May 29, 2003
STILLWATER, Okla. – Georgia Tech senior Troy Matteson’s par putt on the final hole of the day, lifted the Yellow Jackets into a tie for 15th place and under the 54-hole cut line to play in the final round on Friday in Stillwater, Okla., at the NCAA Championship. Sophomore Nicholas Thompson carded an even-par 72 on Thursday to lead Tech on the par-72, 7,301-yard Karsten Creek Golf Club layout.
The 54-hole cut was instituted by the NCAA Committee prior to the start of play on Wednesday, citing a slow pace of play over the first two rounds, which included a six-plus hour pace of play.
“Troy birdied the seventh hole, which is a tough hole and had the par on the ninth hole to get us under the cut,” said Jacket head coach Bruce Heppler. “I thought is was wonderful that Adam (Cranford) birdied two of the last three holes to help get us to tomorrow and that will be something he can remember for the rest of his life that he helped us out there today. It was a great round by Nick, and it will be neat for Troy and Adam to get to play their final collegiate rounds at the NCAA Championship tomorrow. I’m just really glad it didn’t end today.”
As a team, Tech finished with its best round of the week, a 14-over-par score of 302 and is at 54-over-par, 310-306-302-918, tied with in-state rival Georgia (315-306-297-918) and Arizona (307-308-303-918) for 15th place. That total is well off the pace of team leader Clemson, which became the first team in the event to shoot a sub-par round with a 1-under-par 287 on the third day to stand at 24-over-par, 299-302-287-888.
Thompson carded the best round of the week for a Yellow Jacket player with his 72 in the third round. After recording pars on the first 14 holes, Thompson birdied the sixth hole before making bogey on the seventh and par on the final two. With that score, he stands at 10-over-par, 77-77-72-226 after three rounds, and is tied for 32nd place with seven other players. That score is 14 shots behind individual leader Lee Williams of Auburn, who continued his outstanding play with a 71 on Wednesday, and is at 4-under-par, 69-72-71-212.
The next Tech individual in the field is Matteson, who finished with a 5-over-par 77 in the third round and is at 13-over-par, 78-74-77-229 after 54 holes to stand among 10 players in 47th place. He is followed by fellow senior Adam Cranford, who is tied for 81st place at 17-over-par, 78-78-77-233. Rookie Thomas Jordan, at 79-77-79-235, and sophomore Chan Wongluekiet (77-81-76-235) are the final members of the Yellow Jacket contingent, and are both tied for 92nd place.
“It’s going to be great for our young guys to get to play tomorrow,” said Heppler. “The more rounds you can play in a championship event like this, the better. It is a great experience for Nick and Chan and Thomas. This group has worked hard all year and this is a good team. There are 12 other good teams that are going home and we’re still playing.”
Georgia Tech will begin its final round on Friday morning in groups with Washington and Wichita State. Full tournament results and live scoring are available at www.golfstatlive.com.
TOP-18 TEAM SCORES AFTER 54 HOLES1. Clemson 299-302-287-8882. Oklahoma State 299-300-290-8893. UCLA 303-295-301-899 Florida 302-300-297-8995. Wake Forest 304-306-290-9006. Auburn 299-303-301-9037. UNLV 313-300-294-9078. Southern California 300-311-298-9099. Augusta State 311-306-294-911 Arizona State 306-308-297-91111. NC State 299-317-296-91212. North Carolina 308-308-299-915 Washington 314-300-301-91514. Wichita State 308-309-299-91615. Georgia Tech 310-306-302-918 Georgia 315-306-297-918 Arizona 307-308-303-91818. Texas 306-314-299-919
TOP-10 INDIVIDUALS 1. Lee Williams, Auburn 69-72-71-212 2. John Holmes, Kentucky 72-76-69-217 Hunter Mahan, Oklahoma State 73-71-73-217 Chris Stroud, Lamar 70-77-70-217 5. Alejandro Canizares, Arizona St. 77-70-71-218 Matthew Rosenfeld, Texas 71-76-71-218 7. Ricky Barnes, Arizona 75-74-70-219 Jason Hartwick, Texas 77-70-72-219 9. David Denham, Georgia 74-73-73-220 Judd Easterling, Wichita State 78-72-70-220 Brock Mackenzie, Washington 77-71-72-220 Jason Moon, NC State 72-73-75-220