Ga. Tech ready to shed bridesmaid tag
Notes: Virginia's Woodall cards two aces in one tournament
At the 2000 NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championships, Georgia Tech lost in a playoff to Oklahoma State.
|STINGING THE FIELD|
|Paul Haley birdied the final hole to complete a final-round 70 and win medalist honors, while three of his teammates broke 70 to help Georgia Tech post a 16-under-par round of 272 and capture its third consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference golf championship.|
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|• GCAA Coaches Poll, click here|
Two seasons later at Columbus’ Scarlet Course, the Yellowjackets were bridesmaids to Minnesota. In 2005 it was a silver medal behind Georgia.
A year ago, the Georgia Tech male golfers were third in stroke play and lost 3 and 2 to eventual champion Augusta State in the quarterfinals.
Nine times Georgia Tech has finished among the top five at the NCAA Championships. Entering the 2011 postseason, the second-ranked Jackets could certainly factor into the mix once again.
Tech’s last start included a third consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference title. Head coach Bruce Heppler saw his senior trio of Paul Haley, Kyle Scott and J.T. Griffin finish 1-2-3 and lead a 20-stroke victory against the field.
“Everybody is feeding off each other,” Haley told Sting Daily last week. “J.T. [John-Tyler Griffin] and Kyle [Scott] have been playing great all year, James [White] has won twice. Richie [Werenski] played well in spurts, and everybody realizes how good we are. Proof came [at the ACCs]. James finished No. 4 [among the Jackets], and he’s been playing No. 1 pretty much all year.”
Haley, a senior from Dallas, tied for ninth at the 2010 NCAA Championships. After just three top-10 finishes and just three rounds in the 60s, Haley has won back-to-back titles and has shot in the 60s in three of his last five rounds.
Griffin tied for 25th at the 2010 NCAA Championships. Junior James White tied for 72nd at the 2010 NCAAs and has won twice in 2010-11 including the Puerto Rico Classic in February.
Freshman Richard Werensky, the fifth starter for Tech, has five top-25 finishes during his rookie campaign. Tech will tee it up May 19-21 in Blacksburg, Va., along with No. 8 LSU and four other members of the top 35.
Six 54-hole Regionals will be staged May 19-21 with the top five finishers at each qualifying for the Championships, May 31-June 5 in Stillwater, Okla.
Top-ranked Oklahoma State headlines the Colorado Region. The Cowboys, winners of 10 NCAA titles, lost to Augusta State in the 2010 finals after, for the second season in a row, leading the charge in stroke play. OSU and Arizona State both are making a 23rd consecutive NCAA appearance.
Augusta State, ranked seventh entering the postseason, join No. 5 Florida and No. 14 Arkansas in the Florida Region.
Yale has won 21 men’s golf championships, but none since 1943. The Bulldogs won the first collegiate golf championship in 1897. Ranked 162nd by Golfweek, Yale has not qualified for the NCAA Championships since 1984 and tees it up at the Virginia Tech Region after winning the Ivy League title by 20 shots.
Princeton, winners of 12 NCAA titles, have not qualified for the NCAA finals since 1980.
Also representing the Ivy League in Blacksburg will be Dartmouth’s Peter Williamson. He won his second Ivy League medalist honor, edging Yale’s Tom McCarthy. Williamson, a junior from Hanover, N.H., is the highest ranked Ivy League player at No. 392.
The first team outside the Ivy League to win an NCAA title was Michigan in 1934.
Ranked 248, Army won the Patriot League title for a 10th time. The Black Knights have not been in NCAA finals since 1986 but have played in regional competition 24 times.
“We have played well the past few weeks and we hope to continue that in the NCAA Regionals,” said first-year coach Brian Watts. “Our guys have had to be mentally tough as of late. From winning the Patriot League after holding the 18-hole lead to finishing classes for the semester, taking final exams and graduation, a lot of demands are being made of their time and I am proud of the way they are handling themselves.”
Anthony Kim shot 69 at the Rhody Invitational in Rhode Island in April. It was the only round in the 60s for the Black Knights all season.
Liberty’s Robert Karlsson, a native of Sweden, was named to European Palmer Cup squad last month. Karlsson, a two-time Big South Golfer of the Year is making his third trip to the NCAAs but first with his team. Karlsson has seven top-five finishes in 11 starts this season and leads the No. 27 Flames into the Arizona Regional.
The DII men’s championships are set for May 16-20 at Muscle Shoals, Ala.
American International and Wilmington are making their first appearance; Fort Lewis its first since 1980; and Colorado State-Pueblo its first since 1994
Columbus State is making its 31st appearance which includes six titles. Indiana (Pa.) is in the D-II field for a 28th time.
The 2010 champion, Florida Southern, will not participate after finishing 43 strokes behind Lynn at the DII South/Southeast Region.
Also failing to qualify was 2010 third place finisher Cal State Chico and fellow top-10 finishers Nova Southeastern, Ferris and Western New Mexico.
Cyril Bouniol of Abilene Christian, a medalist in 2010, shot 7-under to win the Midwest/South Central Region. Bounoil, a senior from France, and sophomore Alex Carpenter give Abilene-Christian two of the top three in DII. Bouniol has not finished outside the top 15 in any of his 11 starts in 2010-11.
Central Oklahoma’s Colby Shrum and Josh Creel give the Bronchos two in the Top 5.
Lynn’s Ricardo Gouveia, ranked sixth, and Jose Joia, ranked 25th, are the only two freshman in D-II ranked inside the Top 50.
2010 D-III medalist Tain Lee of Claremont Mudd Scripps opened the 2011 Championships with a 3-under 69 on Tuesday and was three shots behind Oglethorpe’s Craig Stevenson entering the second round. Twenty players broke par on Day 1 of the tournament in Greensboro, N.C.
What are the odds?
What are the odds of getting a hole in one in golf? How about doing it twice in just over a week? That's what University of Virginia junior golfer Bruce Woodall accomplished at the Cavalier Classic last month.
Playing his second round on April 30, Woodall used an 8-iron from 170 yards to ace No. 14 at Birdwood Golf Course. Woodall collected the first hole in one of his career on April 22 during the opening round of the ACC Championships. Playing the 14th hole on the Old North State Club in New London, N.C., Woodall found the cup from 217 yards. “It was outlandish,” Woodall said of his accomplishment.
So, what are the odds? According to a study Golf Digest commissioned in 2000, the odds for a Tour player are 1 in 3,000; for a low handicapper 1 in 5,000 and for an average player 1 in 12,000. The odds of doing it twice in back-to-back tournaments ... outlandish.
Thanks to UVA’s Jim Daves for passing along this note.