Tech Golfers Tee it up in Las Vegas

March 8, 2007

Tampa, Fla. – With senior Roberto Castro coming off his first career tournament title, Georgia Tech goes in search of its first tournament win of the year beginning Friday at the Southern Highlands Collegiate Championship in Las Vegas, Nev.

The 54-hole event runs through Sunday at the Southern Highlands Golf Club, a 7,510-yard, par 72 layout, which is hosting 15 teams all ranked among the top 41 teams in the nation according to the latest Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index.

The Yellow Jackets, who have won this event twice in the last seven years, are ranked 17th in the nation currently, and are joined in the field by No. 2 Florida, No. 3 Georgia, No. 4 Oklahoma State, No. 7 Clemson and No. 8 UNLV, the host school. Also in the field are No. 13 UCLA, No. 16 Texas A&M and No. 19 Wake Forest, making this the toughest field Tech will face this spring.

“We’ve been playing better in the two tournaments this spring, and this is a great opportunity for us to compete against a lot of great teams on a great golf course,” said head coach Bruce Heppler.

Tech has not contended for a team title this year, posting a fourth-place finish at the UH-Hilo Invitational and a tie for third in the fall Carpet Capital Collegiate for its best efforts. But Castro and teammate Cameron Tringale have begun the spring with some excellent play and four top-20 finishes between them in two events.

Castro, from Alpharetta, Ga., has finished in the top five in three straight events dating back to the Isleworth-UCF Collegiate (a tie for fourth place) that concluded the fall schedule. The senior All-American tied for second at the UH-Hilo event before breaking through at the Puerto Rico Classic two weeks ago. Castro won co-medalist honors after carding a seven-under-par score of 209, and carries a team-best stroke average of 71.22 to Las Vegas.

Tringale, a sophomore from Laguna Niguel, Calif., who won twice as a freshman, tied for fifth at the Hilo tournament and tied for 17th at Puerto Rico, compiling a 69.33 stroke average in his first two spring events.

The rest of Tech’s travel squad to Las Vegas will be senior Kevin Larsen (Santa Barbara, Calif.), sophomore Taylor Hall (LaGrange, Ga.), and freshman Chesson Hadley (Raleigh, N.C.).

Hadley has played in both spring events (70.83 stroke average), tying for 18th at Hilo and 36th at Puerto Rico. Larsen tied for 39th at Puerto Rico and has averaged 72.33 in two spring events. Hall, who averaged 74.08 in four fall events, is making his first spring appearance after winning the last spot in a playoff in the Yellow Jackets team qualifier.

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