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Cochran named SBC Golfer of Month

Junior was near top of his game in two March events

April 8, 2008 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Rick Cochran's maturity as a golfer has meant as much to his development as one of the Sun Belt's top players as has his all-round game.

Regarded as a great striker with a better than average short game, Cochran's mentality has enabled him to put his entire game together at the end of his junior season. For his effort, Cochran was named the Sun Belt's Golfer of the Month for March after another sterling month on the links.

"I think being in the program at Middle Tennessee for three years now and understanding how to go about it, how to practice, how to take each tournament differently and not try to win it on the first day has helped me tremendously," said Cochran, who picked up the second SBC Golfer of the Month honor in his career. "Putting three consistent rounds together is more important than one great round."

Cochran has been putting together strong round after strong round down the stretch and his play has helped key Middle Tennessee's string of four consecutive tournament wins. The junior from Paducah, Ky., had his best back-to-back tournaments of the year in the team's two March events.

He enjoyed a 71.6 stroke average for the two events played (the Carter Plantation and the Middle Tennessee/Aldila Intercollegiate), including a career-best 67 in the final round of the Aldila. Cochran led the Blue Raiders to wins in both tournaments, notching his first career win in capturing the Carter Plantation Intercollegiate (March 24-25) with a 1-under 215 to outdistance the other 78 competitors in the field.

Cochran followed that performance with another 1-under 215 to lead the Blue Raiders to the win in the Aldila Intercollegiate. He finished tied for third overall (out of 62 golfers) and posted a career-low 67 in the final round.

"The biggest thing with Rick is his maturity," Middle Tennessee head coach Whit Turnbow said. "He is three years in now and his golf game is growing. He is maturing as a persona and that helps tremendously. Rick has learned to take the bad with the good and not let things that happen get him down. He used to be so hard on himself.

"He is making better decisions. There was a point in his career when he would have gone for broke on any par-5 he saw but now he has figured out when to take chances and when he should not. The experience he has gained the last few years is starting to pay off."

Cochran, who has nine career Top 10 finishes, leads Middle Tennessee with a 72.67 stroke average and is tied for sixth overall in the Sun Belt. The Blue Raiders will next be in action when they play in the Sun Belt Conference Championships in Muscle Shoals, Ala., April 21-23.

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