February 16, 2017

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee at Martin golf team was selected third in the Ohio Valley Conference preseason predicted order of finish, as voted on by the league’s head coaches.

The defending OVC champion Skyhawks earned 80 points in the poll, which ranked behind Eastern Kentucky (100) and Jacksonville State (88). Of the 11 conference schools, only Eastern Kentucky (10) and UT Martin (one) received first-place votes.

“Eastern Kentucky and Jacksonville State both had very good falls,” said two-time OVC Coach of the Year Jerry Carpenter said. “We were voted as I expected. Our team has worked very hard this spring and continues to improve each day in practice. We came from fourth to first last year and we will look to do the same this year as we defend our championship.”

UT Martin, who won the program’s first-ever OVC title last season, carded four top-three performances in six fall tournaments, including a pair of victories (Skyhawk Fall Classic, Samford Intercollegiate). The Skyhawks’ 290.1 stroke average ranked second in the OVC after the 2016 fall slate.

Defending OVC medalist Hunter Richardson accounted for the second best scoring average (71.0) in the fall, chalking up three adidas OVC Golfer of the Week honors in the process. The junior out of Clarksville enters the spring on a three tournament winning streak while senior teammate Austin Swafford ranked seventh in the OVC with a 72.4 stroke average this fall.

The Skyhawks have five regular season tournaments on the 2017 docket before the OVC Championships is set for April 24-26 at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail at The Shoals in Muscle Shoals, Ala.