Middle Tennessee men's golf is back on the course Monday as head coach Mark McEntire and his young Blue Raiders look to keep improving at the Jim Rivers Intercollegiate at the Par 72, 7,070-yard Squire Creek.
MT is one of 15 teams in the Intercollegiate hosted by Conference USA foe LA Tech. Fellow C-USA members Southern Miss and UAB are also in the field as well as Abilene Christian, Central Arkansas, Cincinnati, Georgia, Lamar, New Orleans, Nicholls State, Oklahoma City, Southeastern Louisiana, Stephen F. Austin and Troy.
"I am excited to get back into action this week in Louisiana," McEntire said. "The golf course at Squire Creek is very similar to the Grove and should be in excellent shape."
Middle Tennessee's five-man lineup will be led once again by senior James Beckner and junior Tanner Owens, both of who logged strong finishes last week at the Intercollegiate at The Grove.
"I look for Tanner and James to continue their solid play this week, but we will need to get some more help from the others in our lineup," McEntire stated.
Joining the upperclassman duo in the lineup this week at LA Tech are the freshman trio of Jake Marvelli, Palmer Sadlowski and Josh Morris, while Graham Gosselin will also be in the field competing as an individual.
"We made too many big numbers last week and when you don't make a bunch of birdies you don't have room to make mistakes," McEntire added. "(Assistant Coach) Kent (Bulle) and I stressed this week that we need to play more conservative and try to get off to a better start. I hope this will be another week that we continue to learn more about this team and improve on our performance from last week."
The Blue Raiders will tee off in Monday's 8:00 a.m. shotgun start alongside Southern Miss, Troy and Nicholls State on holes five through nine. Gosselin will tee off on 18 alongside players from New Orleans, Southeastern Louisiana and Oklahoma City.
Raiders struggle in round one at Old Waverly
For the first time this season, the Blue Raider women's golf team showed signs of struggle on Sunday in the first round of the Magnolia Invitational.
Middle Tennessee fell into last place late in the day before a strong recovery in which they went 3-under par on the last two holes saw the squad climb into a tie for 12th place at 20-over par 308.
Despite the tough round, the Blue Raiders are just nine strokes away from moving back into the top half of the field.
MT is certainly capable of making such a move, as Head Coach Chris Adams guided her team to a similar comeback at the Mason Rudolph Championship where the Raiders moved from last to a tie for sixth over the course of a round and a half before rain and lightning cut the final round short at Vanderbilt Legends Club.
Sophomore Sophie Burks' birdies on 17 and 18 along with senior Kailey Collier's birdie on 18 provided the late spark for the Blue Raiders while freshman Catherine Caudill turned in the low round for MT on day one at 4-over par 76.
Middle Tennessee will tee off Monday on the 10th hole beginning at 9:20 a.m. Senior Hanley Long will lead off followed by Caroline Caudill, Collier, Burks and Catherine Caudill. Live scoring can be followed at Golfstat.com.