NEW LONDON, N.C. — Paul Haley and Kyle Scott each fired a 4-under-par 68 Friday, taking a 1-shot lead in the individual race and lifting fourth-ranked Georgia Tech to an 8-stroke lead after the first round of the Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Golf Championship.
The two Tech seniors each continued strong play that began last weekend on the Yellow Jackets’ home course, where they finished 1-2 in the Yellow Jacket Classic, and continued their success on the par 72, 7,102-yard Old North State Club, where they finished fourth and 12th, respectively, in last year’s conference championship.
James White added an even-par 72 and John-Tyler Griffin a 1-over 73 at the Yellow Jackets posted a team total of 7-under 281 to take an 8-stroke lead over 16th-ranked Duke (1-over 289). Clemson is third at 290, followed by Wake Forest (293) and Florida State (294), Virginia and NC State (295 each), North Carolina (297), Virginia Tech (299), Maryland (304) and Boston College (314).
“The conditions were pretty nasty, almost under water at the beginning, but we hung in there pretty well, and this was a good start,” said head coach Bruce Heppler, whose team is vying to win its third consecutive ACC title and fifth in the last six years. “Paul and Kyle played very solidly, hit a lot of good shots and made a lot of putts.”
Haley recorded five birdies, three of them on par 4s and one on a par 3, and one bogey Friday in matching his season-best round. Scott also had five birdies and a bogey, making his hay on the Old North State Club’s par 5s (three birdies). White had a solid round going, with two birdies and no bogeys, until he made 5 on the par 3 17th. He is tied for 11th individually as 10 of the 55 players broke par in rainy conditions.
Georgia Tech (281, -7) is leading by eight strokes over Duke (289, +1). Clemson is in third (290, +2), Wake Forest fourth (293, +5), Florida State fifth (294, +6), tied for sixth place is Virginia and NC State (295, +7). North Carolina is in eighth place (297, +9), Virginia Tech at 299 is in ninth place. Maryland is in 10th place (304) and Boston College 11th place at 314.