ATLANTA, GA. (Sept 19) – Georgia Tech’s golf team shot two-over-par as a team Sunday and ended the first day of the Golfweek Preview Invitational in sixth place. The tournament is being held at the 7,149-yard, par 72 Lake Course at the Grand National Golf Club in Opelika, Ala., where this year’s NCAA Championship will be contested.
Clemson, the pre-season No. 1 team, paced the field after firing a blistering nine-under-par 279 as a team and was six strokes ahead of defending national champion Georgia and Northwestern. Arizona State and Oklahoma State each were a stroke better than Tech to end the day tied for fourth place. Georgia’s Bubba Watson was the opening-day clubhouse leader as he shot a 67, one stroke better than ’99 NCAA individual champion Luke Donald of Northwestern and D.J. Trahan of Clemson.
Tech was paced by senior Matt Kuchar (Lake Mary, Fla.) and redshirt-freshman Troy Matteson (Austin, Texas), who each fired an even-par 72 to place 16th. Both junior Bryce Molder (Conway, Ark.) and sophomore Matt Weibring (Plano, Texas) were one stroke back at 73 to tie for 27th. Senior Carlton Forrester (Gainesville, Ga.) was in a tie for 58th at 77.
Golfweek annually invites the top 18 teams from its final national poll of the previous season to the site of the upcoming NCAA championship to kick off each year. The Lake Course, part of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, will host the NCAA May 31-June 4. The Preview Invitational continues with 18 holes Monday and Tuesday.
Team Standings after 18 holes1. Clemson 2792. Georgia 285 Northwestern 2854. Arizona State 289 Oklahoma State 2896. Georgia Tech 2907. Houston 2928. New Mexico 2939. Auburn 29510. UCLA 29811. Minnesota 299 UNLV 29913. South Carolina 300 Texas 30015. E. Tennessee St. 30316. North Carolina 30617. Florida 31318. Nebraska 320Top 10 Individuals 1. Bubba Watson, Georgia 672. Luke Donald, Northwestern 68 D.J. Trahan 684. John Engler, Clemson 69 B.J. Staten, 696. Paul Daniel, North Carolina 70 Matt Jones, Arizona State 70 Brandon Di Tullio, UCLA 70 Eric Ecker, South Carolina 70 Scott Harrington, Northwestern 70Georgia Tech16. Matt Kuchar 72 Troy Matteson 7227. Bryce Molder 73 Matt Weibring 7358. Carlton Forrester 77