Oct. 6, 2007
ATLANTA – Coming off a strong fall debut in which is finished one-shot out of the lead and had the individual medalist, Georgia Tech’s golf team prepares for its second outing at the inaugural Brickyard Collegiate beginning Sunday in Macon, Ga.
The first Brickyard event attracted the Yellow Jackets as well as top-20 teams Clemson, Georgia and South Carolina to join host Mercer, 2007 NCAA regional participants Eastern Michigan and Hartford, as well as Akron, Furman, Gonzaga, Kennesaw State, Middle Tennessee State and Troy.
It will be the largest event of its kind held at The Brickyard at Riverside, which re-opened on June 27, 2005. Mark McCumber re-designed the course, which now features a par-72, 7,128-yard layout. In 2007, Golf Digest ranked the course No. 12 in the state of Georgia.
The tournament opens Saturday with a practice round, and the 54-hole competition will begin Sunday morning and conclude Tuesday afternoon. The tournament is open to the public. Admission is free.
“The guys went down and played the course a couple of weeks ago,” said head coach Bruce Heppler. “It’s really challenging and in really good condition. The former coach at Mercer (now at UGA) had watched our tournament and tried to create the same thing in Macon to help their program. When the Preview went to two days, we called and asked if we could get in.
“It’s during fall break, and we don’t miss any class, and close enough for people top come and watch. Everybody on our team is going to play, either for our team or as individuals, and everyone can get a tournament under their belts.”
Heppler watched his team, currently ranked No. 3 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Index, come up one stroke short after a furious rally on the final day at the Carpet Capital Collegiate in mid-September. Sophomore All-American Chesson Hadley (Raleigh, N.C.), ranked No. 1 in the Sagarin ratings, captured the individual title by three shots for his first collegiate victory after posting scores of 65-69-74.
All five spots for Tech’s travel squad were up for grabs in team qualifying that began last weekend, but the same five players who finished third at the Carpet Capital Collegiate will count for Tech this week – Hadley, juniors David Dragoo, Cameron Tringale and Taylor Hall and red-shirt freshman Paul Haley. Junior Adam Cohan, sophomore Daniel Bowden and red-shirt freshman John Tyler Griffin will play as individuals. Freshman William Miller, who is recovering from mononucleosis, will not play. Heppler is hopeful he will be able to qualify for Tech’s next event at Isleworth in two weeks.