April 23, 2010
GREENSBORO, N.C. –
Senior Seath Lauer is in a tie for 14th place in the individual standings and the No. 9 ranked Florida State men’s golf team is in ninth place after the first round of the 57th Annual Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Golf Tournament at the Old North State Club at Uwharrie Point. The Seminoles played well after a tough start with a cumulative total of seven birdies over the final six holes after recording a total of seven birdies on the first 12 holes of the round to pull within striking range of the leaders over the final two rounds and 36 holes of the tournament.
The Seminoles are only six strokes from fourth place, 10 from second and only 11 behind Georgia Tech as they play for their second ACC title in the last three years/
2009 ACC Champion Georgia Tech captured the early lead on the first day of action. The Yellow Jackets hold a one stroke lead over Duke and Wake Forest who are in a tie for second place. Georgia Tech shot a nine-under-par 279 and was led by J.T. Griffin who shot a four under par 68. Adam Long of Duke shot a seven-under par 65 to lead 19 players who all shot under par in the first round.
“The players are frustrated and so am I,” said head coach Trey Jones. “This team has a great deal of firepower but also has a tendency to run hot and cold. In golf you are measured by how good your bad shots are and a few of our guys bad shots are off the golf course.
“We did hold it together on the back nine which shows our guys competitive spirit but there is no such thing as an almost good round,” Jones continued. “For three events now we are not getting a low round from any of our players. You have to have that low round to erase a 74 and we are finding ways to shoot 73’s and 75’s.”
Lauer led the Seminoles as one of the 19 players who finished under par in the first round. He carded a team leading five birdies and was over par for a total of only one hole during the first round. Lauer had two birdies on the first four holes and was at even par at the turn after the first nine holes. He then birdied three of his last eight holes to finish the round at one under par.
“Seath was in control of his game all day,” said Jones. “He played really well and made five birdies. They were all great golf shots and were right at the pin.”
Lauer (Huntington, Ind.) is looking to earn his best conference championship finish after finishing in a personal ACC Championship best tied for 13th in helping the Seminoles to the 2008 ACC Championship.
“This was a perfect scoring day; maybe the best we have seen all year but unfortunately we did not take advantage of it,” said Lauer. “We have two more rounds of golf to play and we are too talented not to play well the rest of the way. We have a lot of good golf ahead of us in this tournament.”
Sophomore Brooks Koepka (Wellington, Fla.) carded a one-over par 73 and is in a tie for 24th place in the individual standings. He recovered from a slow start and was two under par over his last 11 holes. During that span of holes, he carded nine holes of par or better with two birdies. Koepka carded three birdies during the round.
“Brooks is not feeling well and is struggling with his golf swing,” said Jones. “He hung tough and did well to shoot 34 on his back nine.”
Sophomore Wesley Graham (Port Orange, Fla.), who is playing in his first career ACC Championship, is in a tie for 31st place as he carded a two over par score of 74. He, too, grew stronger as the round went on and was one under par with two birdies over his final 13 holes of the round. Graham put an exclamation point on his round with a birdie on his final hole and will look to build on his first round finish over the final two rounds of the event.
Junior Drew Kittleson (Scottsdale, Ariz.) was another Seminole golfer who closed well with four birdies on his back nine. His four birdies on the back nine took his score down to as low as one over par as he looks to continue to play well over the final 36 holes of the championship. Freshman Doug Letson (Tampa, Fla.) carded a four over par 76 and is in a tie for 46th place. He is the Seminoles lone freshman in their ACC line-up who is playing in his first career ACC Championship.
“If Drew could play a round of golf with one ball he would never shoot over par,” said Jones. “He is very close to playing good golf and we need him to get going gor us to be successful in the postseason.”
“This is the first ACC Tournament for Doug and Wes and they showed some jitters early on,” said Jones. “I look for both of them to rebound in the final two rounds.”
Second round pairings will start at 8:30 am Saturday with the group of Boston College and North Carolina. The second wave, which includes Florida State, Virginia Tech and Maryland will start at 9:10 am. The third wave, which includes NC State, Virginia and Clemson will start at 10:10 am and the final grouping of Wake Forest, Duke and Georgia Tech will start at 11:10 am.
“We need a great round on Saturday to get back into the tournament,” said Jones. “We have the players and we have the potential.”
Atlantic Coast Conference Championship/Par 72/First Round FSU Results Old North State Club at Uwharrie Point, N.C./April 23-25, 2010 9/11. Florida State 293 T14. Seath Lauer 71 T24. Brooks Koepka 73 T31. Wesley Graham 74 T39. Drew Kittleson 75 T46. Doug Letson 76
Atlantic Coast Conference Championship/Par 72/First Team Results Old North State Club at Uwharrie Point, N.C./April 23-25, 2010 1. Georgia Tech 279 T7. Maryland 290 T2. Duke 280 8. Virginia Tech 290 T2. Wake Forest 280 9. Florida State 293 4. Clemson 284 10. North Carolina 297 5. Virginia 286 11. Boston College 301 6. NC State 287