May 19, 2007
Alpharetta, Ga. – Taylor Hall fired a 3-under-par 69, and Chesson Hadley added a 1-under 71 to pace Georgia Tech Saturday, and the 10th-ranked Yellow Jackets finished in a three-way tie for second place at the NCAA East Regional golf tournament at The Golf Club of Georgia.
Top-ranked Georgia posted a 7-under-par team score of 281 on their final round to run away from the field and win the event by 12 strokes over Georgia Tech, Florida and Auburn. The Bulldogs completed the tournament with a 9-under-par total of 855, while the Yellow Jackets, Gators and Tigers each finished at 3-over-par 867.
Those four teams advance to the NCAA Division I Championship May 30-June 2 at the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club in Williamsburg, Va., along with Florida State (+9), Duke (+10), Charlotte (+11), North Carolina (+13) and Georgia State (+16), who finished fifth through ninth.
Hall, who hadn’t counted for Tech the first two days, played his best round of the entire spring, while Chesson Hadley wound up the low Yellow Jacket in the tournament by finishing seventh at 2-under-par 214. Roberto Castro shot a 73 Saturday and Kevin Larsen a 76.
“You want to win, because this is a big event,” said Tech coach Bruce Heppler. “Whether you finish first of 10th, it’s about momentum and playing well. We won the conference and finished second here, so we have a lot of good things going.”
Coastal Carolina defeated Clemson for the 10th and final qualifying team in a playoff that lasted four holes and two-and-a-half hours. The Chanticleers began the day in seventh place and fell back after posting a 6-over-par 294, while the Tigers were tied for ninth after 36 holes and shot 292.
Georgia State, which began the day in a tie for 11th, pushed its way into the qualifying group with a 1-under 287. Beginning their round at No. 10, the Panthers made up most of their ground on Nos. 18 and 1, consecutive par-5 holes in which they posted three eagles and three birdies.
The Gators’ Billy Horschel tied the Bulldogs’ Todd for medalist honors at 6-under-par 210, one shot better than Kirk and Clemson’s Kyle Stanley (5-under 211). Patton Kizzire (212) and Glenn Northcutt (213) of Auburn, who each shot 69 in the final round, finished fifth and sixth, while Georgia Tech freshman Chesson Hadley (71) Saturday was seventh at 214.
Tech’s Cameron Tringale, the 36-hole leader at 7-under-par, shot an 80 Saturday, which did not count for the Jackets and dropped him back into a tie for 14th (1-over-par 217). Castro tied for 27th in the final standings at 5-over 221.
“We just need to even it out where we get five guys in the game every day,” added Heppler. “That’s the one thing we really haven’t done, although the conference tournament was close. But we’ve got a week to get better. We started the spring ranked 25th, and we finished second here in what I think is the strongest regional, so we’re encouraged.”