April 17, 2009
NEW LONDON, N.C. –
Florida State sophomore Drew Kittleson, who played in last week’s Master’s Championship, birdied the 18th hole to move to two-under par and into a tie for sixth place in the individual standings after one round of the 56th Annual Atlantic Coast Conference men’s golf championship at the Old North State Club at Uwharrie Point. Kittleson and senior All-American Matt Savage, who is in a tie for ninth place in the individual standings, have led the Seminoles into fourth place after the first round of the event.
The Seminoles, who are the defending ACC Champions, are only six strokes out of the team lead as they attempt to become the first team since Clemson in 2003 and 2004 to win back-to-back outright ACC championships.
No. 9 ranked Georgia Tech rode an eagle by Cameron Tringale and a birdie by Chesson Hadley on their final holes of the afternoon to slip past No. 18 NC State and into first place in the team standings. The Wolfpack led for the majority of the first round and will being play in Saturday’s second round one stroke behind the Yellow Jackets. No. 3 ranked Clemson is in third place and is followed by No. 23 ranked Florida State. Tringale and Drew Weaver of Virginia Tech are tied for the individual lead with identical scores of 67.
Kittleson, the nation’s 20th ranked golfer according to Golfstat, was strong throughout the first round with five birdies and 10 holes of par. With three birdies on the front nine he was two under par and with two birdies and two bogies on the back nine he was even par. After earning a birdie on the first hole of the round, he stayed below par for the entire afternoon. He was as many as three strokes under par during the round.
“If Drew can keep his tee shots in the fairway he will play very well tomorrow,” sad head coach Trey Jones.
Savage, who is playing in his fourth ACC Championship, led the Seminoles with six birdies during the round including four on his back nine. He was hampered by three bogeys on his back nine which kept him from finishing among the leaders in the first round. After earning a birdie on his first hole, Savage spent most of his first round below par. He was as many as two strokes under par and was never more than one stroke over par during his first 18 holes.
Florida State’s Kittleson is only three strokes out of the lead and Savage is only four strokes from the top of the leader board. Jonas Blixt, in 2007, is the only Seminole in school to win the ACC individual championship.
Seminole freshman Brooks Koepka, who is playing in his first ACC Championship, carded an even par 72 and is in a tie for 16th place in the individual standings. He was two under par over his final 16 holes of the round after experiencing an unfortunate double-bogey on his second hole of the round. Koepka quickly regained his composure after the double-bogey and ran off a string of 14 holes at par or better including two birdies.
Lauer closed exceptionally well with three birdies on his final four holes and was two under par on his back nine. Following a bogey and a double bogey on his first two holes, Lauer was one-under par over his final 16 holes of the round.
Knight also closed well and was a total of one over par on his back nine. He was even par with a birdie and two pars on his final four holes.
“We put ourselves in a position to compete for this championship and I’m confident our guys will come out tomorrow and play well,” said Jones.
Florida State is paired with Maryland and Virginia Tech and will tee off beginning at 10:10 on Saturday morning in the second round.
56th Annual Atlantic Coast Conference Men's Golf Championship Old North State Club at Uwharrie Point/New London, N.C./Par 72 First Round Florida State Results 4/11. Florida State 287 T6. Drew Kittleson 70 T9. Matt Savage 71 T17. Brooks Koepka 72 T32. Seath Lauer 74 T36. Cameron Knight 75
56th Annual Atlantic Coast Conference Men's Golf Championship Old North State Club at Uwharrie Point/New London, N.C./Par 72 First Round Team Results 1. Georgia Tech 281 2. NC State 282 3. Clemson 286 4. Florida State 287 T5. Maryland 289 T5. Virginia Tech 289 T7. North Carolina 290 T7. Duke 290 9. Virginia 291 10. Wake Forest 295 11. Boston College 311