May 15, 2003
AUBURN, AL – Led by a 4-under-par round of 68 by senior Troy Matteson, the Georgia Tech golf team charged into a tie for the lead at the NCAA East Regional with a 7-under-par score of 281 on Thursday in Auburn, Ala. The 54-hole event is being played at the par-72, 7,207-yard Auburn University Club.
“The key to our round today is certainly the play of guys like Adam Cranford and Thomas Jordan,” said Tech head coach Bruce Heppler. “Adam played a great round to finish with a 72 and Thomas started out well, but struggled a little bit on the front nine. I think if those guys can keep that up and the top guys keep doing what they are supposed to, we will be in good shape. Obviously, Troy had a solid round today and that was key for us as well.”
Matteson was one of three Yellow Jackets under par on the day as he carded a pair of birdies on each nine for a first-round total of 34-34-68. That score puts the defending NCAA Champion in a tie for third place, just one shot off the pace of individual leader Gareth Maybin of South Alabama and Ross McGowan of Tennessee, both of whom fired 5-under-par rounds of 67 on the opening day.
As a team, Tech tied the low round of the day with its 7-under-par 281 and is tied with Tennessee for the top spot. The Jackets and Volunteers were among just four teams to finish the day under par, joining Clemson (285) and Duke (286).
“Today’s round is really the result of a bunch of guys really believing that we have a good team this year,” said Heppler. “They kept working hard all year and even though some people may not have thought we were as good. They got better every week and hopefully this will give them some momentum going into the two rounds.”
Joining Matteson in the top 10 is sophomore Chan Wongluekiet, who turned in a solid opening round with two birdies on the back nine, which was the first nine for the Jackets, and is part of a eight-way tie for 10th place at 2-under-par, 35-35-70. Fellow second-year performer Nicholas Thompson was the third Tech player in red figures, as he carded his 11th sub-par round of the year to stand in 18th place at 1-under-par, 36-35-71.
Yellow Jacket senior Adam Cranford played his most steady round of the year, as he hit 17 greens in regulation, en route to an even-par 37-35-72 and is tied with nine other players for 24th place. Thomas Jordan, the final member of the Tech contingent, finished the day with a round of 42-36-78 and is tied for 100th place.
Georgia Tech will once again be grouped with fourth-seeded Florida and fifth-seeded Auburn in the second round and will begin play at 8:30 a.m. ET. Full tournament results and live scoring are available at www.golfstatlive.com.
TEAM SCORES AFTER 18 HOLES1. Georgia Tech 2812. Tennessee 2813. Clemson 2854. Duke 2865. Florida 2905. Augusta State 2905. Wake Forest 2908. Georgia State 2928. Auburn 29210. Vanderbilt 29311. College of Charleston 29512. South Carolina 29613. East Tennessee State 29714. UNC Wilmington 30015. Jacksonville State 30215. Virginia Tech 30216. Georgia Southern 30318. Penn State 30519. Binghamton 30720. Alabama 31020. Rhode Island 31022. Maryland 31122. James Madison 31124. Liberty 31225. Charleston Southern 31725. Yale 31727. Jackson State 335
TOP-10 INDIVIDUALS & GEORGIA TECH PLAYERS 1. Gareth Maybin, S. Alabama 67 2. Ross McGowan, Tennessee 67 3. Troy Matteson, Georgia Tech 68 3. Alvero Velasco, Coastal Carolina 68 5. William Ted Brown, VCU 69 5. James Heath, Augusta State 69 5. Gregg Jones, Clemson 69 5. Martin Rominger, S. Carolina 69 5. Neel Williams, Yale 69 10. Eight players tied at 70