MURRELLS INLET - Brett Patterson, Payne Denman and Lucas Armstrong birdied their last hole to propel MTSU to a two-shot victory over No. 23 Kent State to win the 2014 General Hackler Championship. It marked the Blue Raiders' first tournament win since grabbing the trophy at the 2012 Mobile Bay Intercollegiate.
The Blue Raiders defeated eight teams ranked in the top 100, including four in the top 55. It also went down as the 16th tournament win under head coach Whit Turnbow and the 40th top five performance.
MTSU, which carries a 33-9 record over its last three tournaments, had a 54-hole score of 884 on the 6,950-yard par 72 TPC Myrtle Beach Course to finish just ahead of Kent State's 886. No. 55 Iowa State was third at 890, while ETSU came in fourth with an 896. East Carolina rounded out the top five with an 897.
"At one point Monday in round one we were 17 over par and in 11th place," said Turnbow. "These guys battled back to get in the final group today with No. 23 Kent State and were down a stroke and just played beautifully. We just have a bunch of blue collar guys whose toughness and work ethic in the winter is now paying off.
"I can't say enough about the people who help us day-to-day in David Head, Jason Vest, Debbie Carroll and Drew Shea. They were instrumental in putting us in position to do what we did today."
Patterson, Denman and Armstrong all tied for 11th overall with 54 hole totals of 222. Patterson had rounds of 74-75-73 and had 35 pars for the tournament to tie for sixth most in the field.
Denman opened with a 78 and then bounced back with two strong rounds of 71-73. He led the team in par 4 scoring and tied for fifth in the field with 10 birdies.
Armstrong, who also tied for fifth in the field with 10 birdies, had rounds of 78-72-72. He paced the Blue Raiders and ranked tied for fourth in the field in par 5 scoring at 4-under.
Jordan Jennings enjoyed another solid day with a 1-over par 73 to finish the tournament tied for 17th. Jennings, who also had 10 birdies, registered rounds of 79-72-73.
Andrew Cho completed the scoring as he tied for 36th.
The Blue Raiders will be back in action March 28-30 at the FAU Spring Break Challenge in Lake Worth, FL.