Hokies open fall season at VCU
Mix of youth and experience to play first match
September 30, 2007

BLACKSBURG, Va. - The Virginia Tech golf team will open the 2007-08 season on Oct. 1-2, at the VCU Shootout at the 6,955-yard, par-72 Manakin Course at the Hermitage Country Club in Manakin-Sabot, Va.

The Hokies will feature a mix of youth and experience in the five players competing in the year's first event. Senior Nick MacDonald (Harare, Zimbabe), will lead the Hokies at VCU. MacDonald appeared in all 12 events for the Hokies last season when Tech was the Atlantic Coast Conference co-champions and earned an at-large bid to the 2007 NCAA East Regional at the Golf Club of Georgia, where the Hokies finished 12th.

MacDonald will be joined by junior Drew Weaver (High Point, N.C.). Weaver won the 2007 British Amateur Championship in June and competed in the British Open in July. He finished ninth in stroke play and advanced to match play at the 2007 U.S. Amateur at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, in August. Senior Jurrian van der Vaart (Almelo, the Netherlands), the Hokies' top returning scorer from a year ago, will play at number-three.

A pair of freshmen will round out the top five for the Hokies this week. Garland Green (Tazewell, Va.) and Marshall Bailey (Fincastle, Va.) will compete at the four and five spots at VCU. Fellow freshman Aaron Eckstein (Salem, Va.) will compete in the VCU Shootout as an individual.

The Hokies will be one of four ACC teams in the VCU Shootout, joining fellow league members Wake Forest, North Carolina and Maryland. Three teams are ranked in the latest Golfweek/Sagarin Top 30, led by Chattanooga at seven, Wake Forest at 11 and Penn State at 29. Golfweek/Sagarin only ranks teams that have opened competition. The Hokies are ranked 44th in the current Golfstat.com poll.

The VCU Shootout will begin a busy month on the links for the Hokies. On Oct. 7-8, the Hokies will compete in the Duke Golf Classic, followed by a three-day trip to the Bank of Tennessee Intercollegiate at the Ridges on Oct. 19-21. The team will round out the month and the fall season Oct. 26-28, at the Landfall Tradition in Wilmington, N.C.