Tech Third in NCAA SE Regional Golf

May 21, 2010

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Read down for video interviews with head coach Bruce Heppler and Chesson Hadley

Alpharetta, Ga. – Clemson and Oklahoma State, two storied NCAA golf programs are headed for a final-round showdown at the NCAA Southeast Golf Regional at the Capital City Golf Club’s Crabapple Course. Clemson holds a three shot lead over Oklahoma State after a weather-impacted second round on Friday.

Both teams entered this year’s Regional with a NCAA-record seven Regional titles and both will have a chance at the record in Saturday’s final round.

The fourth-seeded Tigers shot a 2-under 278 on the par 70, 7,182-yard layout about 20 miles outside of Atlanta. Top-seeded Oklahoma State shot a 2-over 282 to fall from a shot up to three behind. They are followed by regional host and ACC champion Georgia Tech, which sits at 13-over after shooting a 6-over 286 on Friday.

“We feel very fortunate to have played with Oklahoma State today and we played well. If you can get in the last group with them, you are usually doing really, really good. So we are going to see if we can win us one tomorrow,” Clemson coach Larry Penley said. “Just competing against (Oklahoma State) for another regional title is even more special because before they changed the format we never would have (faced them). We would have been in the East and they would have been in the Central, but it will be fun playing against them tomorrow. It’ll be interesting to see who gets the eighth one.”

Brigham Young and South Alabama are tied for fourth at +16. Arizona State, the regional’s No. 2 seed, is tied for sixth place at +18 with Arkansas.

The Southeast Regional is one of six NCAA regionals that began Thursday. The top five teams from each regional, plus the top individual not on one of those teams, advance to the NCAA Championships June 1-6 at The Honors Course outside Chattanooga, Tenn.

The 54-hole Southeast Regional concludes with the final 18 holes on Saturday with a scheduled start time of 7:30 a.m. Today’s round was delayed 1:20 minutes prior to the start and a two-hour delay took place from 3:04 p.m. to 5:04 p.m.

The individual leader board enters the final round with 10 players within three shots of leader Robbie Fillmore of Brigham Young, who is 3-under par 137. Logan Blondell (Georgia Southern), Jamie Marshall (Arkansas) and Peter Uihlein (Oklahoma State) sit a shot back at 2-under par and five other golfers stand at even par through two rounds.

Fillmore said, “I’m really happy (about where I stand). I gave away a few short putts coming in the back nine, but I also made my share of long ones. In this field, on this golf course, to just have a chance to be in contention makes me feel really good.”

South Alabama’s Chris Piumelli shot the day’s low round of a 4-under 66.

“I was more conservative off the tee, and I really executed my lines and my plan very well today,” said Piumelli. “I was also really patient and just playing to areas and taking my chances when I had them.”

Georgia Tech’s John-Tyler Griffin, who was tied for the first-round lead, shot s 3-over 73 and is tied for 10th at 1-over par 141 entering the final round.

“The greens were a little bit different today. I felt they were a lot slower. My lag putts were just terrible today. I had a few three-putts that I shouldn’t of. But other than that, I felt that the course was very fair and in good shape,” Griffin said. Yellow Jackets’ coach Bruce Heppler likes the team’s position, but does not want his team to be satisfied with just qualifying.

“I think you keep trying to get to the top of the deal. You try to win the tournament and try to play well, and that’s the objective. There will be plenty going on, and you just have to play smart golf, position yourself where you have a chance to make things easy, and I think we’ll play well tomorrow,” Heppler said.

Tech’s Chesson Hadley sits in a tie for 12th at 2-over after shooting a 1-under 69.

“I thought (the course) was definitely playing much easier today. I guess maybe the reason why would be it’s definitely playing longer (due to the wet course), so I think that could pose some problems for some people,” said Hadley. “I putted better today, which was what I did not do well yesterday. I think anytime you’re putting so-so, you’re not going to score well.”

Clemson has been led by Ben Martin, who is tied with five others at even par. Uihlein (Oklahoma State) led most of the day before bogeying the final hole to fall a shot off the lead.

“The course till played pretty hard and I don’t think anyone took advantage of it. The greens were pretty receptive and it played a little long,” said Uihlein.

Arkansas and Arizona State know that they need big days tomorrow to advance to championship.

Razorbacks coach Brad McMakin said, “Well, we obviously hope to play well again (after tying with the second-best score of the day, a 2-over 282). We’ve got another long day ahead of us because we are on the edge. We made a good comeback today, but we’ve got a lot of work to do. Yesterday we played a little too aggressive and today we backed up and had a lot more respect for the golf course. We realized you can’t miss in the wrong spot, so we did a better job today but we have to go out there and do it again tomorrow.”

Sun Devils coach Randy Lein thinks his team is still right in the mix, “We just haven’t played well together yet as a team, but we’re so close. So I don’t have to say much tonight. They know how we stand, and they seem to play their best when there’s an urgency to play well.”

For complete individual and team scores, go to www.golfstat.com.

NCAA SOUTHEAST REGIONAL RESULTS – 36 HOLES

TEAM STANDINGS
Clemson 283 278 – 561 (+1)
Oklahoma State 282 282 – 564 (+4)
Georgia Tech 287 286 – 573 (+13)
Brigham Young 289 287 – 576 (+16)
South Alabama 292 284 – 576 (+16)
Arkansas 296 282 – 578 (+18)
Arizona State 290 288 – 578 (+18)
Georgia Southern 288 293 – 581 (+21)
Wake Forest 292 291 – 583 (+23)
Mississippi 301 285 – 586 (+26)
Furman 292 294 – 586 (+26)
Towson 308 282 – 590 (+30)
Coastal Carolina 293 302 – 595 (+35)

INDIVIDUAL LEADERS
Robbie Fillmore, BYU 68 69 – 137 (-3)
Logan Blondell, Georgia Southern 69 69 – 138 (-2)
Jamie Marshall, Arkansas 71 67 – 138 (-2)
Peter Uihlein, Oklahoma State 68 70 – 138 (-2)
Scott Pinckney, Arizona State 69 71 – 140 (E)
Crawford Reeves, Clemson 72 68 – 140 (E)
Jonathan Randolph, Mississippi 68 72 – 140 (E)
Ben Martin, Clemson 71 69 – 140 (E)
Morgan Hoffmann, Oklahoma State 71 69 – 140 (E)
(*Playing as an individual)

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