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Blue Raider golfers seek to defend title at Argent Financial Classic

MT going for second win of spring

March 11, 2012 · Athletic Communications
CHOUDRANT, La. - Sticking with the same quintet that has produced a win and a sixth place finish thus far in spring tournaments, Middle Tennessee’s nationally-ranked men’s team will be in Ruston, LA Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday to defend its title in Louisiana Tech’s Argent Financial Classic.

Seniors Hunter Green and Brad Simons, sophomores Brett Patterson and Paul Sansom, and freshman Andrew Cho will represent MT for the third consecutive tournament, all of which have been title defenses for the Blue Raiders. This group won the Mobile Bay Intercollegiate in February, and finished sixth in a loaded field in the USF Invitational last week.

“This group plays well together. We have had only one bad round in the six we have played so far. The other five rounds have been under par or even par, so I am sticking with them,” Coach Whit Turnbow declared.

The tournament will be a 54-hole format, 18 each day, and will be played on the highly-rated Squire Creek Country Club course. It is a Par 72 over 7,100 yards, and Turnbow likes this course “because it rewards the teams that play well.”

The Blue Raiders played well enough to win by 18 strokes over host Louisiana Tech last spring. Green was the low medalist with a 3-under-par 213. Things should be a little tougher this time around, however, with the addition of 18th-ranked LSU in the field. In addition to Middle Tennessee and LSU, the host school is ranked 75th. Jacksonville State is also in the Top 100 at 92nd.

“It’s a tougher field than last year, so it should be interesting,” noted Turnbow.

Another Blue Raider golfer to watch is Cho, the freshman from Korea, who was named the Sun Belt Conference’s Player of the Month for February for his strong showing in the Mobile Bay Intercollegiate.

He didn’t play as well last week at South Florida, but Turnbow revealed that Cho was dealing with a painful neck problem. “When we left for the tournament, he couldn’t even turn his head. He’s been in the training room three times a day this week, and we believe he is alright now, or I wouldn’t be taking him.

“He’s the only guy we have who hasn’t played Squire Creek, so that will be a challenge for him as well.”

Turnbow feels that LSU will be the team to beat. They are the highest ranked team, and they are coming off of a win last week at the Louisiana-Lafayette tournament. The Blue Raiders will be paired with LSU and LA Tech in the highest seeded tee-times.

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