April 25, 2010
GREENSBORO, N.C. –
Sophomore Brooks Koepka carded a final round 67 and finished in a tie for sixth place in the individual standings to led Florida State to a fifth place finish in the team standings as play in the 57th Annual Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Golf Championship at the Old North State Club at Uwharrie Point came to a close. The Seminoles played their best collective round during the tournament in the final round as they had three golfers (Koepka, sophomore Wesley Graham and senior Seath Lauer) finish at par or better to help the team earn their third top five team finish in the last four seasons in the league championship tournament.
Georgia Tech won its second consecutive and fourth team championship in the last five years with a seven stroke victory over Virginia. The Yellow Jackets took over the lead in the first round and held on to win the championship as they placed two players in the top five of the individual standings. Chesson Hadley of Georgia Tech won his first individual ACC championship with a two stroke victory over Virginia’s Will Hadley.
Florida’s State’s team score of 282 on the final day was the best of the 11 teams competing in the event in the final round. The Seminoles improved from a tie for ninth place after the first round to a tie for seventh place after the second round and moved into fifth place in the final standings.
“We talked last night about how one of our goals was to play all 54 holes,” said head coach Trey Jones. “After a very frustrating start the guys showed a lot of pride and resiliency today as they finished with a strong round.”
Koepka (Wellington, Fla.) carded the best individual round of the last 18 holes to finish in a tie for fifth place. He finished 21 spaces better in the individual standings this season as compared to last season when he finished in a tied for 27th place in the individual standings. Koepka was six strokes under par over the final two rounds of play and moved up from a tie for 24th after shooting a one over par 73 in the first round to earn his fourth top five individual finish of the season.
“Brooks showed why I believe he is the ACC Player of the Year as he shot a 67 in 25 miles per hour wind,” said Jones.
Kopeka earned the Seminoles’ top finish in the ACC Championship since Jonas Blixt earned medalist honors in leading the Seminoles to the team championship in 2008.
Koepka was nearly flawless in the final round with five birdies and 18 holes at par or better – he did not score a hole above par of his final 18 holes. In fact, he finished the final 21 holes of the event at par or better. He pared his first hole of the final round and it was off to the races for Koepka, who will vie for conference player of the year honors. After a birdie on hole No. 1, he earned birdies on holes four, eight, 13 and 18 to finish at five under par. Koepka spent the final 28 holes of the tournament at or below par.
“Believe it or not, today was another struggle for me,” said Koepka. “The conditions were tough and I still don’t have my game where I want it to be but I got around the course and made the best of things. Hopefully with this being the end of school I can put in some more work to get my game to where I am happy with it. Team wise, we had another good final round so hopefully we can build on this as we move into regionals.”
Sophomore Wesley Graham (Port Orange, Fla.) played his best round of golf since Feb. 5 at the University of Hawaii Invitational as he closed the tournament with a three under par score of 69. He was five strokes better than his score of 74 in the first round and seven strokes better than his second round score in finishing with a 219 total and in a tie for 27th place. He, too, carded his first hole of the afternoon and finished the day with a team-high tying five birdies. Graham played his front at one under par with two birdies and played his back nine at three under par with two birdies. He scored as many birdies in the final round (five) as he did in his first two rounds combined (five).
“Wesley played a good final round but in order for our team to win we have to have one good round out of him,” said Jones.
Senior Seath Lauer (Huntington, Ind.) completed a marvelous tournament with an even par 72 in the final round. He finished in a tie for 12th place in the individual standings with a two under par total of 214. Lauer finished strong with two birdies on his back nine and a two under par total on those nine holes to finish at even par. He carded Lauer finished tied with Koepka for the team lead with 13 birdies in this tournament.
“Regardless of how we felt because of where we were in the team standings entering the last day, we still needed to play well for our team and our program in preparation for regionals,” said Lauer. “The year is far from over – we have a lot of great golf to play and a lot to learn from each round. We are going to work hard this week to finish the semester well and then concentrate on playing strong golf in the NCAA regionals and hopefully the NCAA championship.”
“Seath showed his leadership and played well throughout the event in finishing in 12th place,” said Jones. “He had a solid finish when you have a field as strong as the one that was in this ACC Championship.”
Freshman Doug Letson (Tampa, Fla.) finished in a tie for 23rd place with a two-over par total of 218. He led the team with a four under par score of 68 in the second round and finished as the Seminoles’ third leading golfer in the ACC Championship. After the first 11 holes of the final round he was one under par – putting him five strokes under par on the second and third days of the event.
“Doug gained valuable experience competing in his first ACC Championship,” said Jones. “This experience will certainly carry on to future championships.”
Junior Drew Kittleson (Scottsdale, Ariz.) finished the event with a three over par score of 75 and a 226 total for the three round tournament.
“After our guys finish strong with their finals this week, we will begin preparing for the NCAA regionals and we will work very hard in our preparations,” said Jones.
The Seminoles, who entered the ACC Championship as the No. 9 ranked team in the nation, will now participate in the NCAA Tournament at one of six regional sites May 20-22. The sites are: The Capital City Country Club (Alpharetta, Ga.), The Warren Golf Course (Notre Dame, Ind.), The Carlton Oaks Country Club (San Diego, Calif.), The Traditions Club (College Station, Texas), The Gold Mountain Country Club (Bremerton, Wash.) and the Yale University Golf Club (New Haven, Conn.) The Championship finals are June 1-6 at the Honors Course at the University Tennessee Chattanooga in Chattanooga, Tenn. The selections will be announced on May 3.
Atlantic Coast Conference Championship/Par 72/Final FSU Results Old North State Club at Uwharrie Point, N.C./April 23-25, 2010 5/11. Florida State 293 286 282 861 T5. Brooks Koepka 73 71 67 211 T12. Seath Lauer 71 71 72 214 T23. Doug Letson 76 68 74 218 T27. Wesley Graham 74 76 69 219 46. Drew Kittleson 75 76 75 226
>b>Atlantic Coast Conference Championship/Par 72/Final Team Results Old North State Club at Uwharrie Point, N.C./April 23-25, 2010 1. Georgia Tech 841 7. NC State 866 2. Virginia 854 8. Virginia Tech 869 T3. Duke 855 T9. Maryland 878 T3. Wake Forest 855 T9. North Carolina 878 5. Florida State 861 11. Boston College 912 6. Clemson 862