Golfers Win by Four in Puerto Rico

March 1, 2005

ATLANTA – Led by seniors Chan Song, who shot 71 on Tuesday, and Nicholas Thompson, who shot 70, Georgia Tech held off Florida and top-ranked Oklahoma State to earn a four-shot victory at the Puerto Rico Classic in Rio Grande, P.R.

The third-ranked Yellow Jackets posted a one-under-par score of 287 Tuesday, preventing the challenging Gators and Cowboys from making up any ground on the par 72 River Course at the Westin Rio Mar Golf Resort. Tech’s tournament total of 845 was 19 shots under par.

It was the Yellow Jackets’ first win of the 2004-05 school year after four second-place finishes and a pair of third-place showings, and also Tech’s first team victory since the 2002 NCAA East Regional. Tech won a school-record seven tournaments that year. The victory in Puerto Rico also was the Jackets’ fourth on the island since 2000.

“I’m happy for our players,” said head coach Bruce Heppler, in his 10th year at Tech. “They’ve worked very hard and they do what we’ve asked them to do, and we’re seeing some results. They’ve been around the lead the whole year, and it’s nice for them to feel some satisfaction. Winning just re-affirms what they do every day.”

Florida, who also shot 287 Tuesday, finished at 849, followed by Oklahoma State (285 – 850), Arizona State (287 – 857) and No. 2 Georgia (289 – 865) among the team leaders.

Song, who was under par in each round, finished in a tie for fourth individually at six-under-par 210, six shots behind medalist Alejandro Canizares of Arizona State (68 – 204). Thompson, also under par every day of the tournament, tied for sixth at five-under 211. Junior Mike Barbosa tied for 15th at two-under 214 following a final-round 74, giving the Jackets three top-20 finishers for the sixth time in six events this year.

Sophomore Roberto Castro tied for 21st at 217 after an even-par 72 Tuesday, and sophomore Kevin Larsen (77 Tuesday) was tied for 43rd at 223.

Tech returns to action next week, March 11-13, at the Southern Highlands Collegiate in Las Vegas.

PUERTO RICO CLASSICWestin Rio Mar Resort, River Course, Par 72Final Results

TEAM STANDINGS Georgia Tech 287 – 845 (-19) Florida 287 – 849 Oklahoma State 285 – 850 Arizona State 287 – 857 Georgia 289 – 865 Minnesota 280 – 868 Duke 288 – 869 East Tennessee State 285 – 872 Clemson 295 – 873 Purdue 294 – 877 Oklahoma 297 – 884 Alabama 298 – 886 NC State 303 – 892 Kent State 300 – 897 Virginia Tech 294 – 903 Northwestern 300 – 907 Illinois 304 – 908 Michigan 320 – 927

MEDALIST Alejandro Canizares, Arizona State 68 – 204 (-12)

GEORGIA TECH SCORES Chan Song (T4) 71 – 210 Nicholas Thompson (T6) 70 – 211 Mike Barbosa (T15) 74 – 214 Roberto Castro (T21) 72 – 217 Kevin Larsen (T43) 77 – 223

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