Feb. 20, 2010
ATLANTA – Hoping to maintain the momentum of a strong finish in Hawai’i, Georgia Tech’s golf team heads to Puerto Rico this weekend along with five other members of the nation’s top 25 to play in the annual Puerto Rico Classic.
The 54-hole event begins Sunday and runs through Tuesday at the Rio Mar Country Club in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico. The 15-team field includes top-ranked Oklahoma State, No. 3 Texas, No. 17 Georgia, No. 20 Alabama and No. 25 Clemson, as well as East Tennessee State, Kent State, Michigan, Northwestern, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Purdue, UNC Greensboro and Virginia Tech.
The Yellow Jackets, ranked 10th in the latest Golfstat rankings and No. 19 in the Golfweek Sagarin/Performance Index, are playing in this event for the 18th time, having won it four times, most recently in 2002.
Head coach Bruce Heppler watched his unit start slowly in the Mauna Lani Invitational two weeks ago, but rally to finish sixth our of 22 teams with a final-round score of 6-under-par 282. Three Yellow Jackets, James White, Kyle Scott and John-Tyler Griffin, finished in the top 10 individually.
“The way we finished in Hawai’i was very encouraging, and hopefully we can carry that over to Puerto Rico,” said head coach Bruce Heppler. “We’re looking forward to getting out on the course again and see what we can do.”
White, a sophomore from Acworth, Ga., shot a closing 67, and Scott, a junior from Johannesburg, South Africa, posted a 70 as both players tallied a 1-under-par tournament score of 215. Griffin, a junior from Wilson, N.C., had two rounds of par of better in posting a 1-over-par 217.
Griffin has finished in the top 10 in four of five events this year, scoring par or better in 11 of 13 rounds. Ranked 15th in the nation among individuals in the Golfweek/Sagarin Index, he leads the Yellow Jackets in scoring average at 70.69. White has three top-20 finishes in four events and has averaged 71.43 over 10 rounds, and has the team’s best final-round scoring average at 70.25. Scott has three top-10 finishes and a 72.00 scoring average.
Those three will anchor the Tech travel team in Puerto Rico, which also includes Paul Haley, a junior from Dallas, Texas, with one top-20 finish in four events this year, and William Miller, a sophomore from Venetia, Pa., who qualified for his first event of the year.