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February 25, 2013

Women's golf spring schedule features trips to historic courses


COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- The Tennessee Tech women's golf team is scheduled to play in five tournaments across the region this spring before ending up at the Ohio Valley Conference Championship Tournament in late April.

Tech will kick things off at the Kiawah Island Intercollegiate at Oak Point and Cougar Point courses, hosted by College of Charleston, March 3-5. Head coach Polk Brown said he believes it will be a great experience for the women.

"It's an honor to be able to go play in College of Charleston's tournament at Kiawah Island," he said. "It's such an historic place and we're starting out the season in one of the biggest collegiate fields in the country with more than 30 teams."

From there, the schedule leads to a pair of tournaments hosted by teams nicknamed the Golden Eagles. First, Tech faces the Lady Eagle Invitational at the Hattiesburg Country Club, hosted by Southern Miss, March 11-12. The following week, Tech returns to Tennessee to host the Bobby Nichols Intercollegiate at the Sevierville Golf Club.

"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 Bobby Nichols Intercollegiate is scheduled to feature nine men's and thirteen 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.

The Golden Eagles head back to South Carolina after that to play in another tournament hosted by College of Charleston, the Pinehurst Challenge.

"Pinehurst has so much history," Brown said. "It's a privilege to take our team down there and showcase what we can do."

Tech rounds out the season with the Samford Intercollegiate at the Hoover Country Club before taking on the conference at the OVC Championship in Dickson, Tenn. 

The OVC Tournament, at GreyStone Golf Club, determines which team will represent the conference in the NCAA Division I Championships in May. More information on the OVC Women's Golf Championship can be found at OVCSports.com.