April 23, 2011
NEW LONDON, N.C. (seminoles.com) –
Junior Wesley Graham shot a season low 69 and is now in a tie for 22nd place in the individual standings and the Florida State men’s golf team is in fifth place in the team standings with one round remaining at the 57th Annual Atlantic Coast Conference men’s golf championship at the Old North State Club at Uwharrie Point.
With all five of its players shooting par or better in the second round, the Seminoles continue to be led by senior All-ACC candidates Drew Kittleson (tied for eighth) and Brooks Koepka (tied for ninth) as the Seminoles are one of five teams in the race for the championship with two players in the top 10 of the individual standings.
With all five of its golfers finishing at par or better, Florida State finished with a 282 team score – tied for its third best of its fall and spring seasons and its best since finishing with a 282 in the third round of the Seminole Intercollegiate on March 13, 2011.
“As we head into postseason play, consistency across the lineup is imperative to us reaching our goals,” said head coach Trey Jones. “Having five guys shoot even par or better definitely shows our continued improvement.”
No. 6 Georgia Tech continues to hold a commanding nine stroke lead over No. 16 ranked duke with No. 30 Clemson in third place. The top three teams in the standings held their ground from the first to the second round. Florida State is only one stroke behind fourth place Virginia, four stroke behind Clemson and only eight strokes behind the Blue Devils for second place.
Graham (Port Orange, Fla.) was as good as he has been all season in carding his score of three under par 69. He finished without a blemish on his card – three birdies and 15 holes at par. He moved under par with a birdie on hole No. 5, went to two under with another birdie on hole No. 10 and to three under par with a third birdie on hole No. 13. Graham was two under par on his back nine and three under par over his final 14 holes of the round.
Graham’s three under par score of 69 was his best since the third round of the fall 2010 Brickyard Intercollegiate when he also shot a 69 and came within two stroke of tying his career best score for a single round of 67. Graham had more birdies (three to two) and fewer holes above par (zero to three) in his second round as compared to his first on Friday.
“I knew today would be a good opportunity for Wesley to shoot a good score,” said Jones. “He took full advantage of it with a bogey free round. This may be exactly what he needs.”
Kittleson (Scottsdale, Az.) continued to play well as he shot a second consecutive one-under par 71 and moved into a tie for sixth place in the individual standings with a two round total of 142. He closed his round well with birdies on his last two holes to move under par for the second consecutive round in this event. Kittleson is only six strokes off the lead of Georgia Tech’s Paul Haley as he plays for only the second individual ACC Championship in school history.
Koepka (Wellington, Fla.) carded a two under par 70 in the second round and is now in a tie for ninth place in the individual standings. He moved up five spaces in the individual standings as he continues to reach for his second career top five ACC Championship finish and his first career ACC Championship individual title.
Koepka recorded a team leading five birdies and was two under par with four birdies on his back nine in the second round. He birdied his first hole of the round and was never above par his 18 holes played on Saturday. Koepka had more birdies on his back nine in the second round (four) than he had in his entire first round (three).
Kittleson and Koepka are looking to join Seminole All-American Jonas Blixt in 2008 as the only Seminoles to win the individual title at the ACC Championship.
“Brooks and Drew are both in the top 10 again,” said Jones. “I look for them to come out and play well again tomorrow.”
Florida State’s freshman – Joaquin Lolas and Bjorn Hellgren – both finished with even par scores of 72. Lolas is in a tie for 24 place with a two day total of 146 while Hellgren is in 34th place with a total of 149. Both Lolas and Hellgren are playing in the ACC Championship for the first time in their careers.
“The freshmen continue to get better,” said Jones. “Joaquin never got it going today but still found a way to shoot event par. Bjorn is hitting the ball well but is still leaving too many shots on the course with his putter. Neither of them were content with their even par scores which goes to show just how competitive they are,” said Jones.
“Today showed a few things we knew,” said Jones. “But it also showed some encouraging things — the ACC is regarded as one of the best leagues in the country and today that certainly showed that. We saw a high level of golf played throughout the field, For our team to shoot six under par show us that we can play with anybody on any given day.
“Tomorrow we will need to get off to another good start, as I look for the scores to continue to be under par. There will be a lot of movement during the third round. We need to control what we can control, play to our strengths and the results will take care of themselves,” concluded Jones.
57th Annual ACC Men's Golf Championship/Par 72/Second Round Florida State Results Old North State Club and Uwharrie Point/New London, N.C./April 22-24, 2011 5/11. Florida State 294 282 576 T6. Drew Kittleson 71 71 142 T8. Brooks Koepka 73 70 143 T22. Wesley Graham 76 69 145 T25. Joaquin Lolas 74 72 146 34. Bjorn Hellgren 77 72 149
57th Annual ACC Men's Golf Championship/Par 72/Second Round Florida State Results Old North State Club and Uwharrie Point/New London, N.C./April 22-24, 2011 1. Georgia Tech 559 7. NC State 582 2. Duke 568 8. North Carolina 584 3. Clemson 472 9. Virginia Tech 592 4. Virginia 575 10. Maryland 604 5. Florida State 576 11. Boston College 631 6. Wake Forest 581