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Blue Raider women in seventh after Day 1

Defending champ Durham five shots off individual lead

April 16, 2007 · MT Media Relations
ORLANDO, Fla. -The Middle Tennessee women's golf team fired a 315 at Walt Disney's Eagle Pines Course and is in seventh place heading into the second round of the Sun Belt Conference Championships.

· Photos: Round One Gallery

Blue Raider women's golf coach Rachael Short said course management decisions played a factor in the team falling off the pace down the stretch.

"We left numerous shots on the course on the last four holes and that cost us," Short said. "We hit some good shots, but we made some bad course management decisions that hurt us. I would have thought 310 would be a good score today with the conditions."

In most instances 310 would have been a good score and Middle Tennessee's 315 would have been within striking distance; however, three-time defending champion Denver finished with a 298 and once again established itself as the team to beat.

Defending individual champion Taryn Durham led Middle Tennessee with a 5-over 77 and is five shots off the lead established by South Alabama's Michelle Toth. The Glasgow, Ky., native was rolling through the course, but she four-putted 15 and cost herself a chance at being even closer heading into Tuesday's second round.

"Overall, I'm pleased with Taryn's performance," Short said. "We count on her to carry the team and be our leader. She hit the ball well today but she had two holes that jumped up and got her. Taryn had no birdies today and that's very rare. Despite that she's still right there and has a solid shot at repeating as individual champion."

Durham said she wasn't overwhelmingly pleased with her first-round outing; however, she is pleased to still be within striking distance.

"I know I can do better, and I plan on coming back stronger Tuesday," Durham said. "Overall, today wasn't a bad day but we all know we can do better. We just have to put together a solid round Tuesday and go from there."

Sophomore Mallory Bishop was Middle Tennessee's second-leading scorer and is tied for 17th with a 78, followed by Maggie McGill and Clara Leathers, who are tied for 29th with an 80. Murfreesboro native Leigh Wilkins fired an 81 and tied for 34th overall.

The Blue Raiders head into Tuesday's second round 17 shots behind Denver, and seven shots out of second.

"We have to go out there (Tuesday) and post a number and see where we stand," Short said. "Day 2 is moving day for us. Our players are not happy with Monday's round, and I believe that will serve as motivation for us Tuesday."

Sun Belt Conference Golf Championships
First Round Scores
Walt Disney World's Eagle Pines Golf Course
Orlando, Fla.
1 Denver 298
2 Florida International 308
3 North Texas 311
South Alabama 311
5 UALR 312
6 Florida Atlantic 314
7 Middle Tennessee 315
8 Louisiana-Monroe 319
9 Arkansas State 320
10 Western Kentucky 334
11 Troy 335

MT Team Scores
7 Middle Tennessee 315
T10 Taryn Durham 38-39 77
T17 Mallory Bishop 40-38 78
T29 Maggie McGill 40-40 80
T29 Clara Leathers 38-42 80
T34 Leigh Wilkins 41-40 81

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