May 20, 2004
ATLANTA – Nick Thompson and Chan Wongluekiet each shot two-over-par 72 Thursday to lead Georgia Tech, and the sixth-ranked Yellow Jackets posted a team score of 11-over-par 291 and are in sixth place following the first round of the NCAA East Regional golf tournament in New Haven, Conn.
The tournament is being played at The Course at Yale, which plays to a par of 70 and measures 6,749 yards. The top 10 finishers among the 27 teams after 54 holes will advance to the NCAA Championship June 1-4 in Hot Springs, Va. Tech is the fourth seed in the event, which also includes the nation’s top three teams in Florida, Clemson and Georgia.
The Yellow Jackets are just five shots off the pace of the top-ranked Gators, who posted a six-over-par score of 286. No. 3 Georgia is one stroke back at 287, and Georgia State, the 12th seed, is tied for third with No. 2 Clemson at eight-over-par 288. Penn State, the leader in the clubhouse after the morning wave at 10-over-par 290, saw that score finish the day as the fifth-best.
Tech, playing in the afternoon wave and starting on the 10th hole at The Course at Yale, played the back nine holes (its first nine, par 36) in one over par, but found the front nine much tougher. Though the front nine has a par of 34, the Jackets were 10 over coming in. South Carolina and Augusta State, the teams with whom Tech was paired in the afternoon, are tied for 15th (299) and tied for 19th (304), respectively.
“We played the back (Tech’s first) nine fairly well,” said Tech coach Bruce Heppler. “But the wind made things very difficult on the front. We’re not in bad shape, though. We get to play in the morning [Friday].”
Thompson, a junior from Coral Springs, Fla., and Wongluekiet, a junior from Bradenton, Fla., are tied for 19th individually. They each played the first nine in two-under-par 34, but played the second nine in four-over-par 38 en route to their 72s for the round. Wongluekiet began his second nine with four straight bogeys before steadying himself.
Mike Barbosa, a sophomore from St. Petersburg, Fla., played the second nine better than any of his teammates, going level par for an 18-hole score of 73, three over par and tied for 29th. Freshman Roberto Castro (Alpharetta, Ga.) shot 74 for the fourth Tech counting score and is tied for 41st, and freshman Kevin Larsen struggled to an 80.
Bill Haas of Wake Forest, the nation’s No. 1-ranked player, and Kenneth Fahey of Rhode Island shot the day’s best scores of three-under-par 67. Camilo Villegas of Florida and Billy Hurley of Navy, playing as an individual, are a shot back at 68. Richard Scott of Georgia and Nathan Smith of Duke are in a tie for fifth at 69.
Tech, along with South Carolina and Augusta State, will begin Friday’s second round from the first tee at 7:30 a.m.
NCAA EAST REGIONAL GOLF TOURNAMENT
The Course at Yale, New Haven, Conn.
Par 70 – 6,749 yards
First Round Results
Florida 286 (+6) Georgia 287 (+7) Clemson 288 (+8) Georgia State 288 (+8) Penn State 290 (+10) Georgia Tech 291 (+11) Rhode Island 292 (+12) Ala.-Birmingham 294 (+14) North Carolina 294 (+14) Duke 294 (+14) Auburn 294 (+14) Wake Forest 296 (+16) Tennessee 297 (+17) NC State 299 (+19) South Carolina 299 (+19) Vanderbilt 299 (+19) Georgia Southern 302 (+22) Louisiana State 304 (+24) Augusta State 304 (+24) Georgetown 304 (+24) Maryland 306 (+26) Jacksonville State 306 (+26) Towson 310 (+30) Army 310 (+30) Yale 311 (+31) Binghamton 312 (+31) LIU-Brooklyn 321 (+41)
Kenneth Fahey, Rhode Island 67 (-3) Bill Haas, Wake Forest 67 (-3) Billy Hurley, Navy 68 (-2) Camilo Villegas, Florida 68 (-2) Richard Scott, Georgia 69 (-1) Nathan Smith, Duke 69 (-1) Brent Delahoussaye, Clemson 70 (E) Stuart Moore, Auburn 70 (E) Stephen Poole, Clemson 70 (E) David Skinns, Tennessee 70 (E) Ryan Thomas, Ala.-Birmingham 70 (E)
GEORGIA TECH SCORES