Hokies 8th after day one in Puerto Rico
van der Vaart 18th individually
February 29, 2008

RIO MAR, Puerto Rico - The Virginia Tech golf team shot an opening round 293 on Friday afternoon and is in eighth place at the Puerto Rico Classic at the par 72, 6,902-yard River Course of the Rio Mar Country Club in Rio Mar, Puerto Rico.

Jurrian van der Vaart (Sr., Almelo, the Netherlands) shot an opening round even-par 72 and is tied for 18th place individually. Chesson Hadley of Georgia Tech and Matthew Swan of Alabama each shot first round 66 and lead the tournament by two stroke over Phillip Mollica of Clemson.

Aaron Eckstein (Fr., Salem, Va.) shot 73 and is tied for 24th place. The remaining three Hokies, Nick MacDonald (Sr., Harare, Zimbabwe), Drew Weaver (Jr., High Point, N.C.) and Marshall Bailey (Fr., Fincastle, Va.) each shot 74 and are tied for 34th place. The Hokies had the lowest high scorer of the first round, at 74.

Clemson and Oklahoma State each shot four-under-par 284 and are tied for the lead, five strokes ahead of Alabama and East Tennessee State. Northwestern is fifth at 290, Michigan is sixth at 291 and Duke is seventh at 292, one stroke ahead of the Hokies. Kent State and top-ranked Georgia are tied for ninth at 294, NC State and Georgia Tech are tied for 11th at 296 and Texas is 13th at 299. Minnesota is 14th at 300 and host Purdue is 15th at 308.

The Puerto Rico Classic features a 15-team field that is one of the strongest in collegiate golf. Thirteen of the 15 competing schools are ranked in the top 50, including eight in the top 30, four in the top 10 and three of the top four ranked teams in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings. Top-ranked Georgia and number-two Alabama headline the tournament. The Hokies enter the spring season ranked 30th by Golfweek/Sagarin and 18th in the Golfstat.com NCAA head-to-head rankings.

The second round will be played on Saturday and the final round will be held on Sunday. Following the Puerto Rico Classic, the Hokies will next compete in the Cleveland Golf Palmetto Intercollegiate at the Palmetto Golf Club in Aiken, S.C. on March 10-11.