ATLANTA (Feb. 17) – Georgia Tech’s golf team, which is ranked No. 1 in the Golfweek computer ranking, opens its spring season at the Waikoloa Intercollegiate Thursday-Saturday at the Kings (6,594-yard, par 72) and Beach (6,566-yard, par 70) courses in Waikoloa, Hawaii.
Tech will be looking to defend its 1999 team championship after defeating Washington by 17 strokes a year ago, which was the second-largest margin of victory in school history. The Jackets rolled in that tournament behind co-medalists Matt Kuchar (Lake Mary, Fla.) and Carlton Forrester (Gainesville, Ga.), who each finished seven-over-par in near 40-mile-an-hour winds. Head coach Bruce Heppler is looking for that pair to once again lead Tech.
“Matt and Carlton each enter their senior spring semesters with a manageable class load and can focus on leading this golf team,” said Heppler. “We would like to start right off the bat and build toward the postseason and the Wiakoloa is always a tournament where you have to battle the unknown elements and a good field. Our guys have really worked hard in the weight room and practice range during the off-season and are looking forward to a great spring.”
Tech will be taking Kuchar, who leads the squad with a 70.33 average, along with Forrester, who is averaging 73.38 strokes; junior Bryce Molder (Conway, Ark.), who is ranked No. 4 nationally and has a 70.64 average; freshman Troy Matteson (Austin, Texas), who averaged 73.09 strokes in the fall; and junior Wes Latimer (Woodstock, Ga.), who qualified for just his second tournament this season.
The Jackets posted four top-5 finishes in the fall, including a win at the Carpet Capital Collegiate and a runner-up finish at the Palmetto Dunes Invitational, and were 26-7 against top 25 teams.