By Jill Stinson/Assistant sports editor
The Lady Colonel Golf team will be back in action this weekend as it hosts the annual EKU Lady Colonel Classic at Arlington Golf Course. The three-day, 54-hole event will begin around 8 a.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.The ladies are coming off a fourth-place finish at Murray State two weekends ago. They have now had over a week to prepare for this tournament, which is usually a highlight of the season.
Eastern is always in contention for the top spot and now the team gets the opportunity to play at home in front of all their friends and family.
The tournament will be made up of 15 teams, including four OVC teams.
“This could be a prelude to the conference championship,” coach Joni Stephens said.
Even though this is the Lady Colonels’ home tournament, it will be a tough tournament for them to win. Murray State will be participate in the event, and MSU is having a successful season. The Lady Racers are the top team in the OVC and have several players among the top OVC players as well. MSU has also won the OVC conference championship for the past two years.
Murray State’s Cuyker Hedley is the reigning OVC Golfer of the Week. The senior from Cobourg, Ontario, shot an opening-round 71 en route to claiming medalist honors at the Big River Telephone Classic in Murray, Ky. When she carded a 54-hole total of 225, she registered her third consecutive top-five finish. She’s been the Golfer of the Week for two consecutive weeks.
Xavier will also be competing in the tournament. The Lady Musketeers are also having a successful season and are expected to finish at the top in the Spring Invitational.
Lady Colonels Jennifer Sullivan and Leah Larkin are expected to be at the top among individuals. They have played the most consistently this spring and have been the low scorers for Eastern.
“Jennifer and Leah have played consistent this spring. If we can get all five girls to play their best to go along with them, we can win,” Stephens said.
The Lady Colonels definitely have the advantage on all the competition. No one else has the luxury of it being their home course. They play there everyday and are very familiar with the course, according to Stephens.
However, the women will need to approach the tournament this weekend with lots of patience and acceptance according to Stephens. At the same time, the girls will feel pressure to win because they are the home team.
The Lady Colonels have been working hard at practice this week in hopes of capturing their first win of the season.
“We’re working hard on the mental approach, on what they do while they’re on the course,” Stephens said.
Eastern has high hopes of letting the tournament this weekend get them ready for the OVC tournament. If they can finish on top of the OVC opponents, it will give them confidence.
This will be the final tournament of the year for the Lady Colonels before going to the conference tournament in Paducah, Ky., later this month