Five golfers finish among top 25 at Sam Hall Intercollegiate

Team second as final round rally falls just short

October 28, 2008 · Athletic Communications
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Players on the Middle Tennessee men's golf team saved their best for last - at least regarding the fall portion of the 2008-09 season.

The Blue Raiders shot 2-over 286 in the final round of The Sam Hall Intercollegiate Tuesday and although the quality finish was not enough to overtake New Orleans for the tournament title it was sufficient to produce their best showing in four fall events with a second-place showing. Middle Tennessee fell four shots shy in its pursuit of New Orleans in a competitive final round battle.

"It was nice to be back in the last group and to feel that pressure down the stretch," Middle Tennessee Head Coach Whit Turnbow said. "The guys put themselves in the position to win the golf tournament. We made a couple mistakes down the stretch that cost us but it was a good showing all around. You have to give New Orleans credit because they did everything they had to do. They forced us to have to shoot under par on a course where no team shot under par in any round in order to beat them. We almost got it done but not quite."

The strong push and steady three-round performance was keyed by consistent scoring throughout a talented lineup that clicked with its most stability this fall. Sophomore Jason Millard led five Blue Raiders in the top 25 with a 3-over 216 to tie for third overall. Chas Narramore tied for seventh at 5-over 218, Craig Smith and Brad Simons tied for 13th at 8-over 221 and Rick Cochran tied for 22nd with a 223.

"That's the kind of play we are going to have to have top to bottom in our lineup," Turnbow said. "If we are going to be competitive we have to have all five of our players in the lineup playing well at the same time. They all played solid this week and it is reflected with a high finish."

Millard turned in the highest Blue Raider finish by firing a 2-under 69 in the final round to close with a 3-over 216. He tied for third to turn in his second top 5 finish in four fall tournaments. Millard's third-round 69 could have been even better if not for his only mistake on the final hole. The sophomore was at 4-under for the round after playing his first eight holes on the back at 3-under but a double on 18 proved costly. It still couldn't overshadow another strong all-around showing by the freshman All-American.

Smith capped his return to the links this fall after a season-ending back injury last spring with a fine effort that resulted in a tie for 13th. He was 1-under 70 in the final round and 8-over 221 for the tournament.

Narramore also bounced back with a solid showing. He tied for seventh for his 15th career top 10 finish. Narramore salvaged a respectable final round by playing the final six holes at 2-under after three straight bogeys to open the back.

Freshman Brad Simons also completed the first half of his freshman season in notable fashion. Simons tied for 13th at 8-over 221 for the tournament. Simons earned a spot in the lineup for three of the four fall tournaments. Cochran also had a sound fall that included two top 10 finishes. He was among the top 25 finishers at each of the four fall tournaments.

Sam Hall Intercollegiate
Hattiesburg Country Club, Par-71
Final Team Scores

1 New Orleans 296-285-287 868 +16
2 Middle Tennessee 289-297-286 872 +20
3 Arkansas State 293-301-287 881 +29
T4 Illinois State 300-290-294 884 +32
T4 Austin Peay 298-302-284 884 +32
6 Southern Mississippi 292-296-300 888 +36
7 Jacksonville State 295-291-303 889 +37
T8 Longwood Univ. 299-298-295 892 +40
T8 Troy 300-299-293 892 +40
10 Winthrop 301-303-294 898 +46
T11 Murray State 298-303-299 900 +48
T11 Jacksonville Univ. 300-302-298 900 +48
13 Texas-Pan American 297-306-303 906 +54
14 Rhode Island 302-305-301 908 +56

2 MT Scores (872)
T3 Jason Millard 76-71-69 216 +3
T7 Chas Narramore 69-76-73 218 +5
T13 Craig Smith 75-76-70 221 +8
T13 Brad Simons 70-77-74 221 +8
T22 Rick Cochran 75-74-74 223 +10

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