Sept. 12, 2008
ATLANTA – Led by David Dragoo’s even-par 72 Friday, Georgia Tech shot an 11-over-par 299 and stood in a tie for 12th place after the first round of the Carpet Capital Collegiate in Rocky Face, Ga.
Despite not recording a score under par, the 10th-ranked Yellow Jackets are just 12 shots behind leader East Tennessee State (1-under 287) in a tightly bunched field that includes 15 of the nation’s top 30 teams. Tech counted a 75 from All-American Cameron Tringale and a pair of 76s from senior Taylor Hall and red-shirt freshman William Miller at The Farm (par 72).
“There’s a little bit of rough here, and the course is in championship condition,” said Tech coach Bruce Heppler, who had coached the Jackets to two titles in this event. “We didn’t have a round under par, but we’re not that far behind. If we can shoot the low round of the day, we can pass a lot of people. We just need to play 36 good holes.”
Dragoo, who won his spot in the lineup in a playoff at the end of 108 holes of team qualifying, added another solid round to his resume despite falling to 3-over-par early in the day. Since last spring’s Augusta State Invitational, the senior from Scottsdale, Ariz., has averaged 73.78 strokes over nine rounds. He has been even par in his last three rounds at The Farm.
Miller, making his debut for Tech after red-shirting last year, played solidly save for one triple-bogey and one double-bogey.
“David started slowly,” said Heppler of Dragoo, who is four shots off the individual lead in a tie for 14th place. “But he birdied 15 and 16 and finished well. Will was close to having a great round.”
The Buccaneers are two shots clear of Central Florida (1-over 289) and three ahead of Mississippi (2-over 290). Clemson and Chattanooga are tied for fourth at 3-over par, followed by South Carolina and Tennessee at 6-over. Alabama (7-over) Wake Forest and Auburn (both 8-over) round out the top 10.
Tech is in a four-way tie with top-ranked Georgia, Mississippi State and Alabama-Birmingham.
Round two begins at 9:15 a.m. Saturday for Tech.
CARPET CAPITAL COLLEGIATEThe Farm, Rocky Face, Ga.First-Round Results
TEAM STANDINGS 1 East Tennessee St. 287 -1 2 UCF 289 +1 3 Mississippi, U. of 290 +2 T4 Clemson 291 +3 T4 Tennessee-Chattanooga 291 +3 T6 South Carolina 294 +6 T6 Tennessee, Univ. of 294 +6 8 Alabama, U. of 295 +7 T9 Wake Forest Univ. 296 +8 T9 Auburn 296 +8 11 Texas Tech 298 +10 T12 Georgia 299 +11 T12 Mississippi St. U. 299 +11 T12 Georgia Tech 299 +11 T12 UAB 299 +11 16 North Carolina 300 +12 17 Florida, U of 304 +16 18 Georgia State Univ. 308 +20
INDIVIDUAL LEADERS 1 Blayne Barber UCF 68 -4 T2 Jesse Speirs Mississippi, U. of 69 -3 T2 Sam Saunders Clemson 69 -3 T2 Glenn Northcutt Auburn 69 -3 T2 Chris Paisley Tennessee, Univ. of 69 -3 T6 Stephan Jaeger Tennessee-Chattanooga 70 -2 T6 Zach Sucher UAB 70 -2 T6 Jordan Findlay East Tennessee St. 70 -2 T9 Jonathan Hodge Tennessee-Chattanooga 71 -1 T9 Greg Forest UCF 71 -1 T9 Dustin Groves Wake Forest Univ. 71 -1 T9 Matt Hughes Alabama, U. of 71 -1 T9 Paul O’Kane East Tennessee St. 71 -1