Story by Mark McFarland, Sports Editor
Moa Folke, sophomore from Tranas, Sweden, won the individual OVC Championship and led the women’s golf team to a sixth place finish Wednesday.
The tournament was held at Hampton Cove Golf Club in Owens Crossing, Alabama. Head Coach Velvet Milkman said the third day on the par 72 course was the most difficult because of the wind.
“The first two days there was no wind,” Milkman said. “The wind picked up on the back nine today ,and that’s what made it a lot more difficult.”
Folke started the third and final day of the tournament tied at the top of the leaderboard. She held the lead for the entire day finishing up her round leading by two strokes with some of the field having to finish their rounds.
“When I went in and heard I had a two-stroke lead with three to play, I felt pretty good about it, because I knew the last three holes were really tough,” Folke said. “I mean it was a nervous wait, but when it was all done, I was really happy that it was enough.”
Folke carded a 71 on each of the first two days of the tournament, which was good for two-under-par and a share of the lead.
During the final round, Folke finished the front nine with an even 36. Folke finished the back nine five-over-par to finish the round at 77, which brought her total score to 219 for the tournament. Folke said the back nine was much more difficult because of the wind and pin position.
“On the back nine, it was really tough and the pins were pretty difficult as well,” Folke said. “I realized coming in that it would be tough, but I played good, but I mean I made some bogeys and I made some mistakes here and there.”
Milkman said her and Folke were following the live scoring and watching what players were doing while they were waiting to see who would win the individual championship.
“We knew those holes coming in were very difficult, especially into the wind,” Milkman said. “We knew that they had to make birdies, and if they did that, they deserved to win the tournament, but there weren’t very many birdies coming in. We actually felt pretty good when she posted her score.”
Folke is the first women’s golfer from Murray State to win the individual championship since the 2013-14 season when Delaney Howson won the tournament by 13 strokes, the largest margin of victory in OVC Tournament history.
However, Folke was not the only player to finish in the top 20 for the Racers. Junior Sydney Trimble, from Paducah, Kentucky, finished in 12th place,10 strokes behind Folke.
Milkman said the team prepared similar to how they usually do for any kind of tournament.
“I don’t think we changed our practice around a whole lot,” Milkman said. “The key to this golf course is the greens and we focused a little bit of effort there.”
Folke said she is excited that she was able to win the tournament and she has wanted it all year.
“I felt great about it,” Folke said. “I mean it’s been my goal all year to win the OVC so I am really happy I accomplished that.”
Folke said she plans on staying in Murray through finals week and looks forward to going home to Sweden during the summer to prepare for the next season.