First Person with David Dragoo

May 15, 2008

Columbus, Ohio – Junior David Dragoo has worked his way into the No. 4 spot on Georgia Tech’s post-season lineup this spring in his fourth year in the Yellow Jackets’ program. The Scottsdale, Ariz., native shot a 78 Thursday in the opening round of the NCAA Central Regional in Columbus, Ohio, which is being played at the Ohio State University Scarlet Course.

Dragoo came to Tech from Scottsdale, Ariz., red-shirted his first year, then played in just four events combined during his freshman and sophomore years. Now as a junior, Dragoo is playing in his 10th event this year.

What was different about the way the golf course played today than in your practice round yesterday?

“I think I learned more today than I did yesterday. This is a really tough course. It’s course management, and I just didn’t do a very good job. You’re going to miss putts, and you’re going to miss greens. The wind switched, but it’s still windy. I just feel like I learned more today than I did yesterday.”

What did you come out of the practice round with that didn’t work today?

“Yesterday, I didn’t pay good enough attention to where to leave myself on a few holes – third shots on par 4s and par 5s. If you get on the wrong side of a hole and you make bogey. It can be discouraging. The easier you can make it, the better.”

What makes this such a difficult golf course? It always has been that way.

“It’s really long (7,419 yards), and the greens are small with a lot of undulations. If you miss shots on the wrong side, you’re going to struggle to make par. It never lets up, there’s no easy stretch of holes. Every hole is hard.

“Vegas (where Tech played the Southern Highlands Collegiate on a 7,510-yard course) is dry. Here, you don’t get any roll, even are the par 5s. You’re not going to make (the par 5s) in two. This course is a lot different, a lot softer. The rough is a lot thicker here. You just have to manage it.”

On the tee, you like to place your ball just inside the tee marker and stand outside of it at address. Why do you do that?

“I like to see a draw, so I tee it up on the right side of the tee to see more of the left side of the hole. It depends on the golf course and depends on the wind. But most of the time I tee it up on the right side.”

Assistant coach Christian Newton has walked with you for each round of the ACC Championship and again today. How does that dynamic work for you?

“Anytime you can have someone to talk to … he’s good at reassuring me with what I’m doing. He makes sure you’re confident in what you’re doing. That’s why he’s good. He helps me to think about what I’m doing out there. It’s good to have someone to talk to sometimes. It’s really just confirmation more than anything.”

You and the team got to play Muirfield Village on Tuesday (and shot a 69). What was that like for you?

“It was awesome. That course was really tough. We played it one tee up, because they had the back tees closed (for the upcoming Memorial Tournament hosted by Jack Nicklaus). I can see why the scores aren’t very low there, because the rough was 9, 10 inches long. It’s a little harder than this course. Jack’s place is sweet. The back tees make it 7,300 or 7,400 yards long, but we were about 500 shorter from the tees we played.

“There’s this Champions Circle there with plaques for everybody. It’s basically like a golf museum. You can really tell he appreciates the game.”

Will you try and see the Jack Nicklaus Museum while you’re here?

“We drove by it the other day. It looks pretty big. I’d like to go see it. He’s done a lot, and this is his place, so I’d like to go check it out. Hopefully we will, but we may not get a chance.”

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