Tech Looks to Defend BIG EAST Golf Title
Krusoe set to defend individual honors
April 15, 2002 Blacksburg, Va. - Defending champion Virginia Tech has been selected as the top seed in the 2002 BIG EAST Conference Golf Championship, to be held April 20-21 at the Warren Golf Course on the campus of the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind. Tech will be joined in the event by St. Johns, Notre Dame, Connecticut, Seton Hall and Georgetown. The Hokies will attempt to become the first champion to repeat in the event since Notre Dame won the team title in the 1995, 1996 and 1997 tournaments. Senior Brian Krusoe (Northfield, Ohio) is one of three players returning that tied for medalist honors in last season's event, along with Steve Ratay of Notre Dame and Andrew Svododa of St. John's. The last player to win back-to-back titles was Pat Fogarty of St. John's, who won three straight titles from 1982-84. Tech, the event's defending champion, enters the event ranked 12th nationally in the Precept/GCAA coaches' poll, 14th in the Golfweek/Sagarin poll and 10th in both the Golfstat.com NCAA Division I Head-to-Head rankings and the GolfWorld poll. Junior Brendon de Jonge (Harare, Zimbabwe) is currently ranked fifth by Golfstat.com and eighth in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings. Senior Johnson Wagner (Garrison, N.Y.) is ranked 27th by Golfstat.com and 30th by Golfweek/Sagarin. Tech won last year's tournament in its first season in competition in the BIG EAST Conference. The title was Virginia Tech's first BIG EAST championship in any sport other than football and its first since joining the conference as a full member in the fall of 2000. The Hokies, under the direction of 2001 BIG EAST Conference Coach-of-the-Year Jay Hardwick, shot a BIG EAST 54-hole record 875 to win the 2001 championship. Krusoe, along with teammates junior Chris McKeel (Wilson, N.C.) and Wagner were named to the 2001 All-BIG EAST team. The conference champion receives an automatic bid into the 2002 NCAA regionals. Tech finished eighth in the 2001 NCAA Golf Championship in Durham, N.C.