Tennessee-Martin golf coach Jerry Carpenter set one goal for his team this season. All he wanted was improvement from the previous year.
After three days of golf at the Country Club of Paducah (Ky.), Carpenter and the Skyhawk golfers achieved their lone goal.
The Skyhawks finished eighth in the Ohio Valley Conference golf tournament with a team total 949.
OVC newcomer Jacksonville State won the 54-hole tournament with a 906, while Murray State was second with 910.
Eastern Kentucky rounded out the top three with a 918.
The Skyhawks shot 315 after the first day and found themselves tied for ninth with Tennessee Tech.
Two Skyhawk golfers, sophomore Reise Kelly and senior Scott Carpenter were among the top 20 golfers in the tournament after the first round.
Kelly shot a four-over-par 76 and was tied for 11th, while Carpenter shot a five-over, 77. He was tied for 18th in the tournament.
In the second round, the Skyhawks moved into eighth place with a 309, the fourth best score of the second round.
During the final round, Wednesday, the Skyhawks struggled with the golf course and battled the wind. The Skyhawks shot a disappointing 325.
The golf course was extremely tough with its two- to six-inch deep roughs, but the wind and the pin placement compounded the difficulty,” Carpenter said.
Kelly finished the tournament in ninth place with a three-round 229. Carpenter finished tied for 30th with a 238.
Trey McNeil was tied for 33rd. He shot a 239. Rounding out the Skyhawks scoring was Heath Prescott with a 244 (43rd) and Hunter Prescott with a 260 (55th).
“Reise had a great round Wednesday in bad conditions, while Scott had a good tournament with a bad final round,” Carpenter said.
“We proved we could shoot a good round and be competitive with good teams and that’s encouraging,” said the second-year head coach.
“Our golfers improved with each tournament this spring and they showed improvement each day.”
The Skyhawks lose one senior from this year’s team, Scott Carpenter, the coach’s son.
Coach Carpenter said his team has set a new goal for next season. “We will improve next season,” the coach said.
“We are only losing one senior and we have a talented group of freshmen coming in this fall.”