Raiders have strong effort but come up two shots short of advancing to national championship

Miracle shot keeps Raiders out of Top 5

May 22, 2010 · Athletic Communications

BREMERTON, Wash. - Once again Middle Tennessee came on strong in the final round but it was just two strokes short as the Blue Raiders finished sixth in the NCAA West Regionals at the Gold Mountain Golf Club.

The top five teams advance to the NCAA Championships and the Blue Raiders came up a little short in trying to make their second appearance in three years.

The Blue Raiders carded a 286 on Saturday which was the third-best round of the day on the par 72, 7,104-yard Olympic Course.

Host Washington blitzed the course with a 20-under par 844 total to win the event while Southern Cal was second with an 873. San Diego came in third with a score of 874 and Oregon State placed fourth with an 874. Illinois grabbed the final advancing spot as it finished fifth with an 877 and just two shot ahead of the Blue Raiders' 879.

"They played their hearts out today," said Head Coach Whit Turnbow. "That was one of the toughest finishes I've witnessed. Illinois had a guy lose a ball on the last hole, go back to the tee, drive it on the green and make his par putt. It was really unbelievable.

"I hate it for Kent (Bulle) and Craig (Smith). Those two guys are a huge part of the success of this program and to go out on such a fluke shot is heartbreaking. I love those guys like they are my own."

Sophomore Brad Simons continued his stellar play by leading the Blue Raiders with a 3-under par 69 on Saturday to finish tied for 13th overall. Simons played the final 36 holes at 3-under par.

Sophomore Hunter Green and senior Kent Bulle tied for 29th. Green shot a 1-under par 71 in the final round to make up his 221 total while Bulle registered a 73. Bulle tied for fourth overall in the tournament in par 3 scoring with a 2-under total.

"I am so proud of Hunter and Brad," added Turnbow. "They really came to play today with under par rounds when we needed them.

Junior Jason Millard also turned in a 73 on Saturday to finish tied for 36th.

Senior Craig Smith had his best round of the tournament on Saturday with a 73 to finish with a 228 total. Smith tied for 54th.

1 Washington -20 F -13 286 283 275 844
2 Southern California +9 F -1 297 289 287 873
3 San Diego +10 F E 294 292 288 874
4 Oregon State U. +12 F +1 291 296 289 876
5 Illinois +13 F +4 293 292 292 877
6 Middle Tennessee +15 F -2 299 294 286 879
7 Eastern Michigan U. +16 F -5 303 294 283 880
8 Colorado State Univ. +17 F +4 291 298 292 881
9 VCU +21 F +2 302 293 290 885
T10 SMU +24 F -1 307 294 287 888
T10 New Mexico +24 F E 309 291 288 888
12 Loyola College +40 F +4 308 304 292 904
13 Fresno State +50 F +6 318 302 294 914

T13 Brad Simons 75-72-69=216
T29 Hunter Green 72-78-71=221
T29 Kent Bulle 75-73-73=221
T36 Jason Millard 77-72-73=222
T54 Craig Smith 78-77-73=228

Follow the Blue Raiders on Twitter @MTAthletics for continued updates.