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Georgia Tech Practice Round Quotes

GEORGIA TECH GOLF PRESS CONFERENCE QUOTES – May 26, 2003

Monday Practice Round Comments

HEAD COACH Bruce Heppler

(On finishing second a year ago and its impact on this season) “Obviously we were disappointed last year. We had the lead through three rounds and we shot even par on the final day, which I thought would be good enough on a tough golf course, but Minnesota put together a great round and ran us down. I think we did all that we could do and in this game that’s what it’s all about. It’s not like if you see a guy from another team having a good round you can go over and tackle him or something, you can only control what you do.”

(On his 2003 team) “This is a different team than we’ve had in the past. We had to start over a little bit with losing two seniors in Matt Weibring and Kris Mikkelsen. Some of our guys remember last year, like Troy (Matteson), Nick (Thompson) and Chan (Wongluekiet), but for the other two guys it was more about just getting here more than anything and learning throughout the year.”

(On playing in the national finals) “You just have to hang in there. It’s a long week on a difficult golf course. The goal is to have five guys playing well all at the same time, but that’s not going to be the case very often. I look at it more of keeping everyone in the right mindset to have them feel like at some point during the week, whether it’s eight holes of 30 holes into the tournament, they can make a difference for the team.”

(On having Troy Matteson back as NCAA Individual Champion) “I don’t think that there is any pressure on him to repeat this year. For Troy it’s more of a confidence thing. He’s a little different than some of the guys out here in that he knows that he can do it if he just takes care of his business and stays patient throughout the week.”

(On his experience as an assistant coach at Oklahoma State) “I think I learned a lot about coaching and what it takes to be successful here at the national championship. The biggest thing is to try and not have this week be a big deal to the guys and to try to get them to treat it like every other tournament. I also learned a lot about working hard at everything. Probably one of the biggest things was that I saw the vision you need to have to get what your program doesn’t have or may need. I’ve put that to use at Georgia Tech in working to improve our facilities since arriving there.”

(On knowing the Karsten Creek Golf Club layout) “I hope it will give us a little bit of an advantage. The biggest thing that it may do is make the guys buy into what I’m telling them out there and say ‘maybe ole’ coach does know what he’s talking about here.’ I’ve been around the course thousands of times and even if it makes the guys believe that they have an advantage this week of some kind, that could be helpful.”

DEFENDING NCAA CHAMPION Troy Matteson

(On his play entering the national championship) “I’m playing well right now. I did well last week at a U.S. Open qualifier and obviously I played well at the regional the week before that in winning that tournament. This is one of the hardest we’ll play in college golf and I think this is the U.S. Open of college golf so the course should be set up difficulty.”

(On drawing from the experience of winning the NCAAs a year ago) “I think it’s something that you can take into any year and draw from it. I know that if I keep working hard and hang in there all week, no matter what happens, you will have a chance to win the tournament. There’s no doubt that if you’re here, you have a shot to win it.”

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