The 33-year drought is over for the Wake Forest men’s golf team.
The 15th-ranked Demon Deacons, thanks to a victory from Alex Fitzpatrick in the final match of the day, defeated Georgia Tech 3-2 on Monday afternoon to win the ACC championship.
Coach Jerry Haas, who is in his 24th season, won his first ACC title and it came in dramatic fashion.
“Finally, the monkey’s off,” Haas said to the ACC Network shortly after the victory and after Fitzpatrick made par to clinch his match on the 21st hole.
Fitzpatrick, the younger brother of PGA Tour golfer Matthew Fitzpatrick, needed 21 holes to beat Benjamin Reuter to clinch the match for the Demon Deacons.
Heading home ✈️Landing at home at 3:30 p.m. See you at the Haddock House 🏠 pic.twitter.com/U46HhsHqaa
— Wake Forest Men’s Golf (@WakeMGolf) April 26, 2022
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The title was the first for the Demon Deacons since 1989 when they won under the legendary coach Jesse Haddock, who also won three NCAA championships. The Demon Deacons have now won 19 conference championships, the most in ACC history.
“What an incredible feeling,” Haas said to reporters afterwards. “I’m so happy for these players. You know, they had the highest team GPA on campus last year. They’re good kids, they listen…. They’re all telling me ‘This one’s for you, coach.’ In some ways, I feel it, but no, they do all the work.”
No better feeling 🏆Bringing it home to Winston 🏠 pic.twitter.com/H7Sisu3YXG
— Wake Forest Men’s Golf (@WakeMGolf) April 25, 2022
Also coming through with close victories for the Demon Deacons were Parker Gillam and Michael Brennan.
In the first match of the day at the Shark’s Tooth Golf Course in Panama City Beach, Florida, Christo Lamprecht of Georgia Tech had little trouble beating Mark Power 5&4 to give the Yellow Jackets a 1-0 lead.
Bartley Forrester of Georgia Tech beat Scotty Kennon 4&2 to win the Yellow Jackets other point in the match.
“I couldn’t be happier to get it done for Wake Forest,” said Fitzpatrick, who is a senior and playing in his final season for the Demon Deacons. “It’s an incredible achievement and one I’ll never forget. This is something we’ve worked towards for years now. The first three years we didn’t get it done, but knowing that at the end of this year, I’ll be leaving, and we’ve got an ACC championship is just an amazing thing.”
The men’s team followed up what the Demon Deacons’ women’s team did earlier this month in winning the ACC championship. It’s the first time in school history that the women’s and men’s programs won the ACC title in the same season.
Bill Haas, who is the all-time wins leader in school history with 10 and who is Jerry’s nephew, is on the PGA Tour and texted what it meant for his former coach to win the ACC championship.
“So pumped for the Deacs and Jerry,” Bill said in a text message. Bill is a 2004 graduate of Wake Forest where he was an All-America who has won six times on the PGA Tour and was the 2011 FedEx Cup champion.
Jerry Haas also paid homage to Haddock, who died in March of 2018. Haddock coached Jerry when Jerry was an All-America in the mid-1980s. Haas also gave credit to his assistant, Aaron O’Callaghan.
“I’ll probably have 380 texts today,” Jerry said. “My phone has been buzzing in my pocket, so I’ll get to it this week. I tried to answer everybody. I know Coach Haddock would be very happy for us.”