May 27, 2003
STILLWATER, Okla. – Much like the rest of the field, the Georgia Tech golf team found the going difficult on Tuesday at the NCAA Championship and was led by a pair of 77s from sophomores Nicholas Thompson and Chan Wongluekiet to stand in 19th place after 18 holes in Stillwater, Okla. The 72-hole tournament is being contested at the par-72, 7,095-yard Karsten Creek Golf Club at Oklahoma State University.
“The guys played hard all day, especially down the stretch,” said Tech head coach Bruce Heppler. “This tournament is very far from being over and if we’re within 10 or 12 shots of the lead at the end of the day with our number-one guy shooting a 78, I think we’re in good shape. This is a U.S. Open golf course for a college tournament and even if you’re on the green, it’s all you can do to two-putt from 40 feet. You just can’t get caught up in your score, but what you’re doing on every shot. You have to worry about doing the same things over and over and focus on the process and not the results.”
As a team, the Yellow Jackets finished with a total of 22-over-par, 310, as no teams were able to find red figures on the first day of competition. That score puts Tech 11 shots back of a quartet of leaders in Clemson, Oklahoma State, NC State, and Auburn, all of which are at 11-over-par, 299.
Wongluekiet and Thompson were the Jackets’ top performers on the day with their matching 5-over-par scores to open the tournament. Wongluekiet was finished the front nine with a 5-over-par score of 41 and then turned things around on the back as he birdied three of the final five holes to finish at 41-36-77. Thompson carded scores of 38 and 39 to finish with his 77. That score puts them eight shots behind individual leader Lee Williams, who fired a 3-under-par, 35-34-69 on the first day and was one of only four players to break par.
The next two Tech individuals in the field are seniors Troy Matteson and Adam Cranford, both of whom are at 6-over-par with matching scores of 39-39-78. Just one shot behind them is freshman Thomas Jordan, who is at 7-over-par, 38-41-79.
“The key is to have our guys fell like they can get up early tomorrow and play well,” said Heppler. “Like I said, if we’re 10 or 12 shots back with Troy’s 78, maybe we dodged a bullet today. Everybody did some good things and some bad things, but if you can get some of those good things going, they can build up and with one good round, you’re right back in the tournament.”
The Yellow Jackets will once again be grouped with Arizona and Illinois for the second round and will tee off at 8:18 a.m. ET on the 10th tee. Full tournament results and live scoring are available at www.golfstatlive.com.
TEAM SCORES AFTER 18 HOLES1. Oklahoma State 299 NC State 299 Clemson 299 Auburn 2995. Southern California 300 Duke 3007. Florida 3028. UCLA 3039. Wake Forest 304 Illinois 30411. Minnesota 30512. Arizona State 306 Texas 30614. Arizona 30715. Wichita State 308 North Carolina 30817. Kentucky 309 New Mexico 30919. Georgia Tech 31020. Augusta State 31121. UNLV 313 South Carolina 31323. Arkansas 314 Washington 31425. Georgia 31526. SMU 31627. Vanderbilt 320 Tennessee 32029. San Diego State 323 Oregon 323
TOP-10 INDIVIDUALS 1. Lee Williams, Auburn 69 2. Chris Stroud, Lamar 70 Oliver Wilson, Augusta State 70 4. Matthew Rosenfeld, Texas 71 5. Eight Players Tied at 72