TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY
Special to the Times-Tribune
DICKSON, TENN. — Eastern Kentucky University’s women’s golf team captured the 2013 Ohio Valley Conference Championship on Tuesday, the second title for the program and first since 1996. The Colonels will make their first-ever NCAA Championship Regional appearance May 9-11.
Kristen Dorsey became the third Colonel to capture individual medalist honors. Beverly Brockman won three times, (1994, 1996, 1997) and Brittany Klein won once (2005).
Former Williamsburg Lady Yellow Jacket Becky Sharpe turned in a solid effort and shot a 231, which was good enough for a 13th place finish.
The event was contested at GreyStone Golf Club in Dickson, Tenn. GreyStone has a par of 72 and plays 5,964 yards.
Eastern led by as many as 13 strokes during the final round, but when the final group teed off on the 18th hole, the Colonels were tied with Jacksonville State. Dorsey’s second shot rolled to within 15 feet from the cup. JSU’s Ornella Arrizon missed the green on her approach and then overshot to the other side of the green with her third shot. Dorsey two-putted to par the hole. Arrizon’s fourth shot was short, giving EKU a one-shot victory.
The Colonels started the day with a five shot lead over Morehead State and a seven stroke advantage over Jacksonville State. EKU (916) carded a final round 308, JSU (917) turned in a 302 and Morehead State a 308.
“It’s been quite a day,” head coach Mike Whitson said. “This team woke up ready to play. They were very confident and focused this morning. To win the conference championship this year is an amazing feeling. I can’t begin to tell you how proud I am of these ladies.”
Dorsey (223) began the day tied for first but won by two shots over Tennessee Tech’s Madalyn Everts (225). She carded a final round 74. Dorsey spent four seasons at Kansas State before transferring to EKU last summer with one year of eligibility remaining.
“Kristen has really worked on her game quite hard in the past two or three months,” said Whitson. “It all culminated in the last three days. She was phenomenal from tee to green.”
Eastern’s line-up included two seniors and three freshmen. Freshman Anna Gleixner (229) tied for seventh overall. Freshman Becky Sharpe (231) tied for 13th. Senior April Emerson (239) finished tied for 24th. Freshman Rachel Welker’s final round 77 was her best of the tournament. She finished 28th with a 54-hole total of 241.
Murray State (920) moved to third with a final round 299. Morehead State (921) placed fourth. Austin Peay (938) was fifth. Tennessee Tech (944) finished sixth. Belmont (969) and SIU Edwardsville (986) were seventh and eighth respectively. Eastern Illinois (1002) and Tennessee State (1167) rounded out the field of 10 teams.
The 2013 NCAA Championship field will be announced on April 29 on NCAA.com at 9 p.m.
The NCAA Regionals will be held May 9-11 and take place in Auburn, Ala. (East Regional), Norman, Okla. (Central Region) and Stanford, Calif. (West Regional). Following the Regionals the National Championship will be held May 21-24 at the University of Georgia Golf Course in Athens, Ga.