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Blue Raiders open spring at Club de Golf Santa Anita Classic

February 18, 2006 · MT Media Relations
GUADALAJARA, Mexico - The Middle Tennessee men's golf team will get the 2006 spring season underway on Sunday at the Club de Golf Santa Anita/North Texas Classic. The 11-team field will play 36 holes on Sunday and the final 18 holes on Monday at the par 72, 6,884-yard course.

The field is made up of host North Texas, Arkansas-Little Rock, Cal State Northridge, Houston, Indiana, Iowa State, Louisiana-Lafayette, Middle Tennessee, Oral Roberts, Southeastern Louisiana, and Texas State.

"This is a great field and a great way to get our season started," said Head Coach Johnny Moore. "We have had great weather in Murfreesboro which has allowed us to get outside a lot and play. But there is nothing like competition and the heat of battle, so I am anxious to see how we respond."

Moore announced this week that he would be taking Nick Bailes, Derrick Bright, Rick Cochran, Josh Nelms, and Spencer Provow to makeup the Blue Raider lineup for the season opener. The Blue Raiders are hoping to build on a fall season that saw them place in the top five in three of five tournaments and have two players ranked in the Sun Belt's top 10.

"Spencer and Nick had a solid fall campaign and we need them to continue with that type of play," said Moore. "But for us to be successful our entire lineup needs to be strong and play consistent golf. That is what we are looking for more than anything - consistency and playing smart."

Provow (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) led all Blue Raiders with two top 10 finishes and a stroke average of 72.7. He was also ranked sixth in the Sun Belt.

Bailes (Cleveland, Tenn.) had a career-best 72.9 stroke average during the fall to rank ninth in the Sun Belt. The sophomore had two top 10 finishes and put together a personal-best round of 67 at the Missouri Bluff Challenge.

Nelms, Cochran, and Bright all had their moments during the fall but need to be more consistent this spring.

The Blue Raiders will tee off at 8:15 AM on Sunday and will have a shotgun start at 7:30 AM on Monday. Following a trip to Mexico, Middle Tennessee will head to Houston, Tex., for the All-American Invitational on February 27-28.

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