womengolf2016

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