May 8, 2001
ATLANTA — The second-ranked Georgia Tech men’s golf team will be one of 81 teams vying for a trip to the 2001 NCAA Championships in Durham, N.C., when NCAA regional play gets under way on May 17. The Yellow Jackets will join 26 other schools at the NCAA East Regional on May 17-19. The 54-hole event will be contested at the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club in Williamsburg, Va., and hosted by Virginia Commonwealth University.
The NCAA regional format was adopted in 1989, with the top 10 teams from each of the three regional sites, East, Central and West advancing to the NCAA Championships. The top two individual finishers from each region that are not members of qualifying teams will join those 30 teams at the NCAAs.
Williamsburg’s East Regional should prove to be one of the most hotly contested of the three regionals, as four of the nation’s top five teams according to the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index will be competing. Included in that group will be top-ranked Georgia, the Yellow Jackets, third-ranked Clemson, and fifth-ranked Florida. Both NC State and NCAA-host Duke will join Tech at the East Regional out of the ACC, all three will enter the event ranked among the top 20 in the nation.
Tech will be looking for its third East Regional title in the last four years and its fourth overall. The Jackets won back-to-back team titles in 1998 and 1999, along with a win in the 1991 event. Georgia Tech has also had three individuals claim medalist honors at the tourney. Chan Reeves recorded a score of 69-69-69=207 to win in 1991, Jimmy Johnston captured the crown in 1992 with his score of 72-67-70=209, and most recently Matt Kuchar won the 1998 event in a NCAA East Regional school-record score of 14-under-par, 64-69-69=202.
The Yellow Jackets gained an automatic berth in the field as a result of their win at the Atlantic Coast Conference Championships in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., on April 20-22. Tech turned in an outstanding back nine on the final day to claim the program’s seventh ACC crown and the second in the past three years. Senior Bryce Molder led Tech in the event, as he placed second in the individual standings with a three-day score of 11-under-par, 69-70-66=205. Molder was joined in the top 10 by junior Kris Mikkelsen, who was tied for sixth place at 69-73-71=213, and sophomore Troy Matteson in 10th place at 70-74-71=215. All five of Tech’s individuals placed in the top 15, was junior Matt Weibring was tied for 12th at 73-71-72=216, and senior Wes Latimer tied for 15th at 72-71-75=218.
Georgia Tech will begin play in threesomes with in-state rival Georgia, the top seed from District Three South and Rhode Island, the top seed from District One beginning at 11:15 a.m. on Thursday, May 17.