May 16, 2002
Roswell, Ga. – Clemson junior D.J. Trahan shot a 3-under-par 69 Thursday, and his No. 2-ranked Tigers posted a 2-under-par team score of 286 to take a five-shot lead over top-ranked Georgia Tech after the opening round of the NCAA East Regional Golf Championship.
The tournament, being contested at Ansley Golf Club’s Settindown Creek, a 7,119-yard, par-72 layout, was played under near-perfect weather conditions Thursday. Clemson was the only team to break par, and only 11 players among the 141 in the field shot in red figures.
Trahan, the Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year, scored 33 on the front and 36 on the back, has a 1-shot lead over Matt Weibring of Georgia Tech, Brandt Snedeker of Vanderbilt, who qualified as an individual, Tyler McKeever of Georgia Southern and Jim Fuller of Penn State. Six players are tied at 1-under-par 71.
The Tigers also got solid performances from sophomore Gregg Jones (71), sophomore Matt Hendrix (73) and junior Ben Duncan (73).
“I hit it well, I kept it in play and hit it solid,” said Trahan. “Shooting under par as a team on this golf course, that’s going to be around the lead every round this weekend. If you’ve got four guys counting and under par on this golf course, it’s a confidence-builder. The best team and the best players will win this weekend.”
Clemson coach Larry Penley, whose team has not played since the ACC Championship in mid-April, agreed: “We just did what we normally do, we worked hard to prepare for this week. This is such a scary week. You can have one bad round, and you don’t get to go to nationals. I was very pleased with the 2-under start today. D.J. (Trahan) is a very special player. He never surprises me. His play today was a big boost to our round. Now we’ve just got to keep it going.”
Tech, whose 3-over-par 291 is good for second place, was led by senior Matt Weibring, who is one shot behind the leaders with a 2-under-par 70. Junior Troy Matteson and senior Kris Mikkelsen each posted 1-over-par 73’s, while freshman Nick Thompson counted for the Yellow Jackets with a 75.
“We haven’t put a pencil to a scorecard in almost a month (ACC Championship in mid-April), so you can get a little rusty,” said Heppler, whose Tech team won the conference title. Overall, I think they hung in real well. I feel good about tomorrow. Nobody did anything to make them discouraged. We’ll just go feed them, get up real early and tee off at 7:12 a.m. I’m a coach. I like to be 50 ahead if I can, but all you can ask is just to have a chance to win in the last round.”
Tennessee is in third place at 6-over-par 294, with North Carolina and Penn State a shot further back at 7-over 295. Augusta State and Georgia Southern are among a group of six teams tied at 11-over-par 299. Fourth-ranked Florida and Georgia are tied for 12th at 12-over 300.
Tee times begin at 7:12 a.m. Friday’s second round and Saturday’s final round. The top 10 finishers in the 27-team field advance to the NCAA Men’s Golf Championship, May 29-June 1 in Columbus, Ohio.
NCAA Men's Division I East RegionalAnsley Golf Club's Settindown Creek, Roswell, Ga.First-Round Results - May 16, 2002
Team Leaders 1 Clemson 286 -2 2 Georgia Tech 291 +3 3 Tennessee 294 +6 T4 North Carolina 295 +7 T4 Penn State 295 +7 T6 Auburn 299 +11 T6 Augusta State 299 +11 T6 Furman 299 +11 T6 Georgia Southern 299 +11 T6 North Florida 299 +11 T6 Wake Forest 299 +11 T12 Florida 300 +12 T12 Georgia 300 +12 T14 South Carolina 301 +13 T14 Alabama-Birmingham 301 +13 16 Coastal Carolina 302 +14 T17 College of Charleston 303 +15 T17 Jacksonville State 303 +15 19 William & Mary 305 +17 20 Virginia Commonwealth 306 +18 21 Rhode Island 307 +19 T22 Duke 308 +20 T22 Michigan State 308 +20 24 Virginia 312 +24 25 South Alabama 313 +25 26 Yale 314 +26 27 Iona 315 +27
Place Player School Scores 1 D.J. Trahan Clemson 69 -3 T2 Jim Fuller Penn State 70 -2 T2 Tyler McKeever Georgia Southern 70 -2 T2 Brandt Snedeker* Vanderbilt 70 -2 T2 Matt Weibring Georgia Tech 70 -2 T6 Ramon Bescansa North Carolina 71 -1 T6 Mike Castleforte Duke 71 -1 T6 Justin Goodhue Virginia 71 -1 T6 Gregg Jones Clemson 71 -1 T6 Travis Mobley Georgia Southern 71 -1 T6 Brad Schwartz North Florida 71 -1 T12 Kyle Bradley Charleston, Coll. of 72 E T12 Josh Dawes Penn State 72 E T12 Simon Dunn* Campbell 72 E T12 Alex Hamilton South Carolina 72 E T12 Graeme McDowell UAB, 72 E T12 David Miller Georgia 72 E T12 Jay Mundy Auburn 72 E T12 Andrew Pratt Tennessee 72 E T12 Pat Stolpe Coastal Carolina 72 E