Men's Golf Season In Review
June 5, 2003
Demon Deacon Golf Season In Review
Deacs Tie For Fourth At NCAA Championships
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.
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
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.
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
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
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).
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
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
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 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
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
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
Haas was one of 10 semifinalists for the award last season as well.
The Rankings Report
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).
Deacs Among Select Company In The ACC
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
* 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.