Jackets Make NCAA Elite Eight
Yellow Jackets finish third in stroke play, will face Augusta State in quarterfinal match
June 3, 2010
Friday's quarterfinal pairings (Stanford is the playoff winner)
Ooltewah, Tenn. - Chesson Hadley shot a 3-under-par 69 Thursday, leading Georgia Tech to a 2-under 286 team score and a third-place finish in the stroke-play portion of the NCAA Division I Men's Golf Championship. The Yellow Jackets advance to the match play portion of the championship, where they will play Augusta State at 11:15 a.m. Friday.
The first round of match play competition begins at 9 a.m. Friday at The Honors Course, with top-seeded Oklahoma State facing a No. 8 seed still to be determined. No. 4 Washington will face No. 5 Oregon at 9:45 a.m., and No. 2 Florida State will meet No. 7 Texas Tech at 10:30 a.m.
Seedings were determined by their standing at the end of the 54-hole stroke-play portion of the championship. Stanford, Arizona State and San Diego finished the third round Thursday tied for eighth place, and will play off for the final spot Friday morning for the right to play the Cowboys.
Oklahoma State, trailing Florida State by five shots entering the final round, shot 5-under-par 283 and were remarkably consistent during the stroke-play competition. Their three rounds of 283, 284 and 283 gave them a 14-under-par tournament total of 850, four shots clear of the Seminoles, who finished at 10-under-par 854.
Tech finished at 6-under 858, followed by Washington at 4-under 860, Oregon at 3-under 861, Augusta State at 1-under 863 and Texas Tech at 3-over 867. The Stanford, ASU and San Diego finished at 4-over 868.
The Yellow Jackets started fast, recording four birdies at the first hole, and got its tournament score to 8-under-par at one point on the front nine. But they fell back by the turn, watching a margin of eight shots ahead of eighth place dwindle down to one while falling into fifth place.
Head coach Bruce Heppler's team recovered by recording nine birdies from the 13th hole on and held a firm grip on third place coming into the final hole.
"We struggled in the middle of the round, no doubt," said Heppler, a leading proponent of changing the tournament format to a combination of stroke play and match play a year ago. "But we've stuck with our goal of playing every hole, and we were able to get some birdies coming in and finish strong. I'm very pleased with the way all of our guys have played, and excited about moving on."
The Cowboys, trailing Florida State by five shots entering the final round, shot 5-under-par 283 and were remarkably consistent during the stroke-play competition. Their three rounds of 283, 284 and 283 gave them a 14-under-par tournament total of 850, four shots clear of the Seminoles, who finished at 10-under-par 854.
Hadley, a senior from Raleigh, N.C., finished the stroke-play portion of the event at 3-under-par 213, tying with three others for 14th place. Paul Haley, a junior from Dallas, Texas, shot a 73 Thursday to post a 4-under-par total of 212 and finish in a four-way tie for ninth. The top 15 finishers at the NCAA Championship are automatically named All-Americans by the Golf Coaches Association of America.
Scott Langley of Illinois captured medalist honors after shooting a 6-under 66 Thursday, winning by two shots over Alex Ching of San Diego, the second-round leader, and Peter Uhlein of Oklahoma State. Langley, whose team finished well out of contention, finished 54 holes at 10-under 206.
In the match play format, the No. 5 players from each team play an 18-hole match, followed by individual matches between each team's No. 4, 3, 2 and 1 players. The winner of each match scores one point for his team. All matches begin at the first tee and are played under standard match play rules.
The first team to accumulate three points wins the match and advances to the semifinals on Saturday, where the winner of the #1/8 match meets the winner of the #4/5 match at 9 a.m. The winner of the #2/7 match faces the #3/6 winner at 9:45 a.m. Those winners will meet for the national championship Sunday at 12 noon.
Tech, which tied for 10th place after 54 holes last year, the first year this format was used, has not played in a match-play event of any type the fall of 2007, in which it finished second in the Callaway Golf Match Play Championship in Greensboro, Ga. The Yellow Jackets have played in that event four times, reaching the finals three of those four times and compiling a 12-4 match record.
Georgia Tech Head Coach Bruce Heppler
On the team's play today:
On how your team will perform in match play:
Georgia Tech Junior Paul Haley
On his round:
On finishing within the top 10:
Georgia Tech Senior Chesson Hadley
On what his team has accomplished:
On the differences from match play and stroke play: