May 28, 2009
ATLANTA – David Dragoo fired a 3-under-par 68 in his final collegiate round in an effort to carry Georgia Tech, but the Yellow Jackets fell short of qualifying for match play Thursday, tying for 10th place after 54 holes at the NCAA Men’s Division I Golf Championship.
The 8th-ranked Yellow Jackets shot 4-over-par 288 Thursday to finish four shots out of eighth place. The top eight teams will be seeded in a match-play bracket, with the quarterfinals set to begin Friday morning.
Fifteen teams, the ones who began the day in 16th through 30th places, were still out on the course for their final rounds when Tech finished, but none were within likely within striking distance of the Jackets. The top eight teams advancing to match play are, in order, Oklahoma State (-3 for the championship), Arizona State (+10), Southern California (+13), Arkansas (+13), Washington (+13), Texas A&M (+17) and Georgia (+17).
TCU (+21) finished ninth, while Tech and Central Florida tied for 10th at +22 and Tennessee was 12th at +22. All had completed 54 holes. Chattanooga and Florida stood tied for 13th at +25 with more than half their rounds to play.
The Yellow Jackets drew within two shots of the Aggies and Bulldogs at one point in their back nine Thursday, but gave three shots back in the closing holes.
“We got it real close, but we just couldn’t get our putts to fall coming in,” said head coach Bruce Heppler. “I’m very proud of what David did today. That’s a tremendous way for him to finish his career here.
“The difference really was the first day when we had to count a 79. If we could have counted what we threw out yesterday and today, we might have made it. But it’s a difficult golf course, and we’re a better team now than we were last year at this time. They fought hard and did the best they could.”
Dragoo played his final eight holes in 3-under-par, recording six birdies and three bogeys in his final round as a Yellow Jacket. After shooting 79 Tuesday, he closed 72-68 and tied for 43rd place at 6-over 219, Tech’s second-low score.
Cameron Tringale, also playing his final round for Tech, shot 74 Thursday and finished at 215 (+2) for the championship, tied for 21st. John-Tyler Griffin (72) and James White (74) also counted for the Yellow Jackets Thursday, while Chesson Hadley stumbled on the back nine to a 76.
Matt Hill of NC State won the individual title fired his third straight 69 Thursday and won the individual NCAA title with a 6-under-par score of 207. Clemson’s Kyle Stanley’s 66 Thursday was the best individual round of the tournament and lifted him into second place at 209 (-4). Both players competed as individuals after their teams failed to advance to the championship.
Oklahoma State earned the top spot by never counting a score over 73 for three days. Rickie Fowler led the Cowboys with a 68 Thursday and finished in a tie for third at 3-under 210. Southern California, who stood near the bottom of the field after 18 holes, made the biggest move over the last two rounds by shooting 281-279 (-8 combined) and finished third. Texas A&M (+11 Thursday) and Georgia (+12 Thursday), the second- and third-place teams after 36 holes, shot the highest scores of the day but hung on.