Blue Raiders claim runner-up finish at C-USA Championship –


DADE CITY, Fla. – Middle Tennessee battled to the very end on Wednesday at the Conference USA Championship but fell just short as North Texas pulled away to claim its first C-USA title at Lake Jovita Golf and Country Club.
The Blue Raiders (+11) matched rival WKU (+11)  – who started the day atop the leaderboard with a four-stroke lead over MT and UNT – for a share of second place, finishing 12 strokes back of the Mean Green (-1).
“Obviously we came up just a little bit short of our ultimate goal, but overall it was a really great week for our team,” Head Coach Chris Adams said. “We beat some really good teams this week and I’m extremely proud of our girls for rising to the occasion after what’s been a very challenging year for everyone.”
MT’s team round of 7-over par was one of the better rounds on the course Wednesday, but was no match for the 5-under par round put together by the No. 33 ranked Mean Green, who turned a 4-stroke lead into a 12-stroke win on the back nine of the final round.
“Hats off to North Texas, they have been a very strong team all year long and had what it took to claim the title today,” Adams added. “They took over there at the end and are very deserving of the win.”
Blue Raider sophomore Taylor Edlin used a late surge of three birdies in her final four holes to lead MT on the final day with a 1-under par 71, finishing tied for 17th in the field at 6-over par (72-79-71=222) for the week.
Senior Sophie Burks was MT’s top finisher in the field, claiming a share of seventh place with UTSA’s Camryn Carreon at 1-over par (72-70-75=217) after finishing the week with a 3-over par 75 on Wednesday.
Fellow senior Caroline Caudill closed out the week at 9-over par (75-73-77=225) and was joined by her sister – junior Catherine Caudill – at that same mark of 9-over par (75-70-80=225) as the two were part of a three-way tie for 26th made up completely of Blue Raiders.
Sophomore Molly Bebelaar was the third Blue Raider to share that spot, using an even par 72 in the final round to move up the leaderboard and make MT the only team to have all five golfers finish in the top half of the field.
“This is such an encouraging week for myself and our team,” Adams exclaimed. “To have such a strong showing with positives from across the entire lineup and know that all five players on this team will be back next year and hungry for more is very promising for our future.”
The Blue Raiders defeated No. 49 UTSA (+13) and finished the week 12 strokes clear of the next closest challenger, Old Dominion (+23), who is a perennial contender at the C-USA Championship.
Edlin carded the championship’s only eagle Wednesday on the Par 5 second hole, while Caroline Caudill led the field of 56 golfers in Par 3 scoring (-2, 2.83) and sister Catherine Caudill led the field in total pars (41).

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