May 30, 2003
STILLWATER, Okla. – Georgia Tech sophomore golfer Nicholas Thompson closed out the 2003 season in fine fashion, by playing the final 36 holes in 2-under-par to finish tied for 12th and assure himself of earning All-America honors for the second-straight year at the NCAA Championship in Stillwater, Okla. The Yellow Jackets tied for 11th place after 72 holes at the par-72, 7,301-yard Karsten Creek Golf Club layout at Oklahoma State University.
“Like I said yesterday, it’s great for the younger guys to get to play another round at the NCAA Championship,” commented Tech head coach Bruce Heppler. “For Nick to play the final 36 holes, 2-under-par is outstanding and he will be build on that experience for next season. I think it was also great for Chan and Thomas to play 72 holes here on a tough golf course, and I know that it will be tough up in Virginia next year, so they got to see what they can expect at this event.”
Thompson’s solid play over the final two rounds vaulted him up the leader board and into a tie for 12th place. An eagle on the 18th hole to put him at 2-under-par, 70 allowed him to finish at 8-over-par, 77-77-72-70-296 after 72 holes. That score was nine shots off the pace of individual champion Alejandro Canizares of Arizona State, who fired a 3-under-par 69 on the final day to claim medalist honors at 1-under-par, 77-70-71-69-287.
As a team, the Jackets improved their score each day, including a final round total of 12-over-par, 300. Tech’s four-round total of 66-over-par, 310-306-302-300-1218 tied it with Washington (314-300-301-303-1218) for 11th place. The two teams were 27 shots behind team champion Clemson, which edged the host Cowboys by two shots with a 72-hole score of 39-over-par, 299-302-287-303-1191.
The other Yellow Jackets in the field of individuals included senior Troy Matteson, who finished his collegiate career with a 3-over-par 75 to tie for 39th place at 16-over-par, 78-74-77-75-304. Matteson will likely also earn All-America accolades for the third-straight year when the teams are announced later this evening at the post-tournament banquet. Following Matteson was rookie Thomas Jordan, who completed his first NCAA Championship appearance in a tie for 63rd place at 24-over-par, 79-77-79-77-312. One shot behind Jordan was sophomore Chan Wongluekiet, whose final-round score of 78 put him in a tie for 67th place at 77-82-76-78-313. The final member of the Tech contingent was senior Adam Cranford, who tied for 83rd place with a 72-hole score of 78-78-77-89-322.
“I’m proud of our seniors in Troy and Adam,” said Heppler. “Troy has been the consummate student-athlete during his career. It had been a long time since anyone from Georgia Tech had won the NCAA Championship and he did that last year. He did as much as Matt (Kuchar) and Bryce (Molder) and I know he’ll do well in his professional career. For Adam, it was great that he got to play in the NCAA Championship. He would have been the only one in that class to not get to, but he did and if it weren’t for his birdies at the end of the third round, we wouldn’t have been playing today.”
The tie for 11th marked the 13th time that Yellow Jackets have finished in the top 13 at the NCAA Championship, as Tech was making its 17th appearance in the event.
FINAL TEAM SCORES1. Clemson 299-302-287-303-11912. Oklahoma State3 299-300-290-304-11933. UCLA 303-295-301-298-11974. Wake Forest 304-306-290-298-1198 Florida 302-300-297-299-11986. Arizona State 306-308-297-291-12027. Augusta State 311-306-294-302-12138. Auburn 299-303-301-312-12159. North Carolina 308-308-299-301-1216 Texas 306-314-299-297-121611. Georgia Tech 310-306-302-300-1218 Washington 314-300-301-303-121813. UNLV 313-300-295-312-122014. Southern California 300-311-298-312-122115. NC State 299-317-296-312-122416. Georgia 315-306-297-308-122617. Arizona 307-308-303-311-122918. Wichita State 308-309-299-316-1232
TOP-10 INDIVIDUALS 1. Alejandro Canizares, Arizona St. 77-70-71-69-287 2. Lee Williams, Auburn 69-72-71-77-289 3. Matthew Rosenfeld, Texas 71-76-71-72-290 Chris Stroud, Lamar 70-77-70-73-290 5. Brock Mackenzie, Washington 77-71-72-71-291 6. Ricky Barnes, Arizona 75-74-70-73-292 Jason Hartwick, Texas 77-70-72-73-292 8. Hunter Mahan, Oklahoma State 73-71-73-76-293 9. Chez Reavie, Arizona State 74-77-70-73-294 10. Andrew Dahl, Arkansas 73-81-70-71-295 Jason Moon, NC State 72-73-75-75-295
GEORGIA TECH INDIVIDUALS T12. Nicholas Thompson 77-77-72-70-296 T39. Troy Matteson 78-74-77-75-304 T63. Thomas Jordan 79-77-79-77-312 T67. Chan Wongluekiet 77-82-76-78-313 T83. Adam Cranford 78-78-77-89-322