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Golf Team to Spend Spring Break in California

March 17, 2006

ATLANTA – It’s a junket that would make any golfer envious, a week-long golf excursion to the Monterrey Peninsula in California. That’s exactly how Georgia Tech’s golf team will spend its spring break, which begins Monday.

Adding to an impressive list of golf courses played this year, the Yellow Jackets are set to spend their break playing at some of the nation’s top-rated golf courses in the area and end the trip with a dual match against the University of the Pacific.

On the itinerary are 18 holes at Cypress Point (Monday), the rated No. 1 in Golfweek magazine’s list of top classic courses in the United States; Pebble Beach Golf Links (Wednesday), rated No. 5 on the classic list; the Monterrey Peninsula Club (Tuesday), ranked No. 41 on the list of modern courses; and The Preserve (Thursday), ranked No. 60 among modern courses.

Friday’s match against Pacific, where former Tech assistant coach Brandon Goethals is in his first year as the head coach, will take place at Pasatiempo Golf Club in Santa Cruz, which is rated No. 33 in Golfweek’s list of classic courses.

The competition date became available for Tech when the second round of the Isleworth-UCF Collegiate Invitational was rained out in the fall, and head coach Bruce Heppler decided to make a week of it with his players, all eight of them. It will be a homecoming of sorts for two members of the team, junior Kevin Larsen of Santa Barbara and freshman Cameron Tringale of Laguna Niguel.

“We wanted to help Brandon out with his program,” said Heppler, whose team’s next tournament is not until April 3-4. “The rules are that if you go somewhere on spring break, you have to have a competition to play as part of it, so it worked out. We couldn’t find a tournament to play in, so we made sure with compliance that we could do this. We also wanted to do something to stay competitive.

“We have lots of good friends who are being very nice to us (in helping the Yellow Jackets play the other golf courses). It’s a credit to the folks who have gone to school at Georgia Tech, and there are a lot of good people.”

Already this year, Tech’s players have made their annual trip to Augusta National Golf Club, No. 3 among classic courses, and played at the Golf Club at Cuscowilla in Greensboro, Ga., rated No. 14 among modern courses, and Southern Highlands Golf Club in Las Vegas, rated No. 84 among modern courses and the site of the Southern Highlands Collegiate last week.

Tech has regular playing privileges at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, the No. 48-ranked classic course in Golfweek’s survey. The Yellow Jackets also played at the Crosswater Golf Club (No. 70 among modern courses) at Sunriver Resort in Oregon for the Ping/Golfweek Preview last fall, and hope to return there for the NCAA Championship in June.

The competition with Pacific will include all eight Tech players in single matches, worth one point each, against players from Goethals’ team. The Yellow Jackets have played other matches like this in recent years, including a tri-match against Brigham Young and Washington in a trip to the Bandon Dunes Resort in Oregon last year.

Tech remains No. 4 in the nation in the latest Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index and the Golf Coaches Association poll. All-American Roberto Castro, a junior from Alpharetta, Ga., is ranked 13th among individuals in the Golfweek/Sagarin Index, Larsen is ranked 15th, and Tringale is No. 41.

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