Oct. 25, 2007
ATLANTA – After a one-year hiatus, Georgia Tech’s No. 3-ranked golf team returns to the field of the Callaway Golf Collegiate Match Play Championship and will face Texas in the opening round Sunday in Greensboro, Ga.
Invitation to the Match Play Championship, played at the Oconee Course on the banks of Georgia’s Lake Oconee, is based on 2007 Division I NCAA championships finish. The event, which runs through Tuesday, features 16 teams that finished in the top 17 at nationals. The Yellow Jackets are the third seed and are ranked No. 3 in the nation in the latest Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index. Charlotte – winner of all three tournaments it has competed in this fall – is the tournament’s top seed.
Tech, which has reached the finals of this event three of the four times in which it has competed, and sixth-seeded Georgia would face each other in round two if Tech gets by the Longhorns and the Bulldogs defeat 11th-seed Lamar Sunday.
Head coach will take six players to the event – juniors , and , sophomore and freshmen and . Only five players may participate in a round, each playing a match against one player from the other team worth one point to his team for that round. Players may be substituted between rounds.
“You have a little more fun (in this format),” said head coach . “The results don’t really enter into post-season selection. We’ve left some of our best players home for this to give others some experience, and almost won the thing.
“The neat thing about this is you’re playing another school. This resembles the format that we may be going to for the NCAA Championship down the road. We’re getting to play the University of Texas. We don’t really get to do anything like that. It just has a little more feel like what college athletics is. Our guys love it. It’s one of their favorite tournaments of the year.”
Dragoo, Hall and Tringale participated for Tech as freshmen when the Yellow Jackets reached the finals and lost a close match to Georgia, 3-2. Dragoo, from Scottsdale, Ariz., won three of his four matches that year, Hall split four matches and Tringale went 1-2-1.
Hadley, from Raleigh, N.C., has been Tech’s top player all fall, winning the Carpet Capital Collegiate, finishing sixth at the Brickyard Collegiate and tying for fifth at the Isleworth-UCF Collegiate. A top-10 finisher in six straight events dating back to last spring, Hadley ranks No. 1 in the most recent Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index. He has a stroke average of 69.78 and has equaled or broken par in eight of nine rounds this fall.
Hall, from LaGrange, Ga., has a pair of top-20 finishes in three events and has averaged 72.89 in nine rounds, while Tringale, from Laguna Niguel, Calif., has one runner-up finish and a 73.33 average. Haley, from Dallas, Texas, is the only other Jacket to make the traveling squad for all three team events, averaging 74.33 over nine rounds.
Charlotte will meet Coastal Carolina in the first round Sunday, and the winner will face the victor of the 8-9 match between Duke and Florida. Fourth-seeded UCLA vs. Minnesota and fifth-seeded and defending champion Oklahoma State against Tennessee completes the top half of the bracket. Tech and Georgia are in the lower half of the bracket along with seventh-seeded Florida State, which squares off against South Carolina. Second-seeded Alabama battles Georgia State in the final first-round match.
The Oconee Course was completed in 2002 along with the Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation, located across the street. Rees Jones designed the 7,299 yard, par-72 course, in which Lake Oconee comes into play on five holes and there are a number of other dramatic water features that will challenge players. The Oconee Course has hosted events like the 2007 Chick-fil-A Bowl Alma Mater and the 2007 PGA Cup, the premier international competition for PGA club professionals.
Callaway Golf Collegiate Match Play Championship First Round Matches
#1 Charlotte vs. #16 Coastal Carolina
#8 Duke vs. #9 Florida
#4 UCLA vs. #13 Minnesota
#5 Oklahoma State vs. #12 Tennessee
#3 Georgia Tech vs. #14 Texas
#6 Georgia vs. #11 Lamar
#7 Florida State vs. #10 South Carolina
#2 Alabama vs. #15 Georgia State