Men's golf opens five-shot lead in defense of All-American title

Bulle's 8-under leads tournament

February 23, 2009 · Athletic Communications
SPRING, Texas - Middle Tennessee's record-setting run in 2008 began with the first of four straight championships at the All-American Golf Classic. The Blue Raiders took a titanic step toward defending the title with a 1-over- 577 after Monday's two rounds of action.

The Blue Raiders are five shots ahead of second-place Louisiana-Lafayette (582) and seven shots up on Southeastern Louisiana entering Tuesday's final round at the Tradition Course at Cypresswood. Sophomore Kent Bulle led Middle Tennessee's strong surge and leads the tournament by seven shots with an 8-under 136 with two solid rounds. He followed his 5-under 67 in the opening round with a 3-under 69 in the second and has posted three straight rounds of 69 or better this spring.

You can't find your way to the top of the leader board with one solid player in the lineup, though, and the Blue Raiders had several players turn in strong efforts in Texas. Four Blue Raiders are amongst the field's top 20 players, led by Bulle. Rick Cochran is tied for fifth with a 2-over 145, followed by Craig Smith (T15th, 5-over 148), Brad Simons (T19, 6-over 149) and Chas Narramore (T36, 9-over 152), who battled through illness to fight his way through 36 holes.

"It's nice to be going into the final round with the lead but it was just one good day. We still have to finish," Middle Tennessee Head Coach Whit Turnbow said. "Our guys are familiar with playing with the lead so I would expect them to do well."

Bulle's first round effort is a big reason the Blue Raiders grabbed the first-round lead and eventually built on it in the second. The junior from Glasgow, Ky., was the bright spot in the first round as he was the only Blue Raider to break par with his 5-under 67 - tied for the 13th-best round in program history. That effort enabled Middle Tennessee to finish the first round tied with CSU-Northridge with a 6-over 294 and hold a slim two-shot lead over North Texas.

Bulle remained solid in the second round, posting a 3-under 69 but his teammates were equally impressive. Cochran and Simons were 1-under and Craig Smith was even in the second round as the Blue Raiders shot 5-under as a team.

"Kent kept us in it in the first round and then they all came back and put together a good second round and that allowed us to take the lead," Turnbow said. "Kent was solid from tee to green today. Everything he did was on."

The Blue Raiders won the All-American Golf Classic last season and proceeded to reel off four consecutive tournament titles. They will go for their first team title Tuesday.

All-American Golf Classic
Tradition Course at Cypresswood, Par-72
Second Round Team Scores
1 Middle Tennessee 294-283 577 +1

2 Louisiana-Lafayette 298-284 582 +6
3 Southeastern La. 298-286 584 +8
4 Houston 302-291 593 +17
5 North Texas 296-298 594 +18
6 CSU-Northridge 294-303 597 +21
7 UALR 303-297 600 +24
New Mexico State 301-299 600 +24
9 Texas State 306-297 603 +27
10 Sam Houston State 311-294 605 +29
11 Louisiana Tech 305-301 606 +30
12 Jacksonville State 310-308 618 +42
13 Texas Southern 329-309 638

1 MT Scores 577
1 Kent Bulle 67-69 136 -8
T5 Rick Cochran 74-71 145 +1
T15 Craig Smith 76-72 148 +4
T19 Brad Simons 78-71 149 +5
T36 Chas Narramore 77-75 152 +8

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