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Blue Raiders in third at Dale McNamara Invitational

Knight makes collegiate debut with even-par 72

September 12, 2011 · Athletic Communications
TULSA, Okla. - It didn't take long for Allie Knight to announce her presence with the Middle Tennessee women's golf team as the freshman carded an even-par 72 in her collegiate debut at the Dale McNamara Invitational at Patriot Golf Club in Tulsa, Okla. The Blue Raiders are currently sitting in third (out of 15) after recording a 10-over 298.

"It was up and down a bit for us today," head coach Chris Adams said. "We really had going there for a bit early, but struggled with holes eight through 12. As a team, we had 11 birdies, which is pretty good, especially for an opening round, and we finished strong. Overall, I think everyone's confidence is up. This is a good start to the season."

Knight, who is currently tied for fifth (out of 75) in the event, became just the second Blue Raider freshman ever to post an even-par or better score in her debut collegiate round, and the first to do so since Morgan Hale carded a one-under 71 at the Challenge at Wolfdancer at the end of the 2008 fall season.

"I'm really proud of the way Allie played today," Adams said. "She birdied three holes on the front nine and was just steady all day. She doesn't get too excited or rattled, and you can't really tell from looking at her whether she just birdied or bogeyed. You have to like seeing that out of a freshman."

Ashley Haggard also had a solid day on the course, shooting a one-over 73 to sit in a tie for eighth.

"Ashley was pretty steady as well," Adams added. "She birdied both 16 and 17, which is one of the hardest holes on the course, and had a really good par on 18. She finished strong, which I've come to expect out of her. You can't ever count her out of anything."

Karisa Akin and Olivia Love are tied for 26th and 31st, respectively, after recording a four-over 76 and a five-over 77.

Stephanie Smith carded a nine-over 81 and is tied for 62nd.

"I think we made pretty strong statement today," Adams said. "We were in this position last year at this event, so we still have a long way to go. We really like this course, and the girls haven't been intimidated by it nor the competition. We're anxious to get back out there for the next two days."

Middle Tennessee will continue play at the Dale McNamara Invitational on Tuesday before concluding Wednesday. Live scoring is available at Golfstat.com.

TEAM SCORES (out of 15)
1. Arizona State - 280 (-8)
2. Oklahoma State - 294 (+6)
3. Middle Tennessee - 298 (+10)
T4. Iowa State - 300 (+12)
T4. Tulsa - 300 (+12)
6. Longwood - 302 (+14)
7. Northwestern - 303 (+15)
8. Oral Roberts - 304 (+16)
9. UCF - 308 (+20)
10. UALR - 309 (+21)
11. Kansas State - 311 (+23)
12. Kansas - 313 (+25)
13. Southern Miss - 314 (+26)
14. Arkansas State - 315 (+27)
15. Missouri - 320 (+32)

MT SCORES (out of 75)
T5. Allie Knight - 72 (E)
T8. Ashley Haggard - 73 (+1)
T26. Karisa Akin - 76 (+4)
T31. Olivia Love - 77 (+5)
T62. Stephanie Smith - 81 (+9)

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