June 4, 2005
Owings Mills, Md. – Nicholas Thompson shot a one-under-par 69, and Georgia Tech got a trio of 71s from Roberto Castro, Chan Song and Mike Barbosa, but the Yellow Jackets were unable to make up any ground on Georgia Saturday and finished second to the Bulldogs at the NCAA Golf Championship at Caves Valley Golf Club.
Tech, the nation’s third-ranked team, posted a two-over-par score of 282 for the round and finished 11 shots behind second-ranked Georgia, which held firm with an even-par round of 280. Washington (four-under-par 276) and Brigham Young (five-under-par 275) posted the day’s best team scores and finished third and fourth, while New Mexico (two-under 278) finished fifth.
This week, head coach Bruce Heppler’s team was unable to overcome a great first round by the Bulldogs, who started Wednesday with a six-under-par 274 and led wire-to-wire. The Jackets shaved five shots off the lead in the next two rounds, but could get no closer on Saturday. It was Georgia’s second national title since 1999.
“They (Georgia) played very well, and we had a good round ourselves,” said Heppler. “But we couldn’t really get anything going early and put any pressure on them. They had a lead, and they’ve got five good players, and they’re well coached, and they just went out and played well. We couldn’t catch them.
“They just got away the first day. They shoot six-under-par, and we shoot eight-over, and that’s where they won the golf tournament. They beat everybody the first day, and then they played solidly the rest of the weekend. It’s a great golf course, and you have to play all the way around.”
With his 71 Saturday, Castro finished in third place individually at one-under-par 279, three shots behind James Lepp of Washington and Michael Putnam of Pepperdone (four-under 276 each). Lepp won medalist honors in a three-hole playoff.
Thompson, Barbosa and Song all finished at 10-over-par 290, tying for 27th place.
It is the fourth runner-up finish in the history of the Tech golf program, and the third since 2000. It is also the fifth time in the last six years that the Yellow Jackets have finished fifth or higher. Castro’s third-place finish is the best for a Tech golfer since 2002, when Troy Matteson won the national title.
NCAA DIVISION I GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP Caves Valley Golf Club, Owings Mills, Md. Final Results
TOP FIVE TEAMS Georgia 280 – 1135 (+15) Georgia Tech 282 – 1146 Washington 276 – 1153 Brigham Young 275 – 1154 New Mexico 278 – 1158
INDIVIDUAL LEADERS James Lepp, Washington* 63 – 276 (-4) Michael Putnam 69 – 276 (-4) Roberto Castro 71 – 279 (-1) *won playoff on third hole for medalist honors