By Mike Lehman, TTU Sports Information
OWENS CROSS ROADS, Ala. – After three grueling rounds at Hampton Cove on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, the Tennessee Tech women's golf team held on for a third-place finish at the Ohio Valley Conference Championships Wednesday afternoon, wrapping up the three-day event with a 914 overall score.
Eastern Kentucky edged out Jacksonville State by one stroke to capture the 2015 OVC title, but for the Golden Eagles, the squad managed its highest finish in the league's annual championship since 2004 when the team took home second place. After tallying scores of 304 in each of the first and second rounds, Tech concluded its run at the OVC Championship with a third-round 306.
Sophomore Whitney Robertson led the Golden Eagles on the final day of play, matching her second-round total of 75 to finish with a 220 overall and take home third place in the field of 50. Only Sofie Levin of Eastern Kentucky and Minta Yin of Murray State notched lower totals for the week, with Levin edging out Yin for medalist honors by one stroke with a 217.
For Robertson, the third-place ranking clinched her third consecutive All-Tournament honors and second OVC All-Tournament accolades of her career. Last season, the Clarksville, Tenn. native placed fourth at the OVC Championships to earn her first career All-Tournament nod.
Just missing out on All-Tournament honors was junior veteran Maddi Everts, who tallied a final-round 78 to finish eighth overall with a score of 228. It marked the second time in her career that the Ooltewah, Tenn. native concluded the OVC Championships in the top 10.
Finish third among Tech's participants, and second on the day, was fellow junior Megan Williamson. She managed a 76 on the final day of play, concluding the tournament with a 234 and tied for 18th overall, the best finish at the OVC Championships of her career.
Not far behind was local Cookeville native Anna Cunningham. The redshirt freshman shot a 79 on the final day of her first career OVC Championship action, finishing the tournament in a tie for 28th overall with a score of 239.
Wrapping up the participants for the Golden Eagle squad was Lydia Triplett. After struggling through round two with a 91, the sophomore rallied back in a huge way on Wednesday, firing off a 77 to finish with a 245 and in a tie for 37th place.
The 2014-15 Golden Eagles capped an incredible season, setting a new program record for stroke average in a year, totaling a mark of 313.66 over 29 rounds of play. The new record beat the previous best, turned in by the 2000-01 squad, by nearly two strokes (315.25).
As part of the team record, both Everts and Robertson also made individual history by becoming the first Golden Eagle players post a scoring average under 76 for a whole season. Everts wrapped up her junior season with a mark of 75.86 over 21 rounds, missing eight rounds due to injury. Robertson participated in all 29 rounds for Tech in her sophomore campaign, finishing the year with a stroke average of 75.90.
The 2014-15 season also saw the individual 54-hole record broken not once, not twice, but three times. In the first event of the season, Robertson broke the previous mark of 223 set by Everts one season ago, firing off a 222 at the Jan Weaver-Murray State Invitational.
Two weeks later, Everts one-upped her teammate to take her record back, carding a 219 while placing third at the CSU Wendy's Invitational. Wrapping up the fall season in her hometown of Murfreesboro, Tenn., Williamson took control of the 54-hole scoring record, totaling a 218 to finish third at the Blue Raider Invitational.
As a team, the Tech squad posted the second-lowest 18-hole round in program history, exploding for a 294 in the second round of the Blue Raider Invitational. The 2014-15 team recorded the third-lowest 36-hole tournament total in program history with a 605 at the F&M Bank APSU Intercollegiate.
The highlight of the year came at the Blue Raider Invitational as the Golden Eagles shattered the previous 54-hole scoring record of 917 by carding a very impressive 906. This year's squad also saw its first individual medalist since 2009, as Everts took home the top spot at the F&M Bank APSU Intercollegiate with rounds of 73 and 71 for 1 one-over 144.
With no senior members on the 2014-15 squad, the future looks bright for the Golden Eagles women's golf team and fans can be sure that the 2015-16 team will be raring and ready to go come fall.
Photo by Brad Kirtley, APSU Sports Information