Nov. 2, 2005
ATLANTA – Boasting two of the top 10 players in the nation and facing a field that includes nine of the nation’s top 25 teams, Georgia Tech’s third-ranked golf team goes in search of its second win of the fall this weekend at the Carpet Capital Collegiate in Rocky Face, Ga.
The 54-hole event, which is hosted by Tech and is being played for the 16th time this fall, attracts many of the nation’s top college programs and annually has one of the nation’s toughest fields on one of the most challenging golf courses that host college events.
The Carpet Capital Collegiate is played at The Farm, the 6,896-yard, par-72 course designed by Tom Fazio, just outside the city of Dalton. The tournament takes its name from the city, which is home to some of the largest carpet manufacturers in the world. The Farm has been recognized by Golf Magazine as one of the nation’s premier new facilities.
Results from Friday’s round will be posted by late afternoon at Golfstat.com. Live scoring for the event can be followed Saturday and Sunday at the same site.
“Many of the coaches who have participated in previous events feel it is the best regular season event in college golf,” said Tech head coach Heppler. “With the excellent ACC and SEC teams in the tournament, outcome plays a significant role in which teams are selected for postseason competition.”
Georgia Tech has won the event six times, including three in a row most recently between 1999 and 2001, and has been the runner-up five other times. Georgia, the nation’s top-ranked team in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index, is the defending champion, headlining a field that also includes No. 4 Tennessee, No. 5 Florida, No. 7 Duke, No. 14 Georgia State, No. 16 South Carolina, No. 20 East Tennessee State and No. 22 Auburn. Rounding out the field are Alabama, Augusta State, Clemson, Georgia Southern, NC State, Oklahoma, TCU, Texas Tech and Vanderbilt.
This is the fourth of five fall events for the Yellow Jackets, who have a win (Jerry Pate National Collegiate), a second (Golfweek Preview) and a third-place finish (Isleworth-UCF Invitational) in their three previous events. Juniors Roberto Castro, a first-team all-American in 2005, and Kevin Larsen rank No. 8 and 9 in the Sagarin ratings, and are tied for the team lead in scoring at 71.00 for the fall.
“We had a little more time to get ready for this one,” said Heppler. “We were okay at Isleworth, but not as sharp as we needed to be. This is our tournament, on a great golf course, but we haven’t won there in a while (2001), so we want to do well.”
Also on the travel squad for this event are senior Mike Barbosa of St. Petersburg, Fla., and freshmen Cameron Tringale (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) and David Dragoo (Scottsdale, Ariz.). Tringale has a top-10 finish to his credit at the Jerry Pate event, and Dragoo is making his first start for the Yellow Jackets.
The original idea for the Carpet Capital Collegiate, conceived by former Tech coach Puggy Blackmon and born with the help of many Tech alumni in the Dalton area, was to pit the six best teams each from the Atlantic Coast Conference and the Southeastern Conference, with the winner laying claim to being the best golf conference.