ATLANTA (Feb. 24) — Georgia Tech’s top-ranked golf team will travel to participate in the Puerto Rico Classic Sunday-Tuesday at the Rio Mar Country Club Resort Ocean Course (6,782 yards, par 72) and the River Course (6,945 yards, par 72). The team is coming off of a victory at the Waikoloa Intercollegiate last weekend, which was the squad’s second of the year.
“We are looking forward to playing in Rio Mar and have been second there the last two years,” said fifth-year head coach Bruce Heppler, whose team also won the Carpet Capital Collegiate this year. “We will now start to see teams we will face the rest of the season after having a West Coast dominated field last weekend. We went out there with the intent to start winning, and the guys prepared for it all winter. We finished with a team total of 31-under-par last year and finished second in Puerto Rico. So we will have to be ready to tee it up.”
In the field will be defending Puerto Rico Classic champion Clemson, Colorado, Duke, East Tennessee State, Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Kent, Minnesota, North Carolina, NC State, Northwestern, Purdue, Virginia and Wake Forest.
Tech will qualify its team with two rounds at the Golf Club of Georgia, but no two players may be hotter right now than the dynamic duo of senior Matt Kuchar (Lake Mary, Fla.) and junior Bryce Molder (Conway, Ark.). The pair finished as co-medalists at the Waikoloa at six-under-par. Kuchar has won two events in a row after capturing the Savane College All-America Classic last November. He leads Tech with a 70.13 stroke average and is ranked fifth in the Golfweek computer ranking. He now has seven career wins at Tech and is just one behind former four-time all-America David Duval for the most in Institute history. Molder registered his fourth career win and second this year, and is currently ranked second in the Golfweek ranking. He owns a 70.41 stroke average.
Tech will be looking for its No. 3-5 players step up as the season progresses. Senior Carlton Forrester (Gainesville, Ga.) finished in a tie for 19th at Waikoloa and is averaging 73.27 strokes per round this year. Redshirt-freshman Troy Matteson (Austin, Texas) placed in tie for 39th at Waikoloa after finishing eight-over par, and he has two top-20 finishes in five tournaments this year with a 73.28 stroke average. Junior Wes Latimer (Woodstock, Ga.) finished in a tie for 44th at Waikoloa, but lowered his stroke to 75.60 in just his second tournament of the year.