May 16, 2009
Bowling Green, Ky. – Cameron Tringale and John-Tyler Griffin each shot a 1-under-par 71 Saturday, leading Georgia Tech to a 7-over 295 team score and a tie for third place at the NCAA Central Golf Regional. The 7th-ranked Yellow Jackets have advanced to the NCAA Championship May 26-30 in Toledo, Ohio.
It will be the Jackets’ 22nd appearance in the Finals since 1985. Only Oklahoma State, Florida and Arizona State, each of whom won regionals Saturday, have more appearances than does Tech in that time.
“They played really well with all the starting and stopping with the weather delays,” said Tech coach Bruce Heppler, who has guided the Yellow Jackets to the Finals in 11 of the last 12 years. “Over the 25 holes we played today, I think we did as well as anybody out there.”
Tech, which finished 54 holes at 16-over-par 880, played well enough Saturday to stay ahead of the challengers. The Jackets began the day at 13-over-par, and played 25 holes Saturday in 3-over-par. By comparison, winner UCLA played 25 holes Saturday in 2-under-par, and second-place Washington covered the stretch in 12-over-par. Ohio State and Duke matched Tech’s 3-over Saturday and finished in the top five to advance to the Finals.
The Bruins shot the best score of the final round (286), overtaking the Huskies (300) to win by seven strokes, posting a 1-under-par total of 863. Washington, who finished at 6-over 870, had held double-digit leads after each of the first two rounds.
Tech and Ohio State (291 in the final round) tied for third place at 880, and Duke (291) finished fifth at 17-over 881. Louisville, Mississippi and NC State failed to advance after tying for sixth place at 21-over 885.
After three weather delays at the Club at Olde Stone, two of which forced the second round to be suspended Friday and the third which delayed the resumption of the round Saturday morning, the Yellow Jackets shaved five shots off par and improved their position from seventh to third place entering the final round.
The fourth round also was halted by lightning for less than an hour, but the Yellow Jackets played well enough to hold their position, playing the back nine in 1-under-par.
“Except for the last hole, they played great on the back nine. Cameron and JT got us a few birdies, and Chesson (Hadley) also got us a couple,” said Heppler.
Tringale’s 71 lifted him into a three-way tie for third place individually at 2-under-par 214, his seventh top-10 finish this year. He was two strokes off the pace of NC State’s Matt Hill, who won with a 54-hole total of 4-under 212 and advanced to the NCAA Finals as an individual. Washington’s Nick Taylor finished one stroke back at 3-under 213, while UCLA’s Philip Francis and Vanderbilt’s Jon Curran tied with Tringale.
Griffin’s round Saturday earned him his third top-20 finish of the year, a tie foe 11th at 1-over-par 217.