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Tech Golfers Earn Top Seed at NCAA East Regional

May 6, 2002

ATLANTA – The Georgia Tech men’s golf team received its fifth-straight berth into the NCAA East Regional when the 81-team field was announced on Monday night. The Yellow Jackets will be hosting the event for the first time and will welcome 27 of the nation’s top teams to Ansley Golf Club’s Settindown Creek in Roswell, Ga., May 16-18. Settindown Creek’s par-72, 7,119-yard layout will be venue for the event. The top 10 teams and the top two individuals not on those teams will advance to the NCAA Championships in Columbus, Ohio on May 29-June 1.

“Obviously you can’t go to nationals if you aren’t in the regional field, so it’s good to be among the teams competing at the East Regional,” said Tech head coach Bruce Heppler. “This is going to be a great regional with great teams. I think it will be very competitive and will certainly be a test for everyone.”

Joining the top-ranked Yellow Jackets in the field will be seven other teams ranked among the nation’s top-20 and six from the top 10 in the latest Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index. Included in that group will be Clemson (No. 2), Wake Forest (No. 3), Florida (No. 4), Tennessee (No. 8), Auburn (No. 10), Georgia (No. 12), and Augusta State (No. 16). The remainder of the field features seven other teams ranked among the current top 50, in UAB (No. 30), College of Charleston (No. 34), Duke (No. 40), North Florida (No. 41), North Carolina (No. 42), South Carolina (No. 43), and Jacksonville State (No. 49). The remaining 12 teams in the field consist of Virginia, Michigan State, Coastal Carolina, Furman, Georgia Southern, Virginia Commonwealth, Penn State, South Alabama, William & Mary, Yale, Rhode Island, and Iona.

Six individuals were also selected to take part in the event, as Southeast Louisiana’s Andy Smith, Vanderbilt’s Brandt Snedeket, Southern Miss’ Tim Yelverton, Campbell’s Simon Dunn, UNC Wilmington’s Adam Gee and Charleston Southern’s David Riles will round out the 141 individuals in the tournament.

Georgia Tech has appeared in 11 previous NCAA East Regional tournaments, winning the event on three occasions. The Jackets captured back-to-back team titles in the tourney in 1998 and 1999 with their first team crown coming in the 1991 season. Tech also boasts three individual regional champions, with Chan Reeves accomplishing the feat in 1991 and Jimmy Johnson winning the event a year later in 1992. Matt Kuchar was a winner in the tournament six years later, leading the Jackets to the team title with his victory in 1998.

The 2002 edition of the Tech golf team has turned in one of the most successful seasons in school history, winning a school record six team titles during the year and boasting three individual titles, all from junior Troy Matteson. The Jackets captured the school’s eighth Atlantic Coast Conference team title in their last outing on April 21, placing three players in the top 10 of the event. Matteson leads the team with a 71.30 stroke average, while all five of the Tech players in the regional field have stroke averages below 73.00 and are ranked among the nation’s top 33 individuals.

Ansley Golf Club’s Settindown Creek is no stranger to championship golf competition, having hosted both the 1995 and 1996 Nike Tour Championships along with serving as one of 12 sectional qualifying sites for the 2002 U.S. Open.

“Settindown has hosted a number of championship events, so there will be no need to alter the course for this tournament in any way,” said Heppler. “The only preparation that will have to be done will be to mow the tees, greens and fairways and I think that the course will be plenty challenging for all of the teams in the field.”

The 2002 NCAA East Regional will get under way on Thursday, May 16 and conclude on Saturday, May 18, with play beginning at 7:12 a.m. each day. Live scoring of the event will be available at Admission to the tournament is free.

2002 NCAA EAST REGIONAL FIELD (Listed by seed)1.  Georgia Tech2.  Florida3.  Tennessee4.  Wake Forest5.  Clemson6.  Augusta State7.  Auburn8.  Georgia9.  North Carolina10.  Duke11.  UAB12.  North Florida13.  South Carolina14.  Virginia15.  College of Charleston16.  Michigan State17.  Coastal Carolina18.  Furman19.  Georgia Southern20.  Jacksonville State21.  Virginia Commonwealth22.  Penn State23.  South Alabama24.  William & Mary25.  Yale26.  Rhode Island27.  IonaINDIVIDUALS1.  Andy Smith, SE Louisiana2.  Brandt Snedeker, Vanderbilt3.  Tim Yelverton, Southern Mississippi4.  Simon Dunn, Campbell5.  Adam Gee, UNC Wilmington6.  David Riles, Charleston Southern


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