February 14, 2018

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The Ohio Valley Conference head golf coaches have tabbed the University of Tennessee at Martin second out of 11 teams in the 2018 preseason predicted order of finish, which the league released today.

The Skyhawks garnered 82 points and one first-place vote, trailing only preseason favorite Eastern Kentucky (99 points, nine first-place votes). Jacksonville State (78, one first-place vote), SIUE (72) and Morehead State (59) rounded out the top-five and were followed by Murray State (55), Tennessee Tech (53), Austin Peay (50), Belmont (26), Tennessee State (20) and Eastern Illinois (11).

UT Martin is coming off a very successful fall season, winning three of its seven tournaments while finishing as runner-up in two others. The Skyhawks emerged victorious in three consecutive tournaments (Skyhawk Fall Classic, F&M Bank APSU Intercollegiate and Samford Intercollegiate) in the month of October, currently ranking second in the OVC with a 291.8 scoring average.

“Our golf team had a great fall, we just have to carry our efforts to the spring and into the OVC Tournament,” UT Martin head coach Jerry Carpenter said. “Polls make a good conversation piece for players and parents. I feel that our league has six or seven teams that could make a run for the title. Our golf team has to work extremely hard to improve and show that we are one of the top teams in our conference.”

The Skyhawks are considered one of the favorites for their second OVC title in three years thanks to senior Hunter Richardson. The Clarksville, Tenn. native is the two-time defending OVC Tournament medalist and has shown no signs of slowing down in 2017-18 – topping the league with a 70.3 scoring average. He already has three wins this season, upping his career total to 11 tournament victories.

Sophomore lefty Jack Story was responsible for two top-five finishes this fall, accounting for a 73.0 scoring average. Redshirt sophomore Ross Redmont, a 2016 OVC All-Newcomer, accounted for a 73.6 scoring average while freshman Nick Wolf (73.8 average in a team-high 20 rounds) was a constant in the Skyhawk lineup over the fall season.

Senior Zach Haynes battled through an injury to average a 74.9 score while freshman Tate Chumley (17 rounds) and junior Cameron Smith (15 rounds) posted identical 75.3 scoring averages in the fall.

Sophomore transfer Peyton Dix and redshirt freshman Mason Chandler also partook in 13 combined rounds over the fall, averaging scores of 77.5 and 78.8, respectively.

UT Martin officially opens its spring schedule on Feb. 25-26 when it visits Goodyear, Ariz. for the third straight season in the Loyola Intercollegiate. That is the first of five regular season tournaments dotted along the 2018 slate before the OVC Championships once again takes place at The Shoals on the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Muscle Shoals, Ala. on April 23-25.

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