NKU golf teams tee off with high hopes

The Northern Kentucky University Women’s Golf Team will begin the second half of the 2006-2007 season Feb. 23 at the Lady Moc Classic in Lakeland Fla.

Under 11-year coach Daryl Landrum, the Lady Norse have high expectations for the coming year, with the biggest goal in being to get back to Florida for the national tournament in May.

Senior Bianca Hutton and junior Alicia Lawrence, both coming off an impressive fall season, will provide leadership.

Last September, Hutton and Lawrence both placed in the Top 10 at the Eagle Classic in Evansville, Ind.

“We have good leadership,” Landrum said. “With the help of our underclassmen we should be competitive this Spring.”

The Lady Norse will have three freshmen in the starting lineup along with two upperclassmen.

“Even though we have two players with experience we are very young and are trying to find some consistency,” Landrum said.

Some realistic goals for the women would be to make the regional tournament and to carry an average of 320 for each tournament round played.

“If we can shoot 320, which is an 80 for each player then we can be competitive and compete with power house Southern Indiana University in the Great Lakes Valley Conference.”

Landrum has many achievements in his coaching career.

Last year Landrum was named men’s GLVC Conference Coach of the Year, after leading the men to a GLVC Championship.

Landrum was also named GLVC women’s Coach of the Year after the women captured the title.

Five years ago, he led the women’s team to become the No. 5 team in the nation. Just last season the men’s team were in the national finals where it posted a 12th-place finish.

Landrum said it’s easy when you have quality, talented student athletes.

“I’ve had great kids in the time I’ve been here, we’ve had a lot of fun and have been very competitive year in and year out.”

Landrum received his highest honor in 2006 when he was named Kentucky Professional Golfers Association Professional of the Year.

The expectations are also high for the men who are looking to improve from their 12th place finish from last year’s national tournament.

The men will begin its second half of the season March 4 through 10 in Pinehurst, NC.

The men have a nucleus of players coming back, such as seniors Jonathan Ehlen, David Schearer and Mike Kessling.

The Norse also have talented underclassmen such as Tyler Adkins, Joe Hays, Andrew Jewell and Clinton Kohls. These are the same core of players who led NKU back-to-back record breaking weeks last fall.

In one round at Belterra Golf Club the Norse shot a 7 under par new school record. A week later NKU broke its own record by shooting a 10 under par in one round at the WingHaven Country Club in O’Fallon, Mo.

The Norse went on to win that tournament by 17 shots over Bellarmine. Ehlen thinks having seven guys who can all play helps.

“We have seven guys who we can interchange in our starting lineup, this keeps everyone on their best game because we know the competition is there for spots,” Ehlen said.

The men are hoping their success takes them to Allendale, Mich. where the NCAA Division II National Tournament will be held May 22 through 25.