Millard one shot off lead after near-record second round effort

Men's golf team makes move at Mason Rudolph Championship

September 27, 2008 · MT Athletic Communications
FRANKLIN - Sophomore Jason Millard posted the second-best round in school history to lead a strong comeback for the Middle Tennessee men's golf team in the second round of the Mason Rudolph Championship at Vanderbilt Legends Club Saturday.

Millard shot 6-under 65 and is 8-under through two rounds on the par-71 layout, one shot off Ben Fuqua's (Kentucky) 133 tournament lead. His bogey-free masterpiece tied for the second-lowest round in program history and was one shot off the school record 64.

"I started a little slow on the first few holes and had four straight pars, but then I hit on the green in two on the par-5, two putted and kind of got it going," Millard said. "I was able to hit a couple of shots close and finish. It was good to put a round together and find a way to help the team."

The Blue Raiders rebounded from a disappointing 294 in the first round to shoot 2-under 282 and move into eighth on the leader board. Middle Tennessee is 8-over for the tournament and working to salvage at least a top five finish for the second straight tournament. South Carolina leads the 17-team field with a 7-under 561, followed by South Alabama (567), and Vanderbilt (568). Nine shots separate the second and eighth.

"The guys showed their character today. I've always said they are fighters and don't quit because they have too much pride in what they are doing," Turnbow said. "We played better today but anytime you have to count a 76 you know there still is room for improvement."

Several players contributed to the successful moving day. Senior All-Sun Belt performer Rick Cochran demonstrated his moxie by bouncing back from a 5-over showing Friday to shoot an impressive 3-over 68 and move to 2-over through two rounds. He had just one bogey in his impressive round.

Another noteworthy performance was that of freshman Brad Simons. The Mountain Home, Ark., native played the second round at 2-over and improved five shots from the first round to contribute to the Blue Raider scoring. He showed his most improvement on the nine holes that presented him the most problems during the first round. He was even on the back nine after shooting 5-over during the same tough stretch Friday.

"I was proud of Brad today," Turnbow said. "He had a couple bad breaks or he would have played even better. He is coming into his own a little bit and starting to become more comfortable."

On a day sprinkled with several superlative efforts none was bigger or more impressive than Millard's. The sophomore All-American tamed the course with grave consistency. He was 3-under on the front and back and his career-best performance was highlighted with another bogey-front round.

Millard played the final six holes at 3-under to make a run at Blue Raider history. His run began with a birdie on the par-5 14. Millard started on 10 and after playing the first four holes even he was 6-under the rest of the way.

Craig Smith and Chas Narramore were 5-over and 7-over respectively.

Mason Rudolph Championship
Vanderbilt Legends Club, Par-71
Second-round team scores

1 South Carolina 281-280 561 -7
2 South Alabama 288-279 567 -1
T3 Vanderbilt 283-285 568 E
T3 Kentucky 285-283 568 E
T5 Mississippi State 291-282 573 +5
T5 Arkansas State 284-289 573 +5
7 Kennesaw State 286-288 574 +6
8 Middle Tennessee 294-282 576 +8
9 UNC-Greensboro 298-280 578 +10
T10 Eastern Michigan 289-290 579 +11
T10 Memphis 295-284 579 +11
T10 Purdue 286-293 579 +11
13 Western Carolina 289-294 583 +15
14 Belmont 295-290 585 +18
15 Western Kentucky 300-292 592 +24
16 Iowa State 305-289 594 +26
17 Tennessee State 314-293 607 +39

8 MT Scores 576
2 Jason Millard 69-65 134 -8
T26 Rick Cochran 76-68 144 +2
T70 Brad Simons 78-73 151 +9
T70 Craig Smith 75-76 151 +9
T76 Chas Narramore 74-78 152 +10

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