June 1, 2007
Williamsburg, Va. – Georgia Tech shot an even-par 280 Friday and lost ground to the leaders, but Cameron Tringale and Chesson Hadley are both in contention for medalist honors after 54 holes at the NCAA Division I Golf Championship at the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club.
Tringale posted his third sub-par round of the tournament, a 1-under-par 69, to move into a tie for the individual lead at 6-under-par 204 with Stanford’s Rob Grube (69 Friday) and Clemson’s Kyle Stanley (65). Hadley, Tringale’s freshman teammate, fired a 4-under-par 66 to pace the Jackets on Friday and is in a four-player tie a stroke back at 5-under-par 205.
Tech, which began the day in a tie for sixth with UCLA, held onto sixth place along after counting a 72 from Roberto Castro and a 73 from Taylor Hall, But the Yellow Jackets, at 3-over-par 843 for the championship, lost ground in terms of strokes, 15 behind Stanford, which notched its third straight sub-par team round (275).
“We haven’t had a great (team) round yet,” said Tech coach Bruce Heppler. “Maybe that’s tomorrow. We’ve seen that Hadley can shoot way under here. Cameron can shoot way under, and I know Roberto can. It’s going to take a great round to catch those guys. Stanford and Coastal Carolina have gotten away for now. But 10 shots in college golf is like two in an individual event.”
The Cardinal are 12-under-par for the championship, two shots ahead of Coastal Carolina, which shot 272 Friday. Charlotte, which shot 4-under 276 for the round, and Alabama, which posted a 9-under 271 Friday, are tied for third place at 2-under 838. Georgia, which began the day in a tie for 16th and in danger of missing the 54-hole cut, surged into fifth place after an 11-under-par round of 269, the low score of the day.
Tech will begin its final round, paired with the Bulldogs and the Crimson Tide, from the first tee at the 6,803-yard Gold Course at 8:27 a.m. Saturday.
UCLA shot 3-over-par and dropped to seventh place alone, while Minnesota shot 14-over par and dropped from second place to a tie for eighth with Florida. South Carolina, Duke, Lamar and Texas all finished among the top 15 teams that advanced to Saturday’s final round.
Oklahoma State, the defending national champion, Tennessee and Florida State all tied for 14th place and had a playoff to determine the final two spots for the last round.
The cut claimed Tech’s cross-town rival Georgia State, which finished one stroke behind the teams involved in the playoff, as well as ACC brethren North Carolina and Wake Forest.
Tringale, a sophomore from Laguna Niguel, Calif., wasn’t derailed by a double bogey at No. 10, the Jackets’ opening hole, logging his eighth sub-par round in his last nine. He played solidly the remainder of his round, posting four birdies and a bogey on his scorecard over the last 17 holes.
“On the back nine, I was giving away shots like it was Christmas time,” the sophomore said. “So it was frustrating. I made a birdie coming in, which helps a little bit, but I didn’t really do as much as I could’ve for the team on the back.”
Continuing the post-season surge which has seen him play nine rounds in a cumulative 8-under-par, Hadley posted his best round yet with his 66. He played the front nine in 3-under-par and got his round to 5-under before a closing bogey. Along the way, he also saved important pars at No. 1, after his approach missed the green, and No. 2, when his tee shot found the right rough.
“I yanked it on No. 1, but had a decent lie in the rough. I flew it a little farther than I wanted to, but made a really good putt coming back,” said Hadley. “On No. 2, that was huge. I drove it in the rough. We’ve been talking all week about this being a four-round tournament, and not to blow it all on one shot. I could have gotten the ball over the water and made it an easier up and down, but I ended up punching out and had about 104 (yards) to the pin. I hit it to about 12 feet and then `pured’ that putt. It was the best putt I hit all day.”
While Tech attempts to make a run at the title Saturday, Tringale and Hadley will each try to become the Yellow Jackets’ fourth national collegiate champion and first since Troy Matteson did so in 2002 at the Ohio State University Scarlet Course.