Golfers hope to carry momentum to Jerry Pate Intercollegiate

Elite field awaits Blue Raiders

October 2, 2011 · Athletic Communications
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Boosted by a confidence-building win at the Mason Rudolph Intercollegiate last weekend, the Middle Tennessee men’s golf team will once again tee it up against one of the toughest fields of any fall tournament when they play in the Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate in Birmingham on Monday and Tuesday.

It will be played at the Old Overton Country Club in the Vestavia Hills area of Birmingham. Old Overton is a par 70 course, 6,936 yards in length. Blue Raider Coach Whit Turnbow noted it was not as long as the first two tournaments his team has played in this fall, but is a much tighter course.

“We’ve not played on this course before, so it will be interesting to see how we do in Sunday’s practice round,” Turnbow said. “We have our first 36-hole day of the fall on Monday, so that will be interesting to see how we handle that.”

While the course will be different, the field is an all-star field, very similar to what the Blue Raiders faced three weeks ago at the Carpet Capital Collegiate tournament. The 12-team field will include Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Louisville, Mississippi State, Texas, Samford, SMU, UAB, and UNLV.

The Blue Raiders rebounded from an 11th place finish at the Carpet Capital to win the Mason Rudolph last week and move up in the rankings to 55th by Golfstat.com and 56th by Golfweek.com. They held off Oklahoma and Ole Miss down the stretch to win by one stroke over the Rebels, shooting an 8-under-par 844. Senior Hunter Green was the low medalist for the tournament with a 205 total, eight strokes under par. His rounds of 70-78-67 equaled his career best.

Sophomores Paul Sansom (211), Brett Patterson (212) and Lucas Armstrong (212) finished 8th, 9th and 22nd, giving the Blue Raiders four golfers in the top 25. Andrew Cho, playing in his first collegiate tournament, finished 64th.

For their efforts, Middle Tennessee was named as Golf Week’s National Team of the Week, and Green was selected as National Player of the Week.

“The things we didn’t do very well at the Carpet, obviously we did much better at the Mason Rudolph,” said Turnbow. “We played very average at the Carpet, but when you play against that crew, they’ll make you look like you have never played before. This one is going to be the same way.”

Turnbow will take the same five golfers to Birmingham that won the tournament last week, noting that he does not make any changes after winning a tournament.

“If we play mediocre again, like we did at the Carpet, then we’ll finish at the bottom of the field. We’ve got to play at another level, and this group is capable of that. I know they picked up a lot of confidence last week, knowing they went down the stretch with Oklahoma and Ole Miss, and came out on top. It gives them a lot of confidence going forward.”

Turnbow pointed out that there was only a five-day turnaround between the Mason Rudolph and the Jerry Pate, but felt that it was “a good thing because we need to play again.”

“We are ready to get started. If we can do the little things right, and avoid the big numbers, we should be alright.”

Blue Raider golf fans can follow the progress of the team on Golfstat.com, which provides live scoring and team standings during the tournament.

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