Middle Tennessee dropped two spots on the final day of the Minnesota Invitational, turning in a 13-over par 301 on Tuesday, Sept. 11, but were able to fend off a number of competitors late in the day to hold onto a sixth-place finish at Prestwick Golf Club.
The Blue Raiders finished the tournament at 17-over par (283-297-301=881) and were within striking distance of a second-place trophy late in the day as the battle for runner-up honors behind team champion San Diego State was tightly contested for much of the day.
By the end of the day, the Blue Raiders ended up just one stroke back of Kentucky (+16) and just outside of the Top 5, but were able to narrowly edge Notre Dame (+18), Oklahoma (+19) and Kansas (+19) to retain the sixth spot.
- Senior Hanley Long's third round of par or better this week gives her 22 for her career, just one shy of matching Emily Miller (23) for fourth all-time at Middle Tennessee
- Long's Top 5 finish this week was the fourth of her career, two of which have come at the Conference USA Championship (2016, 2018)
- Middle Tennessee led the field this week in Par 3 scoring at 7-over par (3.12)
- Blue Raider seniors Long and Jenna Burris were the only two golfers in the field of 84 to finish under par on the Par 3s, both boasting a 1-under par (2.92) mark in Par 3 scoring
- Long also finished tied for fifth in Par 4 scoring at 1-over par (4.03) and tied for fourth in total birdies with 11
Head Coach Chris Adams
"The scores were a lot higher today as the wind kicked up a notch but we hung pretty tough considering the conditions. Hanley played great this week and finished third in a great field. It was great to have Catherine play solid in her debut as well. Jenna battled through an injury and played through it but struggled to finish as strong as she wanted. Sophie finished strong as well despite a tough putting day and overall I think we had a solid finish in a tough field so I like where this team is at and we showed a lot of great things this week. I know we will work hard to be ready for Tennessee and Vandy up next."
Senior Hanley Long
"I'm really proud of how I finished this week. Today the wind was gusting up to 20 mph along with tucked pins so the playing conditions were tough. It made it hard to judge the speed on the greens and trust our yardages. The bogeys were going to happen today especially with all of the elements going on but I made some crucial pars and salvaged bogeys in some situations where double could have easily happened. Overall, I think this week shows the potential and grit that this team has. I'm very proud of how everyone kept grinding and didn't give up. There's plenty to work on before our next tourney, but I'm confident in the effort we all are going to put in to get better."
The Blue Raiders travel to Knoxville, Tenn., for the Mercedes-Benz Collegiate Championship in a little under a week. The tournament, hosted by Tennessee at Cherokee Country Club, will feature 36 holes on Monday, Sept. 17 and the final 18 on Tuesday, Sept. 18.