April 24, 2011
NEW LONDON, N.C. (seminoles.com) - Senior Drew Kittleson finished in a tie for sixth place in the individual standings and the Florida State men's golf team finished in fifth place 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 Sunday. Kittleson tied his best career ACC finish and his fourth top five finish of his senior season to lead the Seminoles. Teammate Brooks Koepka carded an under par score of 71 and finished in a tie for 10th place in the individual standings to earn his second career top 10 finish in three ACC Championships.
The Seminoles played well and moved into third place in the team standings for a short time during the third round but finished the tournament in fifth place. It marked the second consecutive season the Seminoles have finished in fifth place and the fourth time in the last five seasons that they have finished in fifth place or higher including winning the 2008 conference championship.
No. 6 ranked Georgia Tech ran away with the team championship to claim its third consecutive ACC Championship. The Yellow Jackets, who led wire-to-wire, defeated runner up Duke by 18 strokes. The Seminoles finished ahead of three teams including No. 25 NC State and No. 27 Wake Forest. Florida State defeated the Wolfpack by six strokes and topped the Deacons by 13 strokes. Paul Haley of Georgia Tech won the individual championship with a one stroke win over teammate Kyle Scott.
"Hats off to Georgia Tech," said head coach Trey Jones. "That was one of the best performances I have seen. We have some positives to build in on as we head to post season and each person always has things to work on."
Kittleson (Scottsdale, Az.) played winning golf in all three rounds of the ACC Championship with three consecutive sub par rounds. He carded rounds of 71-71-70 for a four under par total of 212. His tie for sixth finish matched his tied for sixth finish in 2008 while his 212 score within two strokes of tying his best of four ACC Championship sores (210 in 2008).
"Drew competed in his 12th round at the Old North State Club used his experience to get him around under par in each round<' said Jones. "Drew is really good at course management and short game and be used both if those strengths this week for another top ten finish."
Kittleson matched his tournament high with four birdies in the final round on his way to playing under par golf for the third consecutive day. He birdied his first two holes to move under par and was never above par during the remainder of the round. Kittleson played even par golf on his front nine and was two under par on his back nine. He finished the round at two under par over his last 10 holes and was under par for 47 of his 54 holes played in his fourth career ACC Championship.
Koepka (Wellington, Fla.) earned his second career top 10 ACC Championship finish after finishing in a tie for fifth as a sophomore in 2010. He played his best golf of the third round on his front nine with three birdies and a two under par total and was one over par with only one birdie on his back nine. Koepka carded his second consecutive under par round of 71 in the third round.
With eight birdies over his final two rounds, Koepka spent the entire second and third rounds under par with the exception of his first three holes of the third round.
"I played okay golf today," said Koepka after the round. "I got off to a good start and unfortunately had some trouble in the middle and at the end of the round. It was windy during the entire round so I am happy to finish at one under."
"Brooks had a good round going but made three bogies in his last 10 holes to keep him out of the top 10," said Jones. Brooks is close to playing at a top level; he needs a productive preparation to the regionals to clean up his misses."
Junior Wesley Graham (Port Orange, Fla.) and freshman Joaquin Lolas (Lima, Peru) finished in a tie for 26th place in the individual standings. Graham carded a 75 in the final round and finished with a three round total of 220. He carded a junior season best 69 in the second round. Lolas, who has displayed a tremendous amount of future potential through his first season as a Seminoles, carded a 74 and also finished with a three round total of 220. Freshman Bjorn Hellgren (Vesteras, Sweden) finished in a tie for 39th place in the standings as he carded a three over par score of 75 and finished with a 224 total - the fourth best tournament score of his freshman season.
"Wesley was in every round coming down the last three holes which is an improvement," said Jones. "We will work on keeping his head in the present and not reflecting on previous experiences or potential future outcomes."
"Joaquin made a bad decision on No. eight and made a triple bogie. Other than he showed good composure throughout the day and birdied two of the final three holes to help the team. The more he plays the better he gets. Bjorn had another good start but hit some loose shots that prevented him from having aggressive birdie opportunities on the back nine. He has potential to improve the most in the next few weeks if he is a quick learner," said Jones.
The Seminoles, who will now play in their sixth consecutive NCAA championship tournament, will wait for the official announcement of the NCAA Championship field on May 2. The Seminoles will be sent to one of six regional sites: The River Course (Roanoke, Va,/Virginia Tech host), Omni Tucson National Resort (Tucson, Ariz./University of Arizona host), Colorado National Golf Club (Erie, Colo./University of Colorado, Boulder host), Golden Ocala Golf Club (Ocala, Fla./University of Florida host), Wolf Run Golf Club (Zionsville, Ind./Indiana University host), and The Farms Golf Course (Rancho Santé Fe, Calif./University of San Diego host).
"We start finals today and have individual workouts during the week that also start Monday preparing for the regional," said Jones.
57th Annual ACC Men's Golf Championship/Par 72/Final Florida State Results Old North State Club and Uwharrie Point/New London, N.C./April 22-24, 2011 5/11. Florida State 294 282 290 866 T6. Drew Kittleson 71 71 70 212 T10. Brooks Koepka 73 70 71 214 T26. Wesley Graham 76 69 75 220 T26. Joaquin Lolas 74 72 74 220 T39. Bjorn Hellgren 77 72 75 224
57th Annual ACC Men's Golf Championship/Par 72/Final Team Results Old North State Club and Uwharrie Point/New London, N.C./April 22-24, 2011 1. Georgia Tech 831 7. Virginia Tech 874 2. Duke 851 T8. North Carolina 879 3. Clemson 861 T8. Wake Forest 879 4. Virginia 864 10. Maryland 901 5. Florida State 866 11. Boston College 953 6. NC State 872