May 16, 2015
Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. – Georgia Tech fired a 1-under-par 287 Saturday and held onto third place at the NCAA San Diego Regional at The Farms Golf Club, and the Yellow Jackets earned a spot in the NCAA Championship finals which begin in two weeks.
The 10th-ranked Yellow Jackets started slowly in the final round, actually dropping out of the top five early in the round, but rallied over the final six holes to keep the position in which they began the round. The top five finishers in the 13-team field – Oklahoma, Arizona State, Tech, Georgia and Virginia – advanced to the NCAA Championship finals beginning May 29 in Bradenton, Fla.
TECH LINEUP – The Yellow Jackets played the final six holes nine strokes under par – 10 birdies and one bogey – to jump back into qualifying position after playing the first five holes of the round five shots over par.
Ollie Schniederjans (Powder Springs, Ga.) birdied four of the last six holes, and Anders Albertson (Woodstock, Ga.) birdied three in the same stretch to lead the way. Each player finished with a 2-under-par 70 for the round. Freshman James Clark (Columbus, Ga.) birdied three holes in his final seven for a 73, and Vincent Whaley (McKinney Texas, reeled off 10 straight pars to finish off a 74.
Three Yellow Jackets finished among the top 20 individuals, with Schniederjans among a group of five players tied for seventh place at 2-under-par 214. Albertson and Petefish tied for 14th place at 1-over-par 217.
TEAM LEADERBOARD – Once all the jockeying was done Saturday, the top three seeds held the positions in which they began the day, and the five qualifying teams all shot under par for the day. Oklahoma shot 4-under-par Saturday and completed 54 holes at 21-under-par 843, 20 shots clear of top-seed Arizona State. The Sun Devils, 6-under-par Saturday, posted a tournament total of 1-under-par 863. Tech finished at 869 (+5), followed by Georgia at 870 (+6) and Virginia at 874 (+10).
Wichita State shot 2-under-par 286 Saturday but came up two shots shy of fifth place, while East Tennessee State shot 9-over-par to drop three spots and cost itself a chance to advance.
INDIVIDUAL LEADERBOARD – Arizona State’s Jon Rahm, the nation’s No. 2-ranked player, shot 69 Saturday to hold onto his 36-hole lead and posted a tournament total of 206 (-10). Oklahoma’s Max McGreevy and Michael Gellerman tied for second place two shots back at 208 (-8), with Denny McCarthy of Virginia in fourth at 210 (-6) and Georgia’s Lee McCoy in fifth at 212 (-4).
East Tennessee State’s Gundmundur Kristjansson finished sixth at 3-under-par 213 and advanced to the NCAA Championship as an individual.
COACH Bruce Heppler SAYS – “Those last six holes were some of the best golf we have ever played. I’m really proud of how we competed down the stretch. This was a total team effort.”
TOURNAMENT INFORMATION – The San Diego Regional field included 13 teams and 10 individuals. Of the 81 teams in the six regionals across the country, 31 were automatic qualifiers by winning their conference championships, and the other 50 earned at-large bids.
The San Diego Regional field had eight teams listed among the nation’s top 50 of the Golfstat rankings, including, in order of seed, No. 3 Arizona State, No. 10 Georgia Tech (ACC champion), No. 14 Oklahoma, No. 22 New Mexico, No. 27 Virginia, No. 34 Georgia, No. 39 East Tennessee State (Southern Conference champion), and No. 47 Mississippi. The remaining teams were host San Diego, Idaho, St. Mary’s, Wichita State (Missouri Valley Conference champion) and Eastern Kentucky (Ohio Valley Conference champion). The regional was played at The Farms Golf Club, a par-72 layout measuring 6,947 yards.
TOURNAMENT HISTORY – The Yellow Jackets played in an NCAA regional for the 18th straight year and for the 25th time in the 27 years the NCAA has used a regional qualifying format for its championship. Georgia Tech has failed to advance through an NCAA regional only twice in 25 tries, and only once since the NCAA went to a six-regional qualifying format in 2009. Heppler’s teams have won five regional tournaments outright and tied for one title, most recently in 2014.