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Tech Golfers Win Third-Straight Puerto Rico Classic in Record-Setting Fashion

Feb. 26, 2002

San Juan, P.R. – The Georgia Tech golf team flexed its muscles for three-straight days and captured its fourth team title in six tournaments during the 2002 season and in the process, won its third-straight Puerto Rico Classic team title in impressive fashion, winning by 25 shots over third-ranked Clemson. The 54-hole tournament was contested over the Rio Mar Country Club’s par-72, 6,945-yard River Course layout in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The tournament field was a strong one, featuring seven top-25 teams according to the latest Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index.

The top-ranked Yellow Jackets rolled through the first two rounds and kept cruising in the third, carding a final-round score of 9-under-par, 279 to finish the event at 35-under-par, 275-275-279-829. That score matched the lowest scoring total in school history, tying last season’s second-place finish at the Golf World Invitational. Tech’s final score was 25 strokes better than Clemson’s three-day total of 279-289-286-854 and gave the Jackets their largest-ever margin of victory.

“This is certainly one of the best weeks we have had since I’ve been at Georgia Tech,” said Tech head coach Bruce Heppler. “I think everybody contributed to this win and I can’t remember another time that we’ve had all five guys finish in the top 11. With this team, everyone has the ability to score low and that can really make for some great team scores.”

For the second-straight week, junior Troy Matteson led the Yellow Jacket charge, as he captured his second-straight individual title, closing with a final 36-hole score of 8-under-par, en route to a three-day total of 11-under-par, 69-65-71-205.

“Sometimes when a guy gets his first win, he realizes that maybe its not that hard to get another one and I think that’s what has happened with Troy,” said Heppler. “He’s really worked hard on his game and I think that this is a role that he’s grown into. Also, with Matt and Kris being near the top, they’ve seen just how close they are to getting wins much like Troy has.”

Joining Matteson in the event’s top four, was freshman Nick Thompson, who recorded the best finish of his young career, with a 54-hole total of 6-under-par, 70-70-70-210, to place in third place overall. Senior Matt Weibring was right behind Thompson, bouncing back from a second-round score of 77 to finish with a season-best 7-under-par score of 65 on Tuesday and tied for fourth place at 5-under-par, 69-77-65-211.

Senior Kris Mikkelsen was the fourth Yellow Jacket competitor in the top seven, as he closed with a final score of 4-under-par, 67-72-73-212, to tie for seventh place in the individual standings. Rookie Chan Wongluekiet was the fifth member of the Tech contingent and he placed in a tie for 11th place, at 2-under-par, 72-68-74-214.

The Yellow Jackets will now have a weekend off before heading to Las Vegas, Nevada, for the Las Vegas Intercollegiate at the par-72, 7,381-yard Southern Highlands Golf Club, March 8-10.

FINAL TEAM SCORES1.      Georgia Tech    275-275-279-8292.      Clemson 279-289-286-8543.      Purdue  293-278-286-8574.      Florida 293-288-288-8695.      Colorado        289-295-288-8726.      Minnesota       294-287-300-8817.      East Tennessee State    295-288-300-8838.      NC State        303-282-302-8879.      Duke    296-292-301-88910.     Oklahoma        295-298-297-89011.     Georgia 293-300-300-89312.     Texas   289-302-303-89413.     Virginia        299-303-311-913        Kent State      308-295-310-913        Northwestern    299-294-320-913

GEORGIA TECH INDIVIDUALS 1. Troy Matteson, Georgia Tech 69-65-71-205 3. Nick Thompson, Georgia Tech 70-70-70-210 T4. Matt Weibring, Georgia Tech 69-77-65-211 T7. Kris Mikkelsen, Georgia Tech 67-72-73-212 T11. Chan Wongluekiet, Georgia Tech 72-68-74-214

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