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Golf team seeks first win of 2010

Millard returns to lineup

March 4, 2010 · Athletic Communications

TAMPA - With a lineup bolstered by the return of junior Jason Millard, Middle Tennessee's men's golf team will go for their first win of the spring when they play in the USF Invitational in Tampa beginning Friday and concluding Sunday.

Seniors Kent Bulle and Craig Smith led the Blue Raiders in their spring opener at the Mobile Bay Invitational in February. Bulle tied for first with a three-under 213, while Smith was 18th with a 221.

Middle Tennessee was the highest ranked-team in the field at Mobile, but will be the hunter this week instead of the hunted.

"North Florida will be there, and they are ranked 22nd in the country so it should be interesting," said Middle Tennessee Coach Whit Turnbow, whose own team is ranked 32nd.

In the field of 23 teams will be Sun Belt foes Arkansas State, Florida Atlantic, South Alabama, and Troy. There will also be six teams from the Big East competing, including host South Florida.

Millard's return after a suspension for a violation of team rules should be a big plus for Middle Tennessee. He was an All-Sun Belt Conference performer last spring and a former freshman all-american.

"Jason has finished with his suspension, and he had to re-qualify this week, which he did, so he's ready to go," noted Turnbow.

Sophomores Brad Simons and Hunter Green will join Bulle, Smith and Millard on the five-man team headed to Tampa.

Turnbow was very pleased with the play of freshman Dane Voss, who replaced Millard on the team at Mobile.

"I am so proud of Dane," added Turnbow. "He hung in there and played his guts out. He was put in a very tough spot, with only a week to get ready, and it was the very first varsity event he has ever played in. It was very good for his confidence, and he will get to play again before the spring is over, I'm sure."

Like most everything else, the progress of the Blue Raider golf team has been hampered by the weather.

"This is the worst winter that I can remember since I have been here," Turnbow recalled. "But we'll survive. We have the Hendrix Golf Center, and that is a huge plus for us. We are very fortunate to have a place like that where we can go and work when otherwise we wouldn't be able to."

USF will host the 54-hole tournament at the Lake Jovita Golf Club, just north of Tampa in Dade City. After a practice round on Thursday, the Blue Raiders will play 18 holes on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

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