Men's Golf Season In Review

June 5, 2003

Complete Release in PDF Format
Download Free Acrobat Reader

Demon Deacon Golf Season In Review
ACC Championships - 2nd
NCAA Championships - t4th
Final National Rankings - t4th/t3rd/3rd

Deacs Tie For Fourth At NCAA Championships
Wake Forest posted its best national finish since 1997 with a tie for fourth at the 2003 NCAA Golf Championships. The Demon Deacons shot 46-over 1198 to tie with Florida at the four-day, 72-hole event which took place at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla.

Karsten Creek proved to be a brutally tough course, as the average 18-hole during the tournament was a 77.9 - nearly six strokes over par.

WFU, which went back and forth in the standings with Florida over the final nine holes, ended up tied with the Gators thanks to a strong performance on No. 18. The Deacs collectively went five-under on the final hole with an eagle by Bill Haas and three birdies. Florida went two-under on the same hole.

Clemson captured the NCAA title with a two-stroke victory over host Oklahoma State. It marks the first national title in men's golf for the ACC since WFU last won in 1986. The Tigers posted a 39-over 1191 over the four days, while the Cowboys finished at 1193. UCLA placed third, just one stroke ahead of WFU and Florida at +45.

Three Deacons tied for 26th in the individual standings. Bill Haas, Brent Wanner and Chad Wilfong all tied with a 12-over 300. Chris Yoder placed 49th at 308, while Cortland Lowe was 63rd with a 312.

The Deacons' team finish marks the 15th time WFU has finished among the top five at the NCAA Championships and 25th overall top-10 finish.

Deacs Once Again Enjoy Successful Season
Capped by its fourth-place showing at NCAAs, the Demon Deacons once again put together a very successful season. Wake won four events - the International Collegiate in Scotland, The Ridges in Tennessee, the Tulane Invitational and The Schenkel E-Z-Go Invitational - while finishing second at the Seminole Intercollegiate and ACC Championship.

Over the course of the season, the Deacs enjoyed a stretch of nine straight top five finishes. In fact, Wake Forest finished among the top four in 11 of 15 events during the 2002-03 campaign. Wake finished out of the top 10 in just one event - placing 11th at the Carpet Capital Collegiate - and placed no lower than sixth in any other tournament.

Senior Send-Off
The NCAA Championships marked the final collegiate event for 80 percent of the Wake Forest lineup. Four seniors - Cortland Lowe, Brent Wanner, Chad Wilfong, and Chris Yoder - closed out their Demon Deacon careers in June.

This group can claim much credit for the resurgence of the WFU golf program over the last few years. Collectively, this class won eight tournaments, pocketed 19 individual top five finishes, placed fourth or better in each of their ACC Championship appearances, went to four straight NCAA Regionals and earned a berth in three national championships, placing 15th, 10th and fourth. In addition, they've had Wake Forest consistently ranked among the top 10 over the last three seasons, including a national ranking of No. 1 in the fall of 2001 and a final ranking of No. 3 this season.

Head Coach Jerry Haas
Wake Forest head coach Jerry Haas wraps up his sixth season at the helm of the men's golf program. Haas is well-familiar with the tradition and history of the Wake program, having played under coach Jesse Haddock from 1982-85 and earning All-America honors four times as a Deacon golfer.

Haas' leadership and enthusiasm have been instrumental in the Deacons' recent return to national prominence. After a two-year hiatus from the NCAA Championships, Haas took the Deacs back in 2000, finishing 15th overall. The 2001 squad - all underclassmen - recorded a 10th place finish at NCAAs. The 2002 team reached a national ranking of No. 1 before a stunning upset in the NCAA Regionals, where they finished just one stroke shy of reaching the Championships. And in 2003, the Deacs tied for fourth, the best post-season finish of the Haas era.

Deacon Golfers Earn All-America Honors
Three Demon Deacons were named to All-America teams, as announced by the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) at its national awards banquet on May 30.

WFU junior Bill Haas was named a first-team All-America for the second straight year. He becomes just the seventh golfer in Deacon history to be a two-time first- team All-America, joining Jack Lewis (1968, 69), Lanny Wadkins (1970, 71), Jim Simons (1971, 72), Curtis Strange (1974, 75, 76), his father, Jay Haas (1975, 76), and Gary Hallberg (1977-80).

Seniors Brent Wanner and Chad Wilfong were honorable mention All-Americas.

In addition, Wanner and Chris Yoder were named GCAA All-American Scholars. For Wanner, it marked the second straight year he's earned the honor.

Haas Named ACC Player of the Year
Wake Forest junior Bill Haas is the 2003 ACC Player of the Year, as announced by the league office in early May. Haas is the first player from WFU to earn the honor since the conference began bestowing the award in 1992.

Haas who was the 2001 ACC Rookie of the Year, was also named to the All-ACC team for the third straight year. Only four other players in ACC history have earned both Rookie and Player of the Year honors - NC State's Tim Clark, Georgia Tech's Matt Kuchar and Bryce Molder, and Clemson's D.J. Trahan.

Wanner Joins Elite Group, Both at WFU and in ACC
Senior Brent Wanner was also named to the All-Atlantic Coast Conference squad, and in doing so joins a very elite group of Demon Deacons. Only four WFU players in school history have been named to the All-ACC team four times - Gary Hallberg (1977-80), Robert Wrenn (1978-81), Billy Andrade (1983-86) - and now Wanner (2000-03).

In fact, a total of just nine players in ACC history have reached this impressive milestone since the league began selecting an all-conference team in 1975. Hallberg was the first, followed by Wrenn and Andrade. The first non-WFU player to accomplish this was Georgia Tech's David Duval (1990-93), followed by Clemson's Jonathan Byrd (1997-00), Georgia Tech's Matt Kuchar (1997-00) and Bryce Molder (1998-01). Wanner and Clemson's D.J. Trahan become the latest additions to the club with their All-ACC selections this season.

Bringing Home The Hardware ... Four Times
Wake Forest captured four tournament titles this season, the most since pocketing four in the 1989 season. The Deacs won the season's first two events - The International Collegiate in Scotland and The Ridges in Tennessee. Wake also captured the Tulane Invitational in February and in March, won The Schenkel E-Z-Go Invitational in Statesboro, Ga.

Wake Forest has won at least one tournament in each of the last five seasons. The most successful season on record is 1976, when the Deacs collected 10 titles.

... As Well As Four Individual Titles
Two Demon Deacons - Bill Haas and Brent Wanner - were responsible for four individual titles this season. Haas won the Tulane Invitational outright and shared medalist honors at The Ridges and Carpet Capital Collegiate. Wanner captured The Schenkel with a career-best 207.

Wake's four individual titles this season are the most pocketed by a Deacon team since the 1983-84 squad. That team also collected four titles, including one by current head coach Jerry Haas and two by current PGA Tour member Billy Andrade.

Wanner Named Finalist For Byron Nelson Award
WFU's Brent Wanner was named one of five finalists for the 2003 Byron Nelson Award. The award, administered by The Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) and presented by Cleveland Golf, was given to Georgia Tech's Troy Matteson at GCAA Awards Banquet on May 30.

Candidates for the Nelson must be graduating seniors, and the selection committee equally considers a nominee's entire collegiate academic career, entire collegiate golf career and his character and integrity while in college. Particular consideration will be given to a nominee's good citizenship, as portrayed by Mr. Byron Nelson over the course of his life and golf career.

In addition to Wanner and Matteson, other finalists for the 2003 Nelson were Old Dominion's Geoff Harris, NC State's Justin Walters and Northwestern's Bjorn Widerstedt.

Haas A Hogan Award Contender For The Second Straight Year
Wake Forest junior Bill Haas was one of five finalists for the 2003 Ben Hogan Award, presented annually to the top men's NCAA Division I, II or III or NAIA golfer, taking into account all collegiate and amateur competitions during the last 12 months. Hunter Mahan of Oklahoma State and Ricky Barnes were named co-winners of the 2003 Hogan Award.

Haas was one of 10 semifinalists for the award last season as well.

The Rankings Report
Wake Forest finished the season at No. 3 in the Golfweek/Sagarin team ratings. Just nine-hundredths of a point separate the Deacs (70.76) from second-place Florida (70.67), the two teams which tied for fourth at NCAAs. Clemson (69.67), who was wire-to-wire No. 1, remained in the top spot. Oklahoma State (70.81) and Texas (70.90) rounded out the top five.

WFU also ranked tied for third (with Augusta State) in the May 16th GolfWorld poll, and the Deacs are tied for fourth in the final GCAA poll.

In the Golfweek/Sagarin ratings for individuals, Deacon Bill Haas finished third nationally, and has a chance to be the nation's top-ranked golfer entering the 2003-04 campaign. Less than one ratings point separates the players ranked 1st-6th, including top-ranked Hunter Mahan of Oklahoma State (68.69), No. 2 D.J. Trahan of Clemson (69.22), Haas at No. 3 (69.57), No. 4 Troy Matteson of Georgia Tech (69.60), No. 5 Jack Ferguson of Clemson (69.62) and No. 6 Ricky Barnes of Arizona (69.65).

Other Deacs in the final rankings included Brent Wanner at No. 25, No. 101 Chad Wilfong, No. 171 Chris Yoder, No. 205 Kyle Reifers, and No. 210 Cortland Lowe.

Deacs Among Select Company In The ACC
The ACC is always well-represented on the national golf stage, and this year was no exception. Six league teams - Clemson, Duke, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, NC State and Wake Forest - represented the ACC at the NCAA Championships. Clemson's national title was the fourth in league history, added to Wake's trophies from 1974, '75 and '86. Prior to the 2003 Championships, an ACC school had finished second in five of the previous six years - WFU in 1997, Clemson in 1988 and 2001, and Georgia Tech in 2000 and '02.

Three ACC schools - Clemson, Wake Forest and North Carolina - finished 1-3-10 in the country in the final Golfweek/Sagarin ratings. Georgia Tech was not far behind, finishing 12th. NC State (No. 17) and Duke (No. 25) also placed among the top 25.

Pomp & Circumstance
Two Demon Deacons competed in the NCAA Championships as graduates of Wake Forest University. Cortland Lowe and Brent Wanner participated in the school's commencement ceremony on Monday, May 19 with Lowe earning a degree in Sociology and Wanner in Mathematical Economics. Senior Chad Wilfong will finish up coursework this summer, while Chris Yoder will complete his degree this fall.

Streaky Deacs
* Bill Haas put together a streak of 13 straight rounds equal or under par from the second round of the Mercedes-Benz Collegiate in February to the second round of the ACC Championships last month. In records dating back to 1988, that stands as the longest streak of par or better rounds in school history. Haas also set two separate streaks of nine and eight rounds last year, which rank 2nd and 3rd all-time at WFU.

* As a team, Wake Forest put together a streak of 10 straight rounds under par in March and April of this season.

* Wake Forest finished among the top four in eight of its last nine tournaments.

* WFU has also had at least one individual place among the top 20 in every tournament but the NCAA Championships this season - 14 events.

* The Demon Deacons have placed fourth or better in each of the last four ACC championships.

Statistically Speaking
Collectively, 40 percent (18-of-45) of Wake Forest team rounds this season were equal or under par ... three Deacons - Brent Wanner (207), Chad Wilfong (206) and Chris Yoder (209) - set new career-best tournament scores this season ... the team stroke average was under par for most of the season ... the Deacs finished second in the ACC in stroke average behind national champs Clemson 72.14 to the Tigers' 71.32 ... team members combined for 36 top-20 finishes this season and 22 top-10 showings ... Wake Forest compiled a won-loss record of 180-40-3 (.814) ... versus ACC competition, the Deacs owned a record of 36-14 (.720).



Louisville vs. Wake Forest Football