Raiders face strong field at Memphis

Team plays 36 today, 18 on Tuesday

April 9, 2012 · Athletic Communications
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee’s 42nd-ranked golf team will be in Memphis today and Tuesday to compete in the Memphis Intercollegiate, and they expect a crowd at the top of both leaderboards when the last putt falls.

The tournament will be held at the Colonial Country Club, for many years the site of a pro tour event. Play will be on the South Course, a 7,334-yard, par 72 layout. Traditionally a fall tournament, this will be the first time it has ever been played in the spring. The teams will play 36 holes today and 18 on Tuesday.

The 12-team field will be very familiar to the Blue Raiders, as they have faced virtually all of them at least a couple of times this spring. And, for the most part, the teams are pretty evenly matched.

UAB is the highest ranked at No. 34, but Kennesaw State (41st) and Memphis (43rd) book-end the Blue Raiders. South Alabama, Louisiana Tech, and Vanderbilt are also ranked in the Top 100.

Individually, MT senior Hunter Green is the highest-ranked player in the field, at No. 51, but he will pushed hard by Matt Nagy of Kennesaw State, Sam Love of UAB and Memphis junior Jonathan Fly, as well as his own teammate, senior Brad Simons.

Fly, while ranked behind Green, is playing on his home course, and won low medalist last week at the BancorpSouth Invitational at Ole Miss He is also the reigning Conference USA champion. At the BancorpSouth, Memphis tied for third with UAB and UCF, with the Blue Raiders three shots back in sixth.

Coach Whit Turnbow’s team has two tournaments left before the Sun Belt Conference Championships April 23rd -25th. He feels his team is close to being where they need to be at this point.

“We aren’t quite there yet, but all of the pieces are there, and we’ve shown that we can do all of the things that are necessary to compete in the post-season. We just haven’t done them all at the same time.

“It’s all about timing, and we are trying to get it to come together at the right time. Maybe it’s this week, maybe its next week, maybe it will be at the Sun Belt tournament, or maybe at the regionals, that would be the best. We are right there; we just haven’t been able to get over the hump yet.”

Turnbow noted that tweaking the lineup is part of the process, a move that paid dividends at Ole Miss last week. He inserted sophomores Jordan Jennings and Lucas Armstrong, to join Green, Simons, and Brett Patterson. Jennings led the team with a 2-under-par 142, and Armstrong shot even-par 144, one stroke back of Green.

The same five players will make the trip to Memphis. Blue Raider fans can follow their team both days with live scoring on GolfStat.com, as well as daily updates on GoBlueRaiders.com.

Friend of the Blue Raiders? Like us on Facebook and become part of the True Blue army today.