FORT MYERS, Fla. – Coming off of a first place finish their last time out, the Blue Raiders turn their attention to the Conference USA Championship as they look to defend their 2015 conference title.
The par 72, 6,174-yard Verandah Club in Fort Myers, Fla., will play host to the C-USA Championship for the second straight year, teeing off on Monday, April 18 at 8:00 a.m. ET.
“We are looking forward to playing this week on a course we are familiar with,” head coach Chris Adams said. “We are coming in with a lot of confidence after winning our last tournament and it also helps that we had success last year on this course.”
In addition to taking home the first conference championship in school history a season ago the Raiders also set a school record three-round total of seven-under par (857), a mark that has twice been surpassed since last April.
Samantha Gotcher, now a junior in the Blue Raider lineup, set a Middle Tennessee 54-hole record for an individual last season when she shot a nine-under 207 on her way to a second-place finish.
Senior Avery George also turned in a top-five finish in Fort Myers last season, carding a three-under 213.
In addition to Gotcher and George, senior Emily Miller is in the Blue Raider lineup at the Verandah Club for the second consecutive year and is coming off of a top-five performance at the Web.com Intercollegiate in Jacksonville, Fla.
Middle Tennessee will bring two newcomers to the C-USA Championship in redshirt freshman Jenna Burris and true freshman Hanley Long, but the pair doesn’t lack in experience.
Burris has played eight of nine events this season and boasts a 75.1 stroke average in 2015-16.
Long has played in seven of nine events this season with a stroke average of 75.4, but appeared in all four tournaments in the spring with an average round of 74.8.
Burris will be the first Blue Raider to tee off, slated for an 8:50 a.m. ET tee time off the first tee on Monday. She will be followed by Long, Gotcher, Miller and George in 10-minute intervals.
As the highest ranked team in Conference USA, No. 54 Middle Tennessee will be the top seed in the C-USA Tournament and will be paired with No. 77 UTSA and No. 80 Old Dominion on day one.
“We have a great game plan going into the tournament and we are going to go out and have some fun,” Adams stated.
After 18 holes on Monday, the field will play round two on Tuesday with the final 18 being played on Wednesday.
Live stats can be found at www.golfstat.com throughout the tournament.