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Raiders primed for NCAA Regional

Fifth straight appearance under Turnbow

May 16, 2012 · Athletic Communications
NORMAN, Okla. - Nine months and ten tournaments ago, the Middle Tennessee men’s golf team began a quest for a shot at the NCAA Championship. With two tournament wins and a #48 national ranking, the Blue Raiders will begin the first round of the NCAA Regionals in Norman, Oklahoma today, with subsequent rounds on Friday and Saturday.

While Coach Whit Turnbow has always made a practice of scheduling tough tournaments for his teams, this will be the toughest challenge of all. Seeded eighth in the 14-team regional, Middle Tennessee will need to finish in the top five to advance to the championship finals in Los Angeles May 29 – June 3rd.

Blocking their way will be Texas, the top-ranked team in the nation, as well as #12 Georgia Tech, #13 Washington, #23 Florida State and 31st-ranked Oklahoma, who will be playing on their home course. The tournament will be played on the Par 72, 7,387-yard Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club course.

“No question this will be the toughest challenge we have had all year, but that is the way it’s supposed to be,” noted Turnbow. “We will have to play, top to bottom, the best we have played all year.”

Senior veterans Hunter Green and Brad Simons will be the leaders for the Blue Raiders, having played on three other NCAA tournament teams. Sophomore Brett Patterson, who played in the NCAA last year, is the third NCAA player on the team. Rounding out the five-man team will be sophomore Jordan Jennings and red-shirt freshman Andrew Cho.

Green’s best round this year was a 66, Simons shot a 68, and Patterson had a 69. Jennings’ season low was a 71, while Cho, who has demonstrated explosive potential at times, has a matching team-best 66.

“Everybody on the team has the potential to shoot great rounds. We just need to put it all together for three straight days to move on to the national tournament,” Turnbow pointed out.

The Blue Raiders, making their fifth straight NCAA Regional, will be paired in the opening round with 7th-seeded Illinois and 9th-seeded South Carolina. Other teams in the Norman regional will be St. Mary’s, San Diego, Arizona, Sacramento State, IUPUI, and Loyola (Il.)

Middle Tennessee’s group will tee off at 8:50 a.m. Thursday morning. Live scoring will be on golfstat.com as well as NCAA.com.

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