March 13, 2009
Cameron Tringale birdied three of his final four holes for a 67, and 12th-ranked Georgia Tech posted a 1-over-par score of 289 to stand fourth after the first round of the Southern Highlands Collegiate golf tournament in Las Vegas.
Tringale is in a four-way tie at the top of the leaderboard with Southern California’s Matthew Giles, Clemson’s Ben Martin and UNLV’s Colby Smith. They have a one stroke lead on Tyler Neal of Arizona (68) and a two-shot lead on Phillip Mollica of Clemson (69).
Tech is six shots behind team leader Clemson, which shot a 5-under-par 283 Friday. Host UNLV is two shots back at 3-under 285, and Arizona is third at 1-under 287.
“That was a very positive start for us,” said head coach Bruce Heppler following his team’s round on the 7,510-yard, par 72 Southern Highlands Golf Club. “This is a very tough golf course, and we have been prone to starting slowly.”
Starting on the 10th hole, Tringale played the back nine 1-under-par, then birdied five holes on the way in, including three straight on the par-4 sixth, par-4 seventh and pare-3 eighth. He missed a 5-foot birdie putt on the par-5 ninth, his finishing hole.
“Cameron just had a great round,” said Heppler. “He had a five-footer for birdie at the last, so it was a fine effort for him today. He’s playing very well.”
Tech’s two freshmen, Minghao Wang and James White, shot 1-under 71 and 3-over 75, respectively. Wang, from Reunion, Fla., had struggled in Tech’s first two spring events, failing to break 80 twice in six rounds, but was able to take advantage of his length on the long Southern Highlands course, posting four birdies and two bogeys and is in a tie for eighth place. White, from Acworth, Ga., stayed steady with a birdie and four bogeys and is tied for 33rd.
“Getting a combined 2-over from our freshmen was key today,” said Heppler. “Ming three-putted from about 10 feet on the first hole, but he was in control most of the day. This course is a beast, and young players don’t always have the poise to handle it well.”
Round two begins at 12 noon Eastern time Saturday, with Tech’s players beginning at 12:45 p.m.
SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS COLLEGIATESouthern Highlands Golf Club, Las Vegas, Nev.First-Round Results
TEAM STANDINGS Clemson 283 (-5) UNLV 285 Arizona 287 Georgia Tech 289 Florida 290 Oklahoma State 291 Southern California 295 UCLA 296 California 298 Charlotte 300 Auburn 302 Georgia 303 Texas A&M 308 Arizona State 309 Texas 312
INDIVIDUAL LEADERS Cameron Tringale, Georgia Tech 67 (-5) Matthew Giles, Southern California 67 Ben Martin, Clemson 67 Colby Smith, UNLV 67 Tyler Neal, Arizona 68 Phillip Mollica, Clemson 68 Will Strickler, Florida 70 Minghao Wang, Georgia Tech 71 Rickie Fowler, Oklahoma State 71 Billy Horschel, Florida 71 Jonathan Kahn, Florida 71 Kyle Stanley, Clemson 71