Blue Raiders win fourth consecutive team title
Cochran ties personal best with 5-under 67 in final roundApril 1, 2008 · MT Media Relations
The Blue Raiders added to their school record for consecutive team titles with another consistent showing throughout the lineup as four Middle Tennessee players finished among the top 11 individuals, led by a career performance from surging junior Rick Cochran in Tuesday's final round.
Cochran tied his career low with a 5-under 67 and the Blue Raiders were even par as a team with a 288 on the way to victory in the 11-team field. Middle Tennessee shot 869 for the three-round event to finish seven shots ahead of UALR (876) and Austin Peay (876), which tied for second place.
Middle Tennessee entered the tournament ranked No. 53 nationally by Golfstat and improved to 60-5 this spring in its final event before the Sun Belt Conference Championships in Muscle Shoals, Ala., April 21-23.
"I'm proud of the players and how they conducted themselves in this tournament," said Blue Raider first-year head coach Whit Turnbow. "As I've said before, it's more difficult to play at home because of the distractions and it is not what we are used to doing. I thought we played well throughout the lineup and we had to because the field was competitive and we had to battle both days."
The Blue Raiders actually trailed Southern Miss by three strokes after the first round but came back with a 1-under 287 to take a two-stroke lead into Tuesday's final round. Middle Tennessee's deep and consistent lineup was again a major difference.
Cochran, coming off his first career win at the Carter Plantation last week, put together a career-best tying performance to lead Middle Tennessee Tuesday. He posted a 5-under 67 that tied Texas State's Corey Roberson for the tournament's low round. It also helped put distance between Middle Tennessee and the challengers. Cochran fired a bogey-free round that featured two birdies on the front and three on the back. He tied for third overall with a 1-under 215 for the tournament.
"Everything was working well for me for the most part today," Cochran said. "It was good to be playing in our home tournament and play well in front of the family and some of our friends. We are playing well as a team right now and we are playing with confidence and that's important, especially heading into the conference tournament in a couple of weeks."
Kent Bulle finished 10th with a 2-over 218 on the heels of Tuesday's 74 for his third Top 10 finish this season. The sophomore from Glasgow, Ky., had one of the tournament's top rounds with a 2-under 70 in the second.
Middle Tennessee/Aldila Intercollegiate
Old Fort GC, Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Par-72, Final Team Scores
1 Middle Tennessee 294-287-288 869 +5
2 UALR 295-289-292 876 +12
Austin Peay 300-287-289 876 +12
4 Southern Mississippi 291-292-295 878 +14
5 Texas State 299-293-289 881 +17
6 Troy 297-296-291 884 +20
Western Kentucky 298-303-283 884 +20
8 North Texas 305-291-290 886 +22
9 Jacksonville State 305-303-284 892 +28
10 Oakland University 303-309-306 918 +54
11 Connecticut 312-314-304 930 +66
1 MT Scores (869)
T3 Rick Cochran 75-73-67 215 -1
10 Kent Bulle 74-70-74 218 +2
T11 Chas Narramore 72-74-73 219 +3
T11 Jason Millard 73-72-74 219 +3
T34 Craig Smith 78-72-76 226 +10
T34 Nick Bailes 74-77-75 226 +10
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