A quest for the Ohio Valley Conference men’s golf championship begins on Monday for Eastern. The 2017 edition of the OVC Championship will be contested over three days at The Shoals on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Muscle Shoals, Ala.
Easternearned a 6th place finish last week at the Western Illinois Ben Mussatto inivitational. Sophomore Alvaro Hernandez capped off a strong spring season with a second-place finish after forcing a sudden death playoff.
Hernandez received OVC Male Golfer of the Week honors after setting the school record with a three-round score of 207. Sophomore Charlie Adare, freshman Romeo Perez and freshman Grant Miller will join Hernandez for Eastern. They each have a stroke average below 80.
Austin Peay, Belmont, Eastern Kentucky, Jacksonville State, Morehead State, Murray State, Southern Illinois-Edwardsville, Tennessee State, Tennessee Tech and Tennessee-Martin will join Eastern in the tournament.
The annual awards banquet will be held after the first round on Monday to honor the All-OVC team, All-Newcomer Team and the Freshman of the Year. The OVC Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, All-Tournament and the Tournament MVP will all be announced at the end of the tournament.
Tennessee-Martin overcame a weather delay during the final round last year to come from behind and top Morehead State by a stroke. It was the closest OVC Men’s golf Championship in conference history. It was also the first time that Tennessee-Martin won the championship.
Tennessee-Martin returns Hunter Richardson who won the individual title last year. Richardson leads the OVC in stroke average this year and has claimed four first place finishes. Jacksonville State has the top team average with two of the top golfers this season in Camilo Aguado and Jamie Mist.
Eastern Kentucky has won five team titles this season and won its first of the spring last weekend. Eastern Kentucky has placed in the top three in all but two of its 11 tournaments this year. The Colonels have three top golfers in stroke average in Noah Combs, Erik Lindwall and Will Sallee.
The highest Eastern has finished in the conference tournament is fourth place and they did that in 2001 and 2003. The best finish from an individual was a second place finish by David Lawrence in 2012. They best three-round total from an Eastern team was a 886 in 2001.
Live scoring for the event will be available at OVCSports.com. The teams were given a practice round on Sunday and will begin the tournament at 8 a.m. on Monday.
Mark Shanahan can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]