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Haggard set to compete at U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship

Blue Raiders amid a busy spring schedule

June 27, 2011 · Athletic Communications
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - While the collegiate golf season is not slated to begin until August, it's proven to be a busy summer for the Middle Tennessee women's golf team as a number of players have taken advantage of the summer as a way to enhance their skills.

"I think the summer is important for the development of our girls," head coach Chris Adams said. "It gives them a chance to keep improving and stay on top of their game, which helps them make that transition into the fall. It also gives them an opportunity to measure themselves against some of the region's best golfers, some of which are girls we'll see during the season."

Ashley Haggard has certainly taken advantage of that opportunity, earning a spot in this week's U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort in Bandon, Ore.

"Obviously, any time you can make a national tournament it's a big honor," Adams said. "It's a pretty prestigious event, and there are some big names that have won it in the past. It gives Ashley a great chance to play well against some great competition and get some confidence."

Haggard earned a spot in the field after finishing fourth at a qualifier earlier last month at Greystone Golf Club in Dickson, Tenn. The Savannah, Tenn., native will participate in a pair of stroke play rounds to narrow the field for match play competition.

Scoring and updates for the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship is available at www.USGA.org.

MIDDLE TENNESSEE MAKING MARK NATIONALLY

Haggard won't be the only Blue Raider competing at a national tournament as Stephanie Smith, Natalie Chrisopulos and former standout Morgan Hale will all play in August at the Hardee's Collegiate Invitational at Perdido Bay Golf Club in Pensacola, Fla.

Both Smith and Hale competed in the event last season, finishing third and fourth, respectively.

Chrisopulos, a Texas native, played at the Texas Women's Open earlier this month, finishing tied for 81st (out of 121). The sophomore is also slated to play at the TJGT Galleria Classic at the Golf Club of Dallas this week.

BLUE RAIDERS HAVE STRONG SHOWING AT TENNESSEE WOMEN'S AMATEUR

Middle Tennessee left its imprint at the Tennessee Women's Amateur earlier this month as four current or future Blue Raiders advanced to the Round of 16 in the match play event.

Olivia Love had the best showing, falling in the quarterfinals.

Haggard and incoming freshmen Allie Knight and Haley Cothran rounded out the Round of 16 participants for Middle Tennessee. Knight fell to eventual tournament champion Kendall Martindale.

LOOKING AHEAD TO THE TENNESSEE WOMEN'S OPEN

The Middle Tennessee team will also hope to make some noise later this month at the Tennessee Women's Open, which will take place from July 21-23 at Stonehenge Golf Club in Crossville.

Karisa Akin, Haggard, Love and Smith along with incoming freshmen Cothran, Knight and Emily Miller are all expected to participate in the event, marking the first time most of the team will have the chance to play and compete against each other.

"The great thing about the open tournaments is that you get the chance to play against both pros and amateurs," Adams said. "With most of the team there, it's also going to give a bit of a preview as to where everyone is at going into the fall. It should be a good test for us."

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