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EKU women's golf wins 3rd title In four years

EKU women’s golf wins 3rd title In four years

Posted on 20 April 2016 by admin


OWENS CROSSROADS, Ala. – EKU’s women’s golf team won its third Ohio Valley Conference Championship in the last four years, beating the field by 18 shots on Wednesday.

Eastern began the day with a 20-shot lead. The team’s final round 301 was good enough to set new OVC Championship records for 54-hole total of 888 and team tournament scoring average at 296.00.

EKU will learn its NCAA Regional destination on Monday during the selection show on the Golf Channel’s Golf Central program from 6 to 7 p.m. ET. The NCAA Regionals will be played May 5-7 in Stanford, California; Bryan, Texas; Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Shoal Creek, Alabama.

The 2016 championship is the fourth for the Eastern Kentucky program, having also won in 1996, 2013 and 2015.

“I’m really proud of what they accomplished today,” Head Coach Mike Whitson said. “This was an outstanding performance by this team, they had a great week of golf.”

The senior class of Anna Gleixner, Becky Sharpe and Rachel Welker have been starters on three OVC Championship teams in their four seasons at EKU. The trio nearly won four conference titles, coming up two shots short in the 2014 OVC Championship.

“It’s pretty special for them to win three championships in four years,” said Whitson. “It’s something I hope they treasure for a long, long time.”

Gleixner tied for second overall with a 54-hole total of 222. Sofie Levin shot a second straight round of 2-over 74 and placed fourth with a total of 223. Freshman Amanda Lindahl (225) closed out with a round of 74 and finished sixth. Welker (229) tied for 12th and Sharpe (234) tied for 20th.

Gleixner and Levin were named to the OVC All-Tournament team.

“It’s a little awkward leading by 20 shots, it throws you off your game a little bit,” Whitson said. “We got out there and got off to a good start though. We started the day with a lot of intensity.”

The event was contested on the par-72, 6,050-yard Highlands Course at Hampton Cove Golf Course on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail.

Tennessee Tech (906) was second, 18 shots behind EKU. Jacksonville State (911) was third and Morehead State (918) finished fourth.

Austin Peay (925) placed fifth and Murray State (927) was sixth. Belmont (947) finished seventh. SIU Edwardsville (965), Eastern Illinois (1002) and Tennessee State (1072) rounded out the field of 10 teams.

1. Eastern Kentucky 293-294-301 – 888 (+24)
T2. Anna Gleixner 68-74-80 – 222
4. Sofie Levin 75-74-74 – 223
6. Amanda Lindahl 71-80-74 – 225
T12. Rachel Welker 79-74-76 – 229
T20. Becky Sharpe 85-72-77 – 234

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Colonels Come Up Short In Bid To Repeat As OVC Women’s Golf Champions

Posted on 23 April 2014 by admin


MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. – In its bid for back-to-back Ohio Valley Conference Championships, the Eastern Kentucky University’s women’s golf team came up just short during the final round on Wednesday. The Colonels led after the first two rounds, but Murray State came from behind to win by two shots.

Anna Gleixner placed second overall. The sophomore had a 36-hole total of 225 and finished 13 shots behind individual medalist Delaney Howson (212) of Murray State.

Eastern began the day with a six shot lead over the Racers. However, the Colonels shot a final round 318 while MSU concluded with a 310. Eastern Kentucky’s three-day total of 917 was two shots behind Murray State’s 915.

Jacksonville State (923) placed third, six shots behind EKU.

Gleixner birdied two of the first three holes and was 2-over at the turn. A three-hole stretch early on the back nine, including a bogey and two doubles, pushed her to 7-over. She wrapped up the round with two bogeys and another birdie on the final three holes to finish 8-over.

Sofie Levin was putting together a solid final round before finding trouble on the final three holes. She made the turn at 3-over but had two birdies and four pars on the next six holes to get to 1-over. A bogey on the par-4 No. 16 and a double on the par-3 No. 18 dropped her to 4-over for the day. Her 36-hole total of 229 tied for fifth overall.

Gleixner and Levin earned OVC All-Tournament honors.

Rachel Welker concluded play with an 81 and a three-round total of 233. She finished tied for 11th. Emilie Simmons shot a final round 82 to complete her first OVC Championship with a total of 234 and in 15th place. Becky Sharpe closed play with an 81 as well and finished tied for 16th with a three-day total of 235.

Morehead State (927) placed fourth. Tennessee Tech (934)) and Austin Peay (949) finished in fifth and sixth respectively. Belmont (971) and SIU Edwardsville (988) were seventh and eighth. Eastern Illinois (1026) and Tennessee State (1066) rounded out the 11-team event.

The 2014 OVC Championship was played at The Fighting Joe course at The Shoals. The course had a par of 72 and played 6,203 yards.

2. Eastern Kentucky 295-304-318 – 917 +53

2. Anna Gleixner 72-73-80 – 225 +9
T5. Sofie Levin 77-76-76 – 229 +13
T11. Rachel Welker 73-79-81 – 233 +17
15. Emilie Simmons 76-76-82 – 234 +18
T16. Becky Sharpe 74-80-81 – 235 +19

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Former Colonel golfer tabbed for women's golf program

Former Colonel golfer tabbed for women’s golf program

Posted on 09 August 2010 by admin

RICHMOND, Ky. – Former Eastern Kentucky University men’s golfer Mike Whitson was selected as the new EKU women’s golf head coach, Director of Athletics Mark Sandy announced today. Whitson was a four-year letterwinner for the Colonels from 1994 to 1998, helping the team to a second-place Ohio Valley Conference finish and capturing All-OVC honors in 1998.

He will begin his duties as EKU’s third women’s golf head coach on August 23.

“The opportunity to be the next women’s golf coach at EKU is very exciting for me,” Whitson said. “I would like to thank Mark Sandy and the entire university for selecting me. It is an honor to return home and coach at my alma mater. I am looking forward to the next few weeks of getting to know our players and starting our hard work for a successful season.”

The Paris, Ky., native has spent the past five years as the head women’s golf coach at Indiana State University. Whitson was hired in 2005 and charged with restarting the women’s program after a 28-year hiatus. His first Sycamore team (2006-07) placed eighth among 10 teams in the 2007 Missouri Valley Conference tournament. By 2009, Whitson had his squad up to sixth. This past season, ISU turned in its best performance, a third place finish. In four seasons of competition, he coached four All-MVC selections.

In addition to their success on the links, Whitson’s student-athletes have excelled in the classroom. In July the Sycamores were listed fourth on the National Golf Coaches Association’s (NGCA) top-25 list of team grade point averages. Whitson’s squad had the highest team GPA among NCAA Division I institutions. Three Sycamores were selected to the NGCA All-American Scholar Team for Division I. In four seasons Whitson coached 17 NGCA All-American Scholar Team selections, including five each in 2006-07 and 2007-08.

Whitson spent three seasons (2001-04) as an assistant women’s golf coach at the University of Tennessee. He helped UT advance to the NCAA tournament each season, including the NCAA Championships during the spring of 2004 where the team placed 11th. The 2002-03 regular season also saw great success as the Lady Vols set a school record by winning three tournament titles, including the Lady Boilermaker Invitational, the Auburn Tiger Derby, and the Lady Kat Invitational.

Tennessee was a regular in the top 10 nationally during Whitson’s tenure at UT, and reached as high as No. 2 in the NGCA Division I Coaches poll. He also coached three All-Americans, three Academic All-Americans, and three future LPGA Tour members; Jessica Shepley, Young-A Yang and Violeta Retamoza.

Whitson’s collegiate coaching career began at Transylvania University in Lexington, Ky. In 2000-01, his only season at the school, Whitson led the women’s golf team to a No. 16 ranking in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). He guided the team to a first-place finish and three second-place performances. In addition, he coached sophomore Catherine Benson to a third-place finish at the NAIA Nationals, earning her All-America honors.

As a senior in 1998, Whitson fired a second round score of 64 at the OVC tournament. He finished tied for third with a three-round total of 214, two shots under par. During his collegiate career Whitson also served as the president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.

As an amateur, he won the Michelob Classic in May 1997 and the Club Car Classic in May 1998. He was also runner-up at the Kentucky State Amateur Championship in 1997 and 1998. After concluding his collegiate career, Whitson played on a number of professional golf tours, including the Hooters Tour, Central Florida Tour and Development Players Tour. As a pro, he claimed the 1998 Owensboro Open title and finished among the top 10 in five other events.

Whitson earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education from EKU in 1998. He completed a master’s degree in education with an emphasis in athletic administration at the University of Kansas in 2005.

Whitson becomes the third women’s golf coach since the program began in 1993. Sandra Martin led the Colonels from 1993 to 1998, and Joni Stephens served as head coach from 1998 to 2010.


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