Young Raider golfers to open fall season

Among 18 teams at University of Kentucky tournament

September 24, 2009 · Athletic Communications

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - As Chris Adams enters her third season as the women's golf coach at Middle Tennessee, she will take her team to the University of Kentucky to open the season in the Bettie Lou Evans Tournament this weekend.

It will be three days and 54 holes against some of the best teams in the nation, "an extremely tough test" for her team, which has to be one of the youngest in the nation.

"We will take two sophomores and our three true freshmen to our first tournament. As a coach, you have to be a little apprehensive about doing that," noted Adams. "But on the other hand, it is good for a young team like ours to play in a tournament like that. It will be a great experience for us."

Adams said that the five players she will take to Kentucky won their spots by playing the best in five rounds of qualifying among team members this fall.

"That will likely change from week to week this fall. It would not surprise me to take a different combination of five players for each tournament. They are all competitive, and the scores between them are very, very close," pointed out Adams.

Freshman Olivia Love was the low medalist in the qualifying rounds. The others making the trip are sophomores Karisa Akin and Steph Gough, and freshmen Stephanie Smith and Ashley Haggard.

Adams feels like the freshmen should have some degree of comfort, even though it is their very first collegiate tournament.

"Now, it won't be like high school, and they will learn that very quickly, but they have all three competed in junior tournaments all over the country, and they will run into some of the same girls this weekend that they have already seen," said Adams

"On paper, we are probably the 4th or 5th lowest ranked team in the field, but we have not played yet, so we really don't know what we have," Adams declared. "If we can go up there and upset five or six of the teams ranked ahead of us, that would be a great way to open the season, and a positive experience for our young players."

The field will include host Kentucky and four other SEC schools, plus four ACC schools, including Miami and Florida State, as well as Notre Dame and Kent State that are nationally ranked. In all, there will be 18 teams in the tournament.

"This could be our toughest tournament of the fall. San Antonio has a great tournament as well, but this one looks like it might be a little stronger field," contended Adams.

Fans can follow the women's golf team this weekend by going to golfstat.com, then click on the "Live Scoring" button, and select the Bettie Lou Evans tournament to find out how the young Raiders are doing.

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