May 17, 2012
Norman, Okla. – All-American James White fired a 3-under-par 69 Thursday, and Georgia Tech posted a 2-over-par score of 290 and is in eighth place after the first round of the NCAA Southwest Regional.
The Atlantic Coast Conference champion Yellow Jackets, the No. 2 seed, began their round Thursday in fine fashion by playing the front nine in 4-under-par, but slipped on the incoming nine at the 7,351-yard Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club, finishing the day 11 strokes behind leader Florida State (279, -9), the fourth seed, and top-ranked Texas, who both shot 279 (-9).
Big Ten champion Illinois shot 284 (-4) and has third place, followed by St, Mary’s (Calif.) and third-seeded Washington, each at 286 (-2). Host Oklahoma (287, -1) is in sixth place, with Arizona (289, +1) in seventh. The top five finishers out of the 14 competing teams will advance to the NCAA Championship finals, which begin May 29 at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif.
“Not a good finish for our guys today,” said head coach Bruce Heppler. “Good scores were doable, but we had some misfortune, a few double bogeys on the back side. We’ve got some work to do in the next two days, so we’re looking forward to getting back out there tomorrow.”
White, a senior from Acworth, Ga., and this year’s Byron Nelson Award winner, played his first eight holes five strokes under par before settling for his 69. He is in a six-player tie for fifth place individually, three shots behind the Longhorns’ freshman Jordan Spieth, who shot 66. Florida State’s Brooks Koepka, the ACC Player of the Year, is one stroke behind with a 67, while Ben Geyer of St. Mary’s and Thomas Pieters of Illinois are tied for third place after shooting 68.
Freshman Ollie Schniederjans posted an even-par 72 in his first NCAA championship round, while Anders Albertson shot 74 and Bo Andrews 75 to count toward the Jackets’ team total. Richard Werenski shot a 77.
With 36 holes to play, Tech stands four shots behind the cut line. Tech has advanced through an NCAA regional 20 times in 21 regional appearances going back to 1989, when the NCAA instituted the format. Heppler’s Tech teams have won two regionals outright, in 1998 in Daufuskie Island, S.C., and 1999 in Providence, R.I., and shared the 2002 title with Clemson in Roswell, Ga.
Friday’s second round begins at 9 a.m. Eastern time.
NCAA Southwest Regional
Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club, Norman, Okla.
T1 Florida State 279 -9
T1 Texas 279 -9
3 Illinois 284 -4
T4 St. Mary’s (CA) 286 -2
T4 Washington 286 -2
6 Oklahoma 287 -1
7 Arizona 289 +1
8 Georgia Tech 290 +2
9 Sacramento State 292 +4
10 South Carolina 294 +6
11 IUPUI 297 +9
12 San Diego 303 +15
13 Middle Tennessee St. 304 +16
14 Loyola U.- Chicago 307 +19
1 Jordan Spieth Texas 66 -6
2 Brooks Koepka Florida State 67 -5
T3 Ben Geyer St. Mary’s (CA) 68 -4
T3 Thomas Pieters Illinois 68 -4
T5 Daniel Berger Florida State 69 -3
T5 Cheng-Tsung Pan Washington 69 -3
T5 James White Georgia Tech 69 -3
T5 Luke Guthrie Illinois 69 -3
T5 Wesley Bryan South Carolina 69 -3
T10 Trevor Simsby Washington 70 -2
T10 Dylan Frittelli Texas 70 -2
T10 Wesley Graham Florida State 70 -2
T10 Tucker Wadkins Arizona 70 -2
T10 Erik Oja Arizona 70 -2