May 5, 2003
ATLANTA – The Georgia Tech men’s golf team received its sixth-straight berth into the NCAA East Regional when the 81-team NCAA field was announced on Monday night. The Yellow Jackets will be appearing in the event for the 13th time in their history and will be joined by 26 of the nation’s top teams in Auburn, Ala. The 7,259-yard, par-72 Auburn University Club layout will be the host venue for the tournament. The top 10 teams and the top two individuals not on those teams will advance to the NCAA Championships in Stillwater, Okla., on May 27-30.
“The goal every year is to get to the regional, because if you’re not there you can’t get to the NCAA Championship,” said Tech head coach Bruce Heppler. “We’re looking forward to playing at Auburn, the guys have been home working on their games and they will come back later this week and do some team things before we go to the regional. It is a great field and you’re going to have to play well to advance, which is always the case. We’ve played against a number of the top teams throughout the year, so we know where the bar we have to jump over is so we’re looking forward to it.”
Joining the 15th-ranked Yellow Jackets in the field will be five other teams ranked among the nation’s top-20 and four from the top five in the latest Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index. Included in that group will be Clemson (No. 1), Wake Forest (No. 2), Augusta State (No.4), Florida (No. 5), Auburn (No. 12). The remainder of the field features 10 other teams ranked among the current top 50, in College of Charleston (No. 22), Tennessee (No. 23), South Carolina (No. 26), Duke (No. 30), Vanderbilt (No. 32), Virginia Tech (No. 33), UNC Wilmington (No. 35), Alabama (No. 37), Jacksonville State (No. 40), and ETSU (No. 47). The remaining 11 teams in the field consist of Georgia State, Georgia Southern, Penn State, Charleston Southern, Maryland, James Madison, Rhode Island, Yale, Binghamton, Liberty, and Jackson State.
Six individuals were also selected to take part in the event, as South Alabama’s Gareth Maybin and Ryan Gildersleeve, along with John Humphries of LSU, Andrew Svoboda of St. John’s, Ted Brown of VCU and Alvero Velasco of Coastal Carolina will round out the 141 individuals in the tournament.
Georgia Tech has appeared in 12 previous NCAA East Regional tournaments, winning the event on four occasions. The Jackets hosted the event a year ago and shared the team title with Clemson, after capturing 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.
Senior Troy Matteson, who is the defending NCAA Individual Champion, will lead the 2003 edition of the Tech golf team. The Jackets finished fourth in their last outing at the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship on April 20. Matteson leads the team with a 71.00 stroke average, while Nicholas Thompson is second on the team with his 72.48 scoring average. The remaining Tech individuals in the field will include sophomore Chan Wongluekiet, freshman Thomas Jordan and senior Adam Cranford.
The 2003 NCAA East Regional will get under way on Thursday, May 15 and conclude on Saturday, May 17, with play beginning at 7:12 a.m. each day. The Yellow Jackets will be grouped with Florida and Auburn in the first round and will tee off at 11:33 a.m. Live scoring of the event will be available at www.golfstatlive.com.
2003 NCAA EAST REGIONAL FIELD (Listed by seed)1. Clemson2. Augusta State3. Wake Forest4. Florida5. Auburn6. Georgia Tech7. Tennessee8. South Carolina9. College of Charleston10. Vanderbilt11. Virginia Tech12. ETSU13. Duke14. Georgia State15. UNC Wilmington16. Alabama17. Jacksonville State18. Georgia Southern19. Penn State20. Charleston Southern21. Maryland22. James Madison23. Rhode Island24. Yale25. SUNY-Binghamton26. Liberty27. Jackson State
INDIVIDUALS 1. Gareth Maybin, South Alabama 2. John Humpries, LSU 3. Ryan Gildersleeve, South Alabama 4. Andrew Svoboda, St. John’s 5. Ted Brown, VCU 6. Alvero Velasco, Coastal Carolina