Men’s golf finishes 8th after first day

Sean Hastings, Sports Editor

The Eastern men’s golf team is in a tie for eighth place after the first round at the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament.

Eastern and the rest of the OVC opened play Monday morning at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail Fighting Joe Course at The Shoals. The course is a par-72.

The course has a yardage of 7,258. The men played at the course last year and will return to play there again in 2017.

The Panthers are tied with a total team score of 309 with Tennessee State. Eastern and Tennessee State are just one stroke behind Morehead State who finished the day in seventh place.

Freshman Alvaro Hernandez was the Panthers’ top golfer through the first 18 holes of the tournament. He shot an opening round score of 75. He is tied for 16th, personally.

Being a freshman, this was Hernandez’s first career OVC tournament.

“I was feeling pretty confident coming to conference and (Monday) I played pretty well but I made a quadruple (bogey) on the 9th,” Hernandez said.

Hernandez was looking to shoot a lower score and break par, but will look to get it done tomorrow, he said.

“I played solid the whole day,” Hernandez said. “Halfway through the round the wind picked up and made it tougher. The pin locations were alright, cannot complain about them.”

He added that the course conditions improved from Sunday to Monday.

Finishing right behind Hernandez was freshman Charlie Adare and senior Will Drerup with identical scores of 76. The two are tied for 26th in the field.

Dreurup’s score of 76 was his best score of the season. It was just his third tournament he played in this season.

Sophomore Alex Gowin turned in a score of 82 in his opening round at the OVC Tournament. Freshman Kevin Altenberger was the final golfer for Eastern to turn in a score. He came in with an opening round score of 84, placing him in 54th.

Jacksonville State is in the lead after the first day after turning in a team score of 290 which is just two strokes over par. Tennessee-Martin is right behind them in second with a final team score of 293.

The two schools had the only two players shoot under par in the first round of the OVC tournament. Hunter Richardson of Tennessee-Martin finished -3 on the day with a score of 69.

Daniel Pico of Jacksonville State finished at -2 for a score of 70, putting him second place after 18 holes.

Eastern Kentucky won last year’s OVC title but find themselves in fourth place with a total team score of 298.

The teams currently sitting in seventh through 11th place are very tight after the first day. Just six strokes separates Morehead State in seventh and Southern Illinois-Edwardsville in 11th.

The same goes for the front of the pack. Eight strokes separate the top four finishers after the first round. Murray State turned in a final score of 297 and Eastern Kentucky’s golfers fired a 298.

The Panthers’ eighth place finish in the first round is an improvement off last year’s opening round. The Panthers finished in 11th place to start the tournament and would never move up a spot in the final two rounds.

Juniors Daniel Hughes and Ryan Hughes did not play for the Panthers and neither did senior Austin Sproles.

Eastern and the rest of the OVC teams in the field will play the second round of the tournament starting tomorrow morning. The teams will play a total of 54 holes by the end of the final round.


Sean Hastings can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]