Cochran, Bulle continue to shine
Middle Tennessee turns in second straight Top 5 finishSeptember 19, 2006 · MT Media Relations
MOBILE, Ala. - Middle Tennessee sophomore Rick Cochran continued his strong start to the 2006-07 season with another Top 5 finish to help lead the Blue Raiders to a fifth-place finish at the 2006 Callis Communications Tournament, hosted by South Alabama.
Cochran, who finished second at the Scenic City last week, posted three rounds under par at the Azalea City Golf Club, including a 3-under-69 in Tuesday's final round. Cochran led the tournament with 17 birdies and shot 10-under on par-5 scoring to lead in that category. The promising golfer has shot under par four of the six rounds he has played this fall.
"That's very impressive. We expect a lot from Rick but he has exceeded our expectations this fall," Middle Tennessee men's golf coach Johnny Moore said. "He was a good player for us as a freshman, but he has obviously moved his game to a new level. We have played two tough courses and for him to put up those scores is really solid."
While Cochran has been sizzling on the links, newcomer Kent Bulle isn't far behind and has debuted with great success at the collegiate level. Bulle turned in his second consecutive Top 10 finish as he tied for eighth at the Callis Communications. He was 6-under for the tournament with a 210 and tied for the lead in par-3 scoring with a 1-under.
"We knew Kent was a great player when we recruited him but to step in and do what he has done is special," Moore said. "You expect him to come in and be in the middle of the pack for us and there he is near the top. He is a pleasant surprise in that regard, but Kent is very mature and very confident. He does not play like a freshman."
"We knew Kent was a great player when we recruited him but to step in and do that..you expect him to be in the middle of the pack but there he is near the top. He is a pleasant surprise, but he is very mature and very confident. He does not play like a freshman."
Middle Tennessee was strong as a team in the final round to move into fifth place and come within two strokes of a third-place finish. The Blue Raiders shot a 282 Tuesday, which was the second lowest score of the round.
The Blue Raiders have started the fall with two Top 5 finishes with steady play and the Callis Communications was no different. Middle Tennessee posted scores of 281 and 282 in the first and third rounds, respectively; however, a 293 in the second round cost them a shot at the championship. As a team, Middle Tennessee tied for the tournament lead with 63 birdies, and it also led the field in par-3 scoring.
"We came back well in the final round and that's what you want to do," Moore said. "Our first round was good and our third round was good. We didn't play as well in the second round but to see the players come back (Tuesday) and put together a solid round was encouraging. It shows you a great deal about their make-up and character."
Nick Bailes was third among Middle Tennessee scorers and tied for 28th overall with a 218. He posted two rounds of 1-under-71, sandwiched between a 76. Chas Narramore (220) rounded out the scoring for Middle Tennessee.
2006 Callis Communications
Final Team Scores
1 Mississippi State 282-285-277=844
2 Southeastern Louisiana 276-284-288=848
3 South Alabama 276-286-292=854
4 Louisiana-Monroe 286-283-286=855
5 Middle Tennessee 281-293-282=856
T6 South Florida 286-291-287=864
T6 Mercer 288-284-292=864
8 Belmont 293-294-282=869
9 Louisiana Tech 288-291-291=870
10 Austin Peay 285-291-295=871
11 West Florida 285-292-296=873
12 Arkansas State 296-298-296=890
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