The Wake Forest golf team has a storied tradition in ACC and collegiate golf, claiming 18 ACC titles and 3 NCAA titles. Despite cranking out several players recently that have succeeded on the PGA Tour (Bill Haas and Webb Simpson in particular), the last ACC title for Wake came in 1989 (28 years).
The No. 9 ranked Demon Deacons will look to change that this weekend (April 21-23) as it heads into the ACC Championship as the No. 1 seed. Due to HB2, the tournament has been moved from Old North State to Musgrove Mill in Clinton, SC.
Given how much trouble Old North State has given the Deacs in the past, this should present a big boost. Not to mention the course was designed by the late and great Wake golfer Arnold Palmer.
This year has been a very successful one for Coach Jerry Haas and his team. The Deacs have already won three titles, and ten total over the last three seasons.
For those unfamiliar with college golf, there are five players on each team, and four scores count each day (the highest/worst score is dropped). This is a three-day tournament, and come Sunday afternoon there will be a team and an individual champion.
Wake Forest will tee off from 10:00-10:48 this morning, playing with Virginia and Clemson. The players will go off in reverse order, with the 5th slotted player off at 10 for each team.
This weekend the Deacs are sending out:
- Will Zalatoris (11th ranked amateur in the World)
- Paul McBride (80th)
- Lee Detmer (759th)
- Cameron Young (162nd)
- Eric Bae (1,111th)
Zalatoris is likely the favorite in the tournament, placing in the top ten in each of his last 5 events. He is ranked 5th in the nation, and is on pace to become the second Wake Forest golfer ever to have a scoring average under 70.0 in a season, following Bill Haas in 2004.
Just because Wake Forest is the 1 seed does not guarantee anything at all. There are 8 ACC teams ranked in the top 33 according to Golfstat, including 4 in the top 25.
Here are the official Golfstat national rankings of each ACC school:
9. Wake Forest
20. Georgia Tech
26. Florida State
29. North Carolina
33. N.C. State
78. Virginia Tech
99. Notre Dame
178. Boston College
This will hopefully be the year that the Deacs can get the monkey off its back and get an ACC title. Regardless, this weekend will serve as a good tune-up for the NCAA Regionals and the NCAA Championships.