JACKSON, Tenn. — Senior Paige Lausier had the best round of the tournament and junior Emma Jonsson was named OVC Player of the Year, but it was the Ohio Valley Conference trophy that was the sweetest part of Saturday for Morehead State women’s golf.
The Eagles captured their first-ever OVC Championship Saturday afternoon on the strength of three top-five finishes by Lausier, Jonsson and sophomore Marisa Kamelgarn. All three earned OVC All-Tournament honors and MSU coach Stephanie Barker was named OVC Coach of the Year.
The MSU women’s golf program, resurrected three years ago, did not win an OVC title in its first incarnation in the early 1980s, but has challenged for the title each season since being revived in 2008.
“We’re really excited, this what we’ve been working for all year, and really we’ve been talking about it since we started the program,” Barker said. “It was a lot of fun to go out and do it and I think we did it with great style.”
The Eagles shot a 291 on day three to finish with an 890 (292-307-291). The 291 was OVC Championship record for team score, breaking the record of 292 set in the first round by MSU. Morehead State beat second-place Murray State by 14 strokes. The Racers, down eight entering the day, rallied early and closed within four strokes before the Eagles closed strong to run away with the win.
“I’m really proud of the girls. They work well as a group and they’ve worked really hard all year,” Barker said. “It’s exciting to see your hard work pay off. Hopefully this is the start of something really special for our program.”
A Second Team All-Conference selection for her regular season play, Jonsson carded a 218 (70-73-75). She had two birdies Saturday and nine birdies for the tournament.
“I’m especially proud of Emma. She’s won five out of 11 events that she’s played in that’s exceptional,” Barker said.
Lausier’s third-round 69 tied the all-time OVC Championship lowest round record. She equaled Austin Peay’s Amanda Phillips (2001) and Eastern Kentucky’s April Emerson (2010). She finished second overall, just one stroke behind Jonsson with a 219 (72-78-69). Lausier had 38 pars, more than any other player in the 54-hole tournament. She also had seven birdies.
Kamelgarn finished fourth overall, shooting a 225 (72-80-73) to place third for the Eagles. She had two birdies in Saturday’s round, nearly half of her five birdies for the tournament.
Freshman Sofia Pettersson tied for ninth overall, giving MSU four players in the top 10. Pettersson had her best round of the tournament Saturday to finish with a 229 (78-77-74). Senior Lynn Grunkemeyer tied for 19th overall with a 239 (80-79-80).
Murray State finished with a 904, leading third-place Jacksonville State by 20 strokes. JSU finished with a 924, followed by EKU (fourth-932), Austin Peay (fifth-948) and Eastern Illinois (sixth-978). Seventh place Tennessee Tech (981) and eighth place Tennessee State (1084) rounded out the field.