Golf Teams End Fall with SID Ryder Cup

Teams split, will play Ryder Cup-format over next three weeks to end fall

November 7, 2006 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee's men's and women's golf teams will conclude their fall seasons with a voluntary match play event over the next three weeks, splitting into two teams for nine-hole four-ball, foursomes and individual matches, called the SID Ryder Cup.

Assistant sports information directors Tony Stinnett and Jo Jo Freeman will serve as captains for the two teams. Stinnett's squad is called the Easy Riders and will be coached by women's head coach Rachael Short, while Freeman's club is the Fightin' Farmers and is guided by assistant coach Whit Turbow.

Short's squad includes junior Taryn Durham, sophomore Mallory Bishop, freshman Clara Leathers, seniors Bart Barnes and Spencer Provow, juniors Nick Bailes and Scott Vick, and sophomore Chas Narramore. Turnbow's club includes senior Derrick Bright, sophomore Rick Cochran, redshirt freshman Craig Smith, freshman Kent Bulle, senior Maggie McGill, junior Jamey Dillard, sophomore Leigh Wilkins and freshman Tasha Gough.

This week the two teams will play a pair of nine-hole four-ball matches. Next week's format will be foursomes, and the eight individual matches will take place before the players head home for Thanksgiving.

"I've often felt like in the game of golf, anything a guy can do, I can do better, and this gives me a chance to prove it," Durham said.

"It's something fun to end the fall with, a different format and a great way for the two teams to interact," Short said. "The girls are very excited. The match-play format suits Clara and Tasha because that's all they play in the summer in Europe and some of the other girls may play just one or two matches a year here in the States. But it's something different and they're very excited about playing the format as well as against the guys."

"This is something fun to give the players a break from the day-to-day grind of practice here at the end of the fall," Turnbow said. "But they still get a chance to play and practice. Plus it's good for the two teams to get together and develop camaraderie with the two programs."

Smith and Bulle make up a formidable opening team for Team Freeman and will face Barnes and Leathers. Bulle has a pair of Top 15 finishes in his first collegiate season while Smith played in all five fall events for the men, posting a 69 in his final round at last week's Sam Hall Invitational.

Barnes played in three fall events for the men, placing 27th at the Mason Rudolph Invitational in Nashville two weeks ago, while Leathers finished in the Top 30 in three of her four fall outings in his first collegiate action.

Bright and Gough may have the toughest match of the day, facing the top returning players for both the men's and women's teams in Bailes and Durham, respectively.

Bailes played his best two tournaments of the fall the past two weeks, including tying for sixth at last week's Sam Hall Invitational. He has shot 74 or lower in seven of his last nine rounds. Durham has finished in the Top 30 in all four fall events, including a fourth and a sixth, and posted nine Top 10 finishes as a sophomore.

Cochran has three Top 10 finishes this fall, including second-place showing at the Scenic City Invitational on The Honors Course in Ooltewah, Tenn. He will team with Wilkins, who will be playing on her home course at Old Fort Golf Club. Wilkins has carded four rounds this fall under 75.

In the final match this week, Dillard and McGill will face Provow and Vick.

Dillard led the women's team with a 20th-place showing earlier this fall and had five Top 25 finishes as a sophomore. McGill posted three Top 10's in 2005-06 and finished ninth at this fall's opening event, the NAPA River Grill Cardinal Cup in Louisville, Ky.

Provow played in all 11 tournaments as a junior and finished in the Top 30 nine times, but has struggled a bit this fall, playing in just one event. Vick has yet to play an event this fall after transferring from Chattanooga.

Look for coverage of the matches early next week and pairings for the foursomes. This week's play begins Wednesday and will run through the weekend at Old Fort Golf Club in Murfreesboro.

Four-Ball Pairings
Fightin' Farmers vs. Easy Riders

Craig Smith-Kent Bulle vs. Bart Barnes-Clara Leathers
Derek Bright-Tasha Gough vs. Taryn Durham-Nick Bailes
Rick Cochran-Leigh Wilkins vs. Mallory Bishop-Chas Narramore
Jamey Dillard-Maggie McGill vs. Spencer Provow-Scott Vick

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