Men's golf ready for Mason Rudolph

Defending champs tee it up Friday

September 20, 2012 · @MTAthletics

MURFREESBORO - Middle Tennessee's golf team, defending champions of the prestigious Mason Rudolph Championship, will seek the title for the second year in a row, and the third time in the last four years when they travel to Franklin, TN this weekend to match strokes with a strong 15-team field.

The Mason Rudolph is played at the renowned Vanderbilt Legends Club South Course, and will be set up as a Par 71, 7,100-yard layout. The teams will play 18 holes each day (Friday, Saturday and Sunday).
The field includes teams from the SEC (Vanderbilt, Ole Miss and Mississippi State), Big 12 (Oklahoma), ACC (Virginia) and Conference USA (Rice) along with fellow Sun Belt members Arkansas State and South Alabama.

Coach Whit Turnbow's golfers will be looking for their first win of the 2012-13 season after finishing 15th two weeks ago in a field loaded with national championship contenders.

"We are a young team, and the learning point is when you play against the best in the country, you can't have off days or off weeks. When you have a bad day, or a bad round, and you are playing against the best in the country, it's going to show up.

"I was actually pleased with the way a couple of our guys played all week, and it was nice to get out there and see where we stand," declared Turnbow. "We've had a good week of practice, addressed a few things, had some more qualifying matches, and made one lineup change."

Turnbow said the four players he would take that played the first match two weeks ago would be juniors Brett Patterson and Jordan Jennings, along with sophomores Andrew Cho and Payne Denman, the transfer from Florida. Junior Lucas Armstrong will replace true freshman Drake Duncan as the fifth member of the team.

"That will give us a little more experience, and we'll see how it goes," said Turnbow. "Actually Drake handled his first college tournament pretty well, but that field at The Farm was kind of like throwing him to the wolves, as it would be for any true freshman. But he is going to help us a lot this year."

Turnbow pointed out that Vanderbilt's tournament would also be a new challenge. 

"They have some new teams this year, and they also have new greens, and it's different than in years past. They changed the surface on the greens, from a Bent grass to a Bermuda grass surface, but that's okay because it's the same for everybody.

"We got a good idea from The Farm of where we are, we've re-evaluated some things from that tournament, set some new goals for some guys, had a good week of practice, a good qualifier, and I think we are ready to go."

Blue Raider golf fans may follow the progress of the Blue Raiders on GolfStat.com for live scoring and leaderboards. Also visit GoBlueRaiders.com for updates at the end of each day. The Blue Raiders will get started Friday morning at 8:00 AM.

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