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Tech Takes 9-Shot Lead into Final Round of ACC Championship

April 23, 2011

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New London, N.C. – Paul Haley posted his second straight 4-under-par 68 Saturday, and three other Yellow Jackets broke par for the day, extending Georgia Tech’s lead to nine strokes over Duke after 36 holes of the Atlantic Coast Conference men’s golf championship at the Old North State Club.

Freshman Richard Werenski shot a 69, John-Tyler Griffin shot 70 and Kyle Scott added a 71 as the 4th-ranked Yellow Jackets again shot the day’s best score, a 10-under-par 278. Their 36-hole total is 17-under-par 559. Four of Tech’s five players are in the top 10 individually heading into Sunday’s final round.

Duke, which had three players break 70 Saturday, remained within striking distance with a 9-under 279 for the day. The Blue Devils stand at 8-under 568, followed by Clemson at 4-under 572, Virginia at 1-under 575 and Florida State at even-par 576.

“All five guys are playing pretty well. It’s great to have five guys who can play,” said Tech coach Bruce Heppler, whose team is attempting to win its third consecutive ACC title and fifth in six years. “Our drop score was 74 yesterday and 73, so that’s tremendous. Hope we can take this into tomorrow and play well again. Richy had a really good round to set the tone, a really solid round which he needed.”

Wake Forest (+5), NC State (+6), North Carolina (+8), Virginia Tech (+16), Maryland (+28) and Boston College (+55) round out the field.

Parlaying strong iron play and good putting Saturday, Haley went bogey-free and had four birdies in posting his fifth straight subpar round on the 7,102-yard, par 72 Old North State Club. The senior from Dallas, Texas, who tied for fourth here last year at 6-under 210, now stands at 8-under 136 and has a three-stroke lead over teammate Kyle Scott, Wake Forest’s John Varol and Clemson’s Corbin Mills, who each have a 36-hole total of 5-under 139.

“Paul backed up a great round yesterday with another one,” said Heppler. “He’s a terrific iron player, and when he starts making putts, it feeds on itself. He’s had a great year. He’s becoming the player we thought he would be out of high school. He’s having a lot of fun playing, and he’s playing to win.”

Werenski, a freshman from South Hadley, Mass., teed off first for the Yellow Jackets Saturday and played one his best rounds of the year, making four birdies and a bogey to break 70 for the fourth time this year. His performance boosted him into a tie for eighth place individually, where he and Griffin, who also had a bogey-free round, are in a group of 14 players with a 1-under-par tournament total of 143.

James White, the Tech junior from Acworth, Ga., who has won twice this year, shot a 73 Saturday with five birdies, three bogeys and one triple-bogey on his card, has a 36-hole total of 1-over 145, which is tied for 22nd.

Tech will play with Duke and Clemson in Sunday’s final groups, with White leading off at 10:40 a.m., and Haley anchoring the group with an 11:20 tee time.

ATLANTIC COAST CONFERENCE MEN'S GOLF CHAMPIONSHIPOld North State Club at Uwharrie Point, New London, N.C.Second-Round Results

TEAM STANDINGS 1 Georgia Tech 281 278 559 -17 2 Duke 289 279 568 -8 3 Clemson 290 282 572 -4 4 Virginia 295 280 575 -1 5 Florida State 294 282 576 E 6 Wake Forest 293 288 581 +5 7 North Carolina State 295 287 582 +6 8 North Carolina 297 287 584 +8 9 Virginia Tech 299 293 592 +16 10 Maryland 304 300 604 +28 11 Boston College 314 317 631 +55

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS 1 Paul Haley Georgia Tech 68 68 136 -8 T2 John Varol Wake Forest 69 70 139 -5 T2 Kyle Scott Georgia Tech 68 71 139 -5 T2 Corbin Mills Clemson 70 69 139 -5 5 Julian Suri Duke 71 69 140 -4 T6 Drew Kittleson Florida State 71 71 142 -2 T6 Brinson Paolini Duke 73 69 142 -2 T8 Sean Jacklin North Carolina 73 70 143 -1 T8 Michael McGowan North Carolina 73 70 143 -1 T8 Albin Choi North Carolina State 70 73 143 -1 T8 Will Collins Virginia 75 68 143 -1 T8 Brooks Koepka Florida State 73 70 143 -1 T8 Henry Smart Virginia 70 73 143 -1 T8 Richy Werenski Georgia Tech 74 69 143 -1 T8 J.T. Griffin Georgia Tech 73 70 143 -1 T8 McCuen Elmore Clemson 74 69 143 -1 T8 Yaroslav Merkulov Duke 69 74 143 -1

GEORGIA TECH SCORES 1 Paul Haley (4) 68 68 136 T2 Kyle Scott (3) 68 71 139 T8 J.T. Griffin (2) 73 70 143 T8 Richy Werenski (5) 74 69 143 T22 James White (1) 72 73 145

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