Tech at the OVC Championships last spring. Bell finished the season with an 81.9 stroke average, the lowest of any returnee.

Also back is junior Amanda Randolph and a threesome of sophomores — Amber Shepherd, Brandy VanEtten and Katy Beth Glover — all of whom gained valuable collegiate experience as freshmen last year.

Shepherd finished the 2011 spring season with an 82.2 average, while Randolph came in at 82.8, Glover at 84.0 and VanEtten at 84.1.

The only newcomer to the squad is Maddi Everts, an Ooltewah native and graduate of Notre Dame High School.

“We’re excited to see where we stack up, especially against some of the Ohio Valley Conference competition we’ll see at this tournament,” said Brown. “I’m looking forward to seeing the girls’ course management skills and how their mental games hold up in a tournament setting.”

The Golden Eagles tee off at 10:30 a.m. Sunday for an 18-hole first round. The second round begins at 10:30 a.m. Monday with the final round set for a shotgun start at 8 a.m. Tuesday.

The tournament will be played at Hampton Cove in Huntsville, Ala., where they will play the Highlands Course. The course was recently renovated to convert it back to its original design as a true Scottish links course with rolling fairways and long, waving grasses.

The Highlands Course plays to a par-72 with a total length of 7,438 yards.

Hampton Cove is part of the state’s Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail.