Story by Sarah Combs, Assistant Sports Editor
The Murray State men’s golf team will prepare for the upcoming OVC Tournament after coming away with a second place finish at the Tennessee State Big Blue Intercollegiate.
Coming off a spring in which several individual players progressed, the Racers are working on getting different looks from different courses.
Last weekend, the Racers finished second in Tennessee State Big Blue Intercollegiate with a final score of 581, a one stroke difference between the winner Belmont. Senior Jared Gosser from Russell Springs, Kentucky, finished in second place with a final score of 142, which was three shots off the lead. Brock Simmons, senior from Murray, finished in seventh place in the Intercollegiate with a score of 145, which was six shots off of the winner and three shots behind Gosser. Senior Duncan McCormick from Morganfield, Kentucky finished in 28th place scoring 74 and 80, making his final score of 154.
Three of the seniors have top six scoring averages in the conference: Gosser is third in the overall individual scores and is averaging 72.3; Simmons, is fifth averaging 72.4 and Preston French, from Lexington, Kentucky, is sixth, averaging 72.6. Head Coach Eddie Hunt said he is proud of how the seniors have been doing this year in helping the team get closer to fulfilling their goal.
“They have worked really hard,” Hunt said. “That’s been their goal from day one after a really good finish last year to win an OVC Championship.”
The Racers are led by multiple players that bring different attributions to the team. French has been a four-year starter for the team and has helped the team though his play. Gosser has brought momentum to the team with his play and Simmons has provided a consistent performance throughout the year.
“Those are the three guys that are leading our team,” Hunt said. “If we can get a performance out of them I think we can do very well.”
The Racers will travel to Owens Crossing, Alabama where the women’s golf tournament is being held to prepare before heading to Muscle Shoals, Alabama, to compete. They will have a practice round on Sunday, playing Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday the week before the tournament.
The Robert Trent Jones Course Trail is a par 72 course known for being challenging and in good shape. All four seniors have had three years of tournament experience on the course and plan to use that to their advantage. The Racers tied for second with Belmont last year at the course, five strokes behind Eastern Kentucky.
“Our guys are really excited about going back to that course,” Hunt said. “They feel like they have an advantage and they like the setup.”
“Everybody has to play their own game. It’s a team sport, but it’s an individual game. You have to play each round like your score is going to count.” French said.
The seniors said they will get to the tournament two days early and have a chance to get in two practice rounds. They also said you cannot play the championship course six months in advanced of the tournament, which means they only have two days to study the course and find out where the trouble lies.
“We have been close a lot this year where we just lost by a stroke or two. I think everything happens for a reason and is preparing us for something bigger,” Simmons said. “We have been talking about this the past couple of years and it’s finally here. It’s exciting.”