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Golf Govs “Raising Cane” with Kayden

Austin Peays mens golf team teed off the Kirk Kayden Era Monday as they traveled to Hattiesburg, Miss., to play in the Raising Cane Classic.

The two-day, 15-team event saw the Governors play 36 holes Monday (theyll play another 18 Tuesday) at the Canebrake Golf Club on the nearly 7,000-yard course. The Govs, a then-freshmen dominated team, captured last years Raising Cane with a tourney record eight-under par 844.

Kayden was looking forward to his first tournament.
Austin Peay's men's golf team teed off the Kirk Kayden Era Monday as they traveled to Hattiesburg, Miss., to play in the Raising Cane Classic.

The two-day, 15-team event saw the Governors play 36 holes Monday (they'll play another 18 Tuesday) at the Canebrake Golf Club on the nearly 7,000-yard course. The Govs, a then-freshmen dominated team, captured last year's Raising Cane with a tourney record eight-under par 844.

Kayden was looking forward to his first tournament.

“I know a little bit of the history of each player, but going on this trip is going to be a whole new experience for these guys in how I handle a team,” Kayden said. “But it is also something new for me—I will be making the decisions and giving the advice to the players. That is going to be exciting.”

The Governors have three young players with extensive experience in Yoshio Yamamoto, Justin Metzger and Chris Barron, all sophomores. The Govs also have back three redshirt freshmen, Luke Ladd, Jason Gandy and Jimmy Humston. True freshman Grant Leaver, at 6-6, the tallest player in APSU history, is the only newcomer.

“The guys really have been grinding at it pretty hard,” Kayden said. “They are really trying to compete and beat one another in practice and that is a good sign. They are not just satisfied with being in the starting five; they want to finish No. 1 in the qualifying and that is really encouraging. They are not just trying to get into the starting five; they are trying to be No. 1.”

Kayden will have an early look at defending Ohio Valley Conference champion Jacksonville State, the only league team in the tourney. In addition to host Southern Mississippi, two SEC teams also will be playing, Mississippi State and Ole Miss, plus Arkansas State, Middle Tennessee, South Florida, McNeese State, Sam Houston State, James Madison, Louisiana Tech New Orleans, South Alabama and Tulane.
—Brad Kirtley