May 26, 2009
Toledo, Ohio – Chesson Hadley shot a 1-over-par 72 Tuesday to pace Georgia Tech, while the Yellow Jackets posted a 17-over-par total of 301 and stand in a tie for 18th place after the first round of the NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship.
Tech, 10th-seeded in the championship and ranked No. 8 in the nation, is tied with Iowa and Southern California, 13 strokes off the lead of top-seed Oklahoma State and No. 6-seeded Georgia, each of whom covered the 7,255-yard, par 71 Inverness Club in 288 (+4).
The Jackets also counted a 74 from senior and Ben Hogan Award candidate Cameron Tringale (tied for 41st place) and a 76 from sophomore John-Tyler Griffin (tied for 75th). Senior David Dragoo and freshman James White each shot 79.
Head coach Bruce Heppler’s team lost eight shots to par just in the last four holes, including three bogeys from Griffin on 15, 16 and 18 and three from White at 15, 16 and 17.
“If we were at 13- or 14-over, we’d be in really good shape, but we made some bogeys coming in,” said Heppler. “We’ve got to play well twice, and hopefully we get some better conditions in the morning. (On the closing stretch) we made some mistakes and missed some putts. We’ve just got to play well all the way through.”
Chattanooga, the 20th seed who posted a 292 (+8) for the best score among those teams that teed off in the morning, holds third place. Washington and San Diego are tied for fourth at 293 (+9), while Arizona State, Ohio State and Tennessee share sixth place at 294 (+10).
Michigan (296) is in ninth place, while Arkansas and Duke (297) are tied for 10th. Texas A&M, one of Tech’s playing partners Tuesday, is tied for 12th place at 298 with Northwestern and Alabama. Illinois, Tech’s other playing partner Tuesday, is tied with TCU for 15th place at 299, followed by Central Florida (300) in 17th place.
Tech, along with the Aggies and the Illini, tee off at 8:07 a.m. Wednesday for the second round. The third and final round of stroke play begins early Thursday morning. Under the new championship format, the top eight teams after 54 holes will be seeded in a match-play bracket to determine the team champion. Those matches take place Friday and Saturday.
Hadley, a junior from Raleigh, N.C., struggled early Tuesday but found a rhythm with four birdies in a five-hole stretch beginning at No. 9. He is tied for 16th place individually with 12 other golfers, three shots off the lead.
Jonathan Bowers of Northwestern, Scott Langley of Illinois and Matt Hill of NC State (playing as an individual) paced the field Tuesday, each carding a 2-under-par 69. Five players are tied at 70, and seven others shot 71.
Neither of the leaders boasted an under-par score from an individual, but neither Oklahoma State nor Georgia counted a score above 73.