Oct. 7, 2011
MACON, Ga. (seminoles.com) –
Senior Brooks Koepka played a near perfect round with a six under par 66 and is in second place in the individual standings and the No. 13 ranked Florida State men’s golf team is in second place in the team standings after the first round of the Brickyard Collegiate Championship at the Brickyard at Riverside. Koepka carded one eagle, four birdies and 13 holes at par and is only one stroke behind Seth Reeves of Georgia Tech with two rounds to be played in the event. Reeves matched Koepka with one eagle during the round but carded five birdies to the four scored by the Seminole team captain to hold the first round lead.
Georgia Tech, with four players in the top 20 of the individual standings as compared to the Seminoles’ three players in the top 20, have a two stroke lead over Florida State in the team standings. The Yellow Jackets counted four scores at 72 or better while the Seminoles counted three scores at 72 or better. Florida State begins play in Saturday’s second round with two players in the top five of the individual standings (Koepka and junior Doug Letson who is in a tie for sixth place) as compared to Georgia Tech having only one player in the top five.
The Seminoles are nationally ranked in each of the three major college golf polls this week – 13th by GolfWeek Magazine, 15th by GolfStat and 18 by Golf World Magazine. It marks the fifth consecutive under head coach Trey Jones that the Seminoles have been nationally ranked. Florida State is the second highest ranked team in the tournament and is ahead of six teams ranked in the nation’s top 50 after the first round of play.
“The best thing about today would be the fact that five of our seven players in the event shot even par or better on a windy golf course,” said Jones. “We did what we wanted to and that was to get off to a competitive start. Doug and Brooks stepped up today and the other guys will do the same tomorrow.”
Florida State vaulted itself up the team leader board as it finished the round at a cumulative total of nine strokes under par on the final three holes of the round. Each of the five players in the Seminoles’ line-up carded at least one birdie on their way in with Koepka leading the way with three consecutive birdies on holes No. 16, 17 and 18 while senior Wesley Graham and Letson recorded two each and graduate student Kyle Cobb finished the round with a birdie on hole No. 18.
Koepka (Wellington, Fla.) came within one stroke of tying his career best as ripped through the course to finish with his six under par score of 66. His score for the first round marked the second best score of his Florida State career and was just one stroke off of his career best score of 65 which cane during the second round of the spring 2009 Florida State Spring Invitational. Koepka was never above par and moved to six under par as he birdied the final three holes of the round. With an eagle in the par five hole No. 12, Koepka was five under par over the last seven holes of the round.
Koepka is looking to win the Brickyard Collegiate for the first time in his career after finishing in a tie for third in this event in during the fall of 2010 and in a tie for fifth place her during the fall of 2009. With his score of six under par in Friday’s first round, he is a total of 14 strokes under par in his last three appearances and six rounds at the Brickyard Collegiate.
“I played really well today,” said Koepka. I didn’t make any mistakes and finally drove the ball in play to give myself some good looks at making birdies. I played patiently knowing birdies were going to come and they finally did on the last three holes.”
Junior Doug Letson (Tampa, Fla.) also came within one stroke of tying his career best as he carded a three under par score of 69. He led the team with a single round career high six birdies and was never more than one stroke over par during the round. Letson birdied three of his final five holes of the round to move to one under par as he made the turn to the back nine. With three birdies, five holes scored at par and only one bogey on his back nine, Letson remained under par and moved to three under par with birdies on two of his final three holes of the round.
Letson’s score of 69 was his best as a Seminole since carding his career best single round score of 68 in the second round of the 2010 ACC Championship and marked only the second time as a Seminole that he carded a score in the 60’s.
Letson is in a tie for sixth place in the individual standings with 36 holes remaining to be played; he finished in a career best tie for fifth place in the individual standings at the spring 2010 Seminole Intercollegiate.
Senior Wesley Graham (Port Orange, Fla.) continued to play well in his final season as a Seminole and is in a tie for 17th place in the individual standings with an even par score of 72. He played his best golf of the final round over the final seven holes as he was one under par with three birdies after earning his first birdie of the day on hole No. 12. Graham birdied three of his final seven holes of the round.
Graham is looking to earn his second consecutive top 20 finish after finishing in a tie for 15th place at the fall season opening Olympia Fields / Fighting Illini Invitational in September.
Two Seminoles – Joaquin Lolas (71) and Bjorn Hellgren (72) who are playing as individuals — are in a tie for 12th place and a tie for 17th place in the individual standings. Lolas was three under par over his final 16 holes of the afternoon with three birdies to finish at one under par while Hellgren carded four birdies during the round including on two of his last five holes of the round to finish at even par.
Florida State will play with Georgia Tech and North Florida in the second round of the tournament with its tee times beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday morning. The Seminoles are the second ranked of the three ACC teams competing in the event – two strokes behind Georgia Tech and 15 strokes ahead of Virginia Tech which is in a tie for seventh place in the team standings.
Brickyard Collegiate Championship/Oct. 7-9, 2011/First Round Florida State Results Brickyard At Riverside/Macon, Ga./Par 72 2/15. Florida State 282 2. Brooks Koepka 66 T6. Doug Letson 69 T17. Wesley Graham 72 T41. Kyle Cobb 75 T58. Daniel Berger 77 T12. Joaquin Lolas 71* T17. Bjorn Hellgren 72* *playing as individuals
Brickyard Collegiate Championship/Oct. 7-9, 2011/First Round Team Results Brickyard At Riverside/Macon, Ga./Par 72 1. Georgia Tech 280 9. Texas Arlington 298 2. Florida State 282 10. Mercer 299 3. North Florida 284 T11. Gonzaga 300 4. Augusta State 292 T11. Colorado State 300 5. Georgia 295 13. Oklahoma 301 6. Chattanooga 296 14. Charleston 303 T7. Virginia Tech 297 15. Air Force 307 T7. Ole Miss 297