July 9, 2007
ATLANTA – As head coach Bruce Heppler continues to formulate Georgia Tech’s 2007-08 golf schedule, dates and fields for the two events that the Yellow Jackets host have been locked in.
The Carpet Capital Collegiate, held at The Farm Golf Club in Rocky Face, Ga., near Dalton, is set for Sept. 14-16. The field includes Atlantic Coast Conference teams Clemson, Duke, NC State and Wake Forest, as well as Southeastern Conference members Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee and Vanderbilt. Also in the field at Augusta State, Georgia State, East Tennessee State, TCU and Texas Tech.
This field includes six teams, including the Yellow Jackets, that finished in the top 15 at the 2007 NCAA Championship and 10 of the 25 teams in the final 2007 Golfweek/Sagarin rankings.
The dates for the third United States Collegiate Championship, held at The Golf Club of Georgia in Alpharetta, have been moved from the traditional spot following the Masters to Mar. 24-26. The field boasts eight teams in the Top 10 on Golf World’s 2007-08 preseason rankings, 13 of the top 19 finishers in the 2007 NCAA Finals and eight of the top 11 teams on the final 2007 Golfweek/Sagarin rankings.
New teams for 2008 include Stanford, Charlotte, Coastal Carolina and Texas A&M, which are all projected in the national top 10. Defending champion Georgia, host Georgia Tech, UCLA, Southern Cal, Oklahoma State, Texas, Georgia State, Alabama, Florida State, East Tennessee State and BYU return from 2007.
CINK, KUCHAR IN BRITISH OPEN FIELD
Stewart Cink and Matt Kuchar are the only two Georgia Tech alumni in the field for next week’s Open Championship at Carnoustie in Scotland. Cink is exempt into the field because of his standing in the top 50 of the Official World Golf Ranking and because he was a member of the United States Ryder Cup team in 2006. David Duval also is exempt as the 2001 Open champion, but will not play as he continues to remain at home in Denver with his wife, who is expecting their second child.
Cink has played in the Open every year since 1998, posting his best finish (tie for 14th) and low score (1-under-par 283) in 2004 at Royal Troon. He has missed the cut three times, including the 1999 Open at Carnoustie.
Kuchar made the field by tying for fourth place the recent international qualifier held at Oakland Hills Country Club, firing rounds of 75-64. It will be the third Open appearance for Kuchar, who tied for 84th in 2002 and 109th in 1998, when he made the field as the U.S. Amateur champion.
KUCHAR, MATTESON IN GOOD SHAPE TO KEEP CARDS
Matt Kuchar and Troy Matteson, whose 2006 performance in the Nationwide Your enabled them to gain exempt status on the PGA Tour this year, are in good shape to keep their cards for 2008.
Stewart Cink has put together another solid year with four top-10 finishes in 16 events and stands 29th on the current PGA Tour earnings list with $1,572,325. He ranks 29th in FedEx Cup points.
Kuchar, with two top-10s in 17 events this year, ranks 78th in earnings ($785,776) and 70th in FedEx Cup points. Matteson has one top-10 finish, stands 80th in earnings ($766,788) and 72nd in FedEx Cup points. Each player has won once on the tour, Kuchar at the Honda Classic in 2002 and Matteson at last year’s Frys.com Open.
Nicholas Thompson, with a victory early this year at the HSBC New Zealand PGA Championship, is poised to regain his card for 2008. The 2005 Tech graduate stands fourth on the Nationwide Tour money list with $243,827 in 17 events.
CINK IN LINE FOR PRESIDENTS CUP TEAM
Stewart Cink currently ranks ninth in points accumulated to be included on the United States team for this year’s Presidents Cup, but the last five spots are up for grabs. Several players still have the ability to earn the necessary points, which are based on earnings over the last two years, but weighted more heavily toward 2007 money.
The top 10 in points will automatically be included on the U.S. team for the matches between the United States and the International team Sept. 27-30 at Royal Montreal Golf Club in Quebec. The current top five in points includes Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk, Phil Mickelson, Zach Johnson and Charles Howell III. David Toms, Scott Verplank, Steve Stricker, Cink and Rollins rank 6-10. Only two million points separate the seventh and 20th-ranked players.
Cink has represented the United States in the Presidents Cup twice (2000, 2005), as well as three Ryder Cups (2002, 2004, 2006) and two WGC-World Cups (2005, 2006).
AMATEUR CIRCUIT NOTES
Rising sophomore Chesson Hadley, who finished the spring with top-10 finishes at the ACC Championship, NCAA East Regional and NCAA Championship, has continued his rise to prominence over the summer. The Raleigh, N.C., native recently finished sixth at the Dogwood Invitational in Atlanta, then tied for eighth in stroke play and reached the third round of match play at the North and South Amateur Championship in Pinehurst, N.C.
Hadley also tied for 17th place at the Northeast Amateur, where 2000 Tech graduate Carlton Forrester turned in a fourth-place finish as the defending champion. Forrester has reached the finals and the semifinals of the U.S. Mid-Amateur the last two years.
Cameron Tringale, a two-time All-America at Tech, finished second by four shots to Dustin Johnson at the Monroe Invitational, posting a 7-under-par 273. He also tied for 27th at the Sunnehanna Amateur, while Forrester tied for 36th.
Other Yellow Jackets have had their moments. Rising junior Adam Cohan was in contention after 54 holes at last weekend’s Rice Planters Amateur at Mt. Pleasant, S.C., moving within three shots of the lead at 8-under-par after posting rounds of 72-69-67. But his final round 76 dropped him into a tie for 16th.
David Dragoo, another rising junior, tied for 19th at the Memorial Amateur in Carmichael, Calif., and missed a playoff by one shot at the Western Amateur in Yuma, Ariz. Daniel Bowden, a rising sophomore from Easley, S.C., finished 11th at the Southeastern Amateur in Columbus, Ga., while Cohan was 32nd and red-shirt freshman Paul Haley and 1962 graduate Bill Ploeger tied for 35th.