May 10, 2002
ATLANTA – Atlantic Coast Conference champion Georgia Tech placed three players – Troy Matteson, Kris Mikkelsen, and Matt Weibring – on the all-ACC men’s golf team, while head coach Bruce Heppler was named Coach of the Year and freshman Chan Wongluekiet was voted Rookie of the Year by the conference on Friday.
The five honorees mark the most that Tech, currently ranked No. 1 in the nation, has ever had in one year. The Yellow Jackets have placed three players on the all-conference team twice before, in 1985 and 1999, with Heppler also capturing Coach of the Year honors in 1999.
“We have never had four players on the all-ACC team, but this is probably the best we’ve ever done,” said Heppler, whose coach of the year honor is his third in seven years (1999, 2001) at Tech. “It’s a great representation of how much everyone has played a part in our team’s success this season. It’s a great conference, and I think the ACC has 13 players ranked in the top 50 in the nation, so that tells you how keen the competition is in our league.”
Tech, which has won the ACC title three times in the last four years, has won a school-record six tournaments this year, two in the fall and four in the spring. All five of Tech’s starters have stroke averages under 73.
Matteson, a junior from Austin, Texas who is ranked No. 7 nationally by Golfweek magazine, made the all-conference team for the second time. A winner of three tournaments this spring, Matteson leads Tech with a 71.30 stroke average and has six top-10 finishes in nine events.
Mikkelsen, a senior from Woodstock, Ga., and Weibring, a senior from Plano, Texas, were named to the team for the first time. Mikkelsen, the No. 17 player in the Golfweek rankings, ranks second on the team with a 72.00 stroke average and also has six top-10 finishes in nine tournaments, Weibring, third in stroke average at 72.30, has placed in the top-10 four times, including a runner-up finish at the ACC Championship. He is ranked 21st nationally by Golfweek.
Wongluekiet, from Bradenton, Fla., is Tech’s third Rookie of the Year honoree since 1997, joining Matt Kuchar and Bryce Molder. The freshman has three top-10 finishes, including a tie for fifth at the Carpet Capital Collegiate, and ranks fourth on the Tech team in stroke average at 72.59. He is ranked 28th nationally by Golfweek.
D.J. Trahan of Clemson, the nation’s third-ranked player by Golfweek, was named ACC Player of the Year. The rest of the all-ACC team includes Greg Jones of Clemson, Corey Brigham of Maryland, Dustin Bray of North Carolina, Garth Mulroy and Justin Walters of NC State, Steve Marino of Virginia, and Bill Haas and Brent Wanner of Wake Forest.
Tech returns to action next week as the top seed in the NCAA East Regional Championship, May 16-18, at Ansley Golf Club’s Settindown Creek in Roswell, Ga. The top 10 finishers in the 27-team field will advance to the NCAA Men’s Golf Championship, May 29-June 1, in Columbus, Ohio.