Spring preview 2018: Ohio Valley Conference

Eastern Kentucky Athletics

Spring preview 2018: Ohio Valley Conference

College

Spring preview 2018: Ohio Valley Conference

As the college golf season gets ready to resume, Golfweek will preview each automatic-qualifier conference in Division I, offering picks to win, midseason All-Conference teams and more.

All of our conference previews will reside here.

Next up: Ohio Valley Conference

• • •

Men

Conference championship: April 23-25, The Shoals at Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, Muscle Shoals, Ala.

Defending champion: Jacksonville State

Team rankings: Eastern Kentucky (112), Jacksonville State (139), Southern Illinois-Edwardsville (145), Tennessee-Martin (171), Tennessee Tech (203), Morehead State (208), Murray State (212), Austin Peay State (226), Belmont (239), Tennessee State (250), Eastern Illinois (281)

Midseason All-Conference team: Hunter Richardson, Tennessee-Martin (213); Noah Combs, Eastern Kentucky (286); Avery Edwards, Murray State (554); Max Basler, Jacksonville State (577); Erik Lindwall, Eastern Kentucky (589)

What to expect: Jacksonville State rallied from eight shots back in the final round of last year’s OVC Championship to beat Eastern Kentucky by a shot. While the Gamecocks are a contender again behind Basler and three others ranked 767th or better, Eastern Kentucky is the favorite entering the spring. Combs is one of the conference’s best players and three of EKU’s other top players are either seniors or juniors. Richardson, who had a fall scoring average of 70.3, has won two straight OVC medals and is looking for a third this spring.

Pick to win: Eastern Kentucky

• • •

Women

Conference championship: April 16-18, The Shoals at Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, Muscle Shoals, Ala.

Defending champion: Murray State

Team rankings: Murray State (97), Eastern Kentucky (116), Jacksonville State (153), Austin Peay State (190), Tennessee Tech (212), Morehead State (219), Belmont (233), Eastern Illinois (252), Tennessee State (257)

Midseason All-Conference team: Elsa Moberly, Eastern Kentucky (67); Valentina Giraldo, Jacksonville State (123); Lucila Puente Rodriguez, Murray State (408); Linette Holmslykke, Murray State (419); Moa Folke, Murray State (467)

What to expect: Murray State is led by its stellar trio of Rodriguez, Holmslykke and Folke, and boasts six total players inside the top 800. Elisa Moberly is the conference’s best player, though, and she leads an Eastern Kentucky squad that has four players in the top 900. In the last five years, either Murray State or Eastern Kentucky has won the OVC title; and that probably won’t change this spring.

Pick to win: Murray State

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