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Blue Raiders set for opening round at NCAA Regional

Team tees off at 9:10 AM Thursday

May 14, 2014 · @MTAthletics

COLUMBIA, MO - Middle Tennessee begins play in its sixth NCAA Regional in the last seven years on Thursday morning at The Club at Old Hawthorne (par 72, 7,140 yards). The Blue Raiders' first round tee time is scheduled for 9:10 AM with Ohio State and Denver.

Middle Tennessee will be one of 14 teams participating in the 54-hole regional hosted by the University of Missouri Thursday through Saturday. The low five teams will advance to the NCAA National Championships at Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kan., May 23 - 28.

The regional will consist of: 1. Oklahoma State; 2. Virginia; 3. LSU; 4. Arkansas; 5. Arizona State; 6. Iowa; 7. San Diego State; 8. Missouri; 9. Iowa State; 10. Middle Tennessee; 11. Ohio State; 12. Denver; 13. Loyola, MD; and 14 Bryant.

"Like all regionals, this will be a very tough test of golf but one we are anxiously awaiting," said Head Coach Whit Turnbow. "This is the time to play your best golf and I know our guys will be focused and up to the challenge."

The Blue Raiders' lineup will be led by juniors Brett Patterson and Payne Denman. Patterson, who leads the team with a 73.0 stroke average, will be playing in his third NCAA Tournament while Denman is appearing for the first time as a Blue Raider. Jordan Jennings and Andrew Cho both played in the 2012 NCAA Regionals and will be making their second trip. Lucas Armstrong is making his first NCAA Regional appearance.

This will be the seventh NCAA berth in program history and the fifth as an at-large. The Blue Raiders also made NCAA Regional appearances in 2000, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012. In 2008, Middle Tennessee advanced all the way to the NCAA Championships where it finished 15th nationally.

Live scoring will be available from GolfStat.com.

Notes: The Blue Raiders played their practice round at Old Hawthorne Wednesday morning at 8:30 AM and temperatures were in the mid-50s ... The course has very large bent grass greens and zoysia fairways but plays extremely long ... The team flew to St. Louis Tuesday and played a round at Bellerive Country Club, which will host the 100th PGA Championship in 2018 ... Lucas Armstrong met the team in St. Louis after participating in a local qualifier for the US Open.

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