Men's golf turns back No. 30 San Diego State at Callaway Collegiate Match Play

Blue Raiders facing No. 22 Florida State in semifinal action

March 23, 2009 · Athletic Communications

RANCHO SANTA FE, Calif. - Middle Tennessee held off No. 30-ranked San Diego State to win its first round of match play at the Callaway Collegiate Match Play Championship at The Farms Golf Club here Monday afternoon.

The No. 7 seeded Blue Raiders won the match 3-2-0 against No. 2 seed San Diego State to earn a date with third-seeded and 22nd-ranked Florida State in Monday afternoon's semifinals. The winner will face the survivor of the UCLA vs. Indiana match in Tuesday's championship, while the losing teams will play for third place.

"It's been a good two days for Middle Tennessee and we hope to continue that in the semifinals," senior Chas Narramore said. "We are playing well as a team and we are starting to play our best golf at the right time."

Middle Tennessee reached the championship bracket of the match play event by finishing seventh in the medal play portion of the event Sunday. The top eight teams in the 16-team field advanced to the championship bracket and the bottom eight compete in the consolation bracket.

The depth of Middle Tennessee's veteran lineup weighed heavily in the outcome of the first match play competition as the Blue Raiders lost at No. 1 and No. 3; however, Chas Narramore won 1-up at No. 2, Kent Bulle won 4 and 2 in the No. 4 spot and Craig Smith won 3 and 2 in the fifth spot in the lineup.

In fact, Smith's final two holes cemented Middle Tennessee's spot in the semifinals. The match against San Diego State was tied 2-2 but Smith won his final two holes to solidify the victory.

"We had a lot of good moments but this shows the depth of the team and how good they are from top to bottom," Middle Tennessee Head Coach Whit Turnbow said. "Craig really stepped up down the stretch. Chas was down halfway through his round and ends up winning. Kent has played really well after struggling a little (Sunday) in the first round. (Jason Millard) was up and down in a very competitive match and lost a hole late. The guys are excited and they are playing well overall. We can still play better, though."

Rick Cochran lost his match at the No. 1 position and Jason Millard dropped a point in a closely-contested match in the No. 3 spot in the lineup but the Blue Raiders would not be denied a spot in the semifinals as they stepped up when the match was there for the taking.

Middle Tennessee tied No. 5-ranked Stanford and beat No. 7 Alabama, as well as six other teams ranked in the Top 50 by Golfstat on its way to the championship bracket. Turnbow said he is not surprised to see the Blue Raiders continue to compete at a high level in the national event, which they earned a berth into based on their Top 15 finish at the 2008 NCAA Division I National Championships.

"Our players feel like they belong in this company and they have consistently proven it," Turnbow said. "They are not the least bit intimidated to be in the Final 4 with UCLA, Indiana and Florida State. They expect to be in this position. They are gamers and big-time players. Tiger Woods always says, 'If I show up I came to win,' and that's our attitude. We don't show up because there are good teams playing, we show up to win and anything less is disappointing regardless of who is in the field."

Calloway Collegiate Match Play Championship
Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.
Farm Golf Club, Par-72
Match Play Championship Bracket

(1) Indiana def. (8) Stanford, 3-2-0
(7) Middle Tennessee def. (2) San Diego State, 3-2-0
(5) UCLA def. (4) Texas A&M, 4-0-1
(3) Florida State def. (6) Texas Tech, 3-1-1

Consolation Bracket
(16) Duke def. (9) Arizona State, 2-2-1*
(12) Alabama def. (13) Charlotte, 3-1-1
(14) Louisville def. (11) Chattanooga, 3-1-1
(10) San Diego vs. (15) UC Irvine, 3-2

*Duke wins tiebreaker, 10-6

1 Indiana vs. 5 UCLA
3 Florida State vs. 7 Middle Tennessee

MT Results
(7) Middle Tennessee def. (2) San Diego State, 3-2
Johan Carlsson, San Diego State def. Rick Cochran, Middle Tennessee, 5 and 4
Chas Narramore, Middle Tennessee def. Andrew Cooley, San Diego State, 1-up
Matt Hoffenberg, San Diego State def. Jason Millard, Middle Tennessee, 1-up
Kent Bulle, Middle Tennessee def. Alex Kang, San Diego State, 4 and 2
Craig Smith, Middle Tennessee def. Bryan Martin, San Diego State, 3 and 1

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