Oct. 18, 2007
ATLANTA – Looking to build upon an impressive beginning to the fall season, Georgia Tech’s golf team goes in search of its first tournament title of the year at the fourth annual Isleworth-UCF Collegiate Invitational, beginning Sunday at Isleworth Golf and Country Club in Windermere, Fla.
Sixteen of the 18 teams in the tournament, a 54-hole event that concludes Tuesday, participated in the NCAA Championship last spring. At No. 3 in the nation in the latest Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index, Georgia Tech is the highest-ranked team in the field, followed by No. 4 Georgia, No. 5 Oklahoma State, No. 6 Florida State, No. 8 and defending NCAA Champion Stanford and No. 9 Southern California.
Tech has played in all three Isleworth Invitationals, finishing 12th last year after posting third-place performances the first two years. Last year, Texas won the event by 12 strokes with a team score of 876 (+12).
Click here for results, tee times and live scoring.
The Yellow Jackets have finished third in each of its two events this fall, missing a share of the Carpet Capital Collegiate title by one stroke in September, then placing a pair of players in the top 10 on the way to a third-place showing at the Brickyard Collegiate a week ago.
“It’s been a very positive fall thus far,” said head coach Bruce Heppler. “Some guys who haven’t played a lot before have done a terrific job as a group. This will be a really nice test, because it’s a great field and a great golf course, and we’re really looking forward to it.”
Chesson Hadley, a sophomore from Raleigh, N.C., is the nation’s No. 2-ranked player in the latest Golfweek/Sagarin ratings. The 2007 honorable mention All-American has continued his strong finish to last spring by winning the Carpet Capital Collegiate and placing sixth at the Brickyard. On a streak of five straight top-10 showings, Hadley has a 69.33 stroke average and is a collective 16-under-par for six rounds.
He’ll lead a group that includes All-American Cameron Tringale, junior Taylor Hall and red-shirt freshmen Paul Haley and John Tyler Griffin. Griffin is making his first start as a member of Tech’s travel squad after competing as an individual at the Brickyard (tie for 49th place).
Tringale, a junior from Laguna Niguel, Calif., finished two strokes out of the lead (10-under-par 206), finishing second at the Brickyard after a poor start to the fall at the Carpet Capital Collegiate. Hall, from LaGrange, Ga., tied for 14th at the Brickyard (2-under 214) in his first top-20 performance since his freshman year, and has played extremely well in Tech’s qualifying rounds. Haley, from Dallas, Texas, tied for 23rd at the Carpet Capital and 39th at the Brickyard.
Seven of the squads that will participate in the tournament finished in the top 15 at the NCAA Championship in the spring. Georgia ended the event in second and Georgia Tech finished eighth. South Carolina (T-11), Texas (T-11), Florida State (T-13) and Oklahoma State (15) were all among the top finishers at the national championship.
Originally designed by Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay, with a re-design by Steve Smyers in 2003, Isleworth is a par-72, 7,544-yard course.
“There’s a good chance the wind will blow, which makes the course even linger, firmer and more difficult,” said Heppler. “So you need five guys to hang in there and not be discouraged by the course and the conditions. You tend to not make a lot of big numbers, but you don’t get very many birdies.”
Information on the tournament can be found at www.isleworthcollegiate.com. Available for players, coaches, sponsors and spectators, the site features tournament history, leaderboards, an interactive team map, course layout, spectator information and news stories.
The full Isleworth-UCF Collegiate Invitational Field (with current Golfweek/Sagarin ranking): Arizona (nr), Arizona State (40), UCF (44), Clemson (34), East Tennessee State (42), Florida State (6), Georgia (4), Georgia Tech (3), Illinois (nr), Kentucky (nr), Oklahoma State (5), Southern California (9), SMU (nr), South Carolina (19), Stanford (8), Texas (45), Texas A&M (11), Wake Forest (17).
TECH SENDS GROUP TO CHARLESTON
While Georgia Tech’s main quintent is battling the Isleworth Golf and Country Club course next week, three other Yellow Jackets will be competing at the Charleston Southern Fall Invitational, Oct. 22-23, at the Crowfield Country Club, Goose Creek, S.C.
Juniors David Dragoo and Adam Cohan, and sophomore Daniel Bowden, are competing as individuals. Dragoo, from Scottadale, Ariz., was part of Tech’s travel squad for both previous tournaments this fall, but missed the cut for Isleworth this week. He tied for 28th at the Carpet Capital Collegiate and 21st at the Brickyard. Cohan, from Wayne, Pa., and Bowden, from Easley, S.C., both played as individuals at the Brickyard, tying for 32nd and 34th, respectively.