With two weeks off since its last tournament and the emergence of better weather, the men’s golf team is ready to face conference play for the first time in a month. At their Tennessee Tech tournament March 16-17, the Racers placed second of 15.
Head Coach Eddie Hunt hopes to duplicate their results Monday and Tuesday as the participate in Tennessee State’s Big Blue Intercollegiate in Nashville, Tenn.
Led by senior Jordan Smith, the Racers have had a few good days of practice at Miller Memorial Golf Course before they take on the last tournament before the OVC Championship April 24-26.
“Our leader, Jordan Smith, I think he’s really primed to have a good tournament,” Hunt said. “He really looks forward to these type of events. We’re playing against some of the better players in the OVC this week and I think we’re getting ready to have a vote for the all-conference team. I know he’s in the running and I think he wants to have a good showing. Him being the only senior, his goal from the first of the year was to win the OVC championship. In our conference, till the last day you’ve got a shot to win the championship. So that’s our goal, and I think it’s a realistic goal. If everybody plays up to their potential, I think we can do that.”
In addition to gauging their conference competition this weekend, the Racers will be competing for a spot in the top-five and a chance to play in the conference tournament. Head-to-head competition is Hunt’s biggest factor in deciding who will travel to play in Muscle Shoals, Ala., and a strong showing at Big Blue Intercollegiate Monday and Tuesday will help.
“I think it just depends a lot on the tournaments and head-to-head competition,” Hunt said. “There’s a lot more involved in who’s the top-five rather than who shoots the best score in the last round. I look at it from the whole year, and base it on head-to-head competition. But I think it’s important that we play well in the last tournament.”
Hunt plans to play six or seven athletes at Tennessee State due to the tournament’s proximity.
Good weather and more course time have the team’s spirits up as they prepare to round out the season on a high note.
“This week’s been good,” Hunt said. “We’ve been out the last couple days and I think the rest of the week’s going to be a little bit better than what it has been. So that’s encouraging. The golf course is in a lot better shape, so I think we’ll have another couple days of good practice. Then we’ll have a weekend before OVC, and I think after the tournament we’ll pretty much have our lineup decided and we’ll concentrate on getting ready for the OVC.”
Story by Mallory Tucker, Sports Editor