Golf team standouts Cameron Carrico and Hunter Ford may have graduated, but this summer a bright future for men’s golf at Murray State was showcased.
Juniors lead the way
Looking to build on the successful 2010-2011 season in which the Racers finished third in the OVC Championship and won four tournaments out of 11, Head Coach Eddie Hunt said team success will rely mainly on the efforts of the junior class this year.
“I’ve got a really strong team,” he said. “It’ll come down to the experience of the juniors to step up and play well throughout the year.”
Headlining that class is Patrick Newcomb from Benton, Ky. Newcomb spent his summer keeping his game sharp by winning the Kentucky Amateur held at Kearney Hills Golf Links in Lexington, Ky., by two strokes with a three-round 211.
A two-round 145 was good enough for an 11th place finish at the Irvin Cobb Championship at Paxton Park Golf Course in Paducah, Ky., already adding to Newcomb’s highlight-reel summer. Newcomb also played in the Kentucky Open at Persimmon Ridge Golf Club in Louisville, Ky., and finished sixth with a blazing three-round 215.
Filling out the rest of the junior class is Russell Springs, Ky., native Dustin Gosser, Hunter York from Hardin, Ky., and Tyler Brown from Blue Springs, Mo. York and Gosser also participated in the Kentucky Open with York placing 28th with a three-round 228. Brown placed 54th at the Irvin Cobb Championship.
With a deep class that should return for their senior seasons, men’s golf looks to be a strong force in the OVC for the next couple of years, if not longer Hunt said.
Over the weekend, Hunter York and freshman Brock Simmons from Murray aced the 11th hole at the Murray Country Club during qualifying rounds using pitching wedges. York played the hole 120 yards out, while Simmons played the hole from 130 yards.
Season play begins Sept. 12 and 13 at Pineville, Ky., at the Wasioto Winds Fall Kick Off, a victory for last year’s team.
Morgan and Co. ready for competition
With four out of the top five players back from a team that was runner-up at the 2011 OVC Championship, the Lady Racers are more than poised to bring home a title.
They are prepared.
“I continued to build on what we did last year this summer playing in tournaments, taking lessons … as far as the team, last year was kind of a rebuilding year getting to know each other and play together,” Morgan Cross, senior
from Elizabethtown, Ky., said.
Cross kept a busy schedule this summer and the work showed in tournament results. She finished fourth at the 2011 Fifth Third Bank Kentucky Women’s Open played at Standard Country Club in Louisville, Ky., by carding a two-round 150.
Delaney Howson, sophomore from Newmarket, Ontario, and last year’s OVC Freshman of the Year, slapped a 75 at Knollwood Country Club in West Bloomfield, Mich., to qualify for the 2011 U.S. Women’s Amateur.
Howson finished with a two-round 155 at the major tournament, good enough for 110th place.
Alli Weaver, junior from Lititz, Pa., cranked out an eight-shot victory Tuesday at the Lanco Ladies Amateur Championship at Pilgrim’s Oak Golf Course in Lancaster, Pa., with a two-round 151.
Much like the men’s team, expectations are high as the player core returns for another run at the OVC title. After back-to-back championships in 2009 and 2010, the Racers lost a close OVC Championship in 2011 to upstart Morehead State, and Cross said this year expects to be just as close.
“They’re a group of great girls,” Cross said of Morehead State. “We’ve got to come in ready to play.”
Season play for the Racers begins Sept. 12 and 13 at the Drake Creek Invitational in Ledbetter, Ky.