ATLANTA (May 9) – Georgia Tech’s top-ranked golf team, which has won three tournaments this spring and finished a close second in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship, will try to defend its 1999 NCAA East Regional championship as the top seed in the 2000 event, which will be held May 18-20 at Glenmaura National Golf Club in Moosic, Pa.
Tech has been the nation’s No. 1-rated team in the Mastercard rankings for 10 consecutive weeks, led by all-Americas Matt Kuchar (Lake Mary, Fla.) and Bryce Molder (Conway, Ark.), who currently rank No. 2-3 in the Mastercard individual rankings.
The fields for the three NCAA regionals were announced Tuesday afternoon. Each regional has 27 teams, and a minimum of eight teams will advance from each regional to the NCAA Championship, May 31-June 3 in Opelika, Ala. An additional six teams will advance from the regionals to fill out the championship field of 30 teams, and the breakdown of those six by region will be announced by the NCAA on Wednesday. In previous years, the teams competing in the East Regional competed for 11 spots. Ten teams advanced out of the Central Regional, and nine from the West.
“It’ll be interesting to see how the committee breaks down the number of teams advancing from each regional,” said Tech coach Bruce Heppler, whose teams have won the last two East Regionals, in Providence, R.I., in 1999, and Daufuskie Island, S.C., in 1998. “There’s no question the strongest region is the East.”
Of the nation’s top 50 teams in the latest Mastercard rankings, 18 are in the East Regional, including No. 2 Clemson, No. 4 Georgia, No. 11 Augusta State, No. 13 Florida, No. 15 N.C. State, No. 16 North Florida, No. 17 Auburn, No. 23 South Carolina, No. 26 Duke, No. 27 Virginia, No. 33 Alabama-Birmingham, No. 35 Mississippi State, No. 36 Wake Forest, No. 40 North Carolina, No. 42 Tennessee, No. 44 East Tennessee State and No. 48 Middle Tennessee State.
Seven of the nine teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference – all but Maryland and Florida State – are in the East field. Also receiving bids to the East regional are Georgia State, Rhode Island, Yale, Dartmouth, Penn State, James Madison, Richmond, Seton Hall and Virginia Commonwealth.