April 19, 2014
Milton, Ga. – Anders Albertson and Vincent Whaley set the pace by winning their matches in the first group off the tee Saturday afternoon, and fifth-ranked Georgia Tech went on to defeat No. 6 Georgia, 5-1, to win the Capital City Club Match Play Championship.
No. 26 Auburn, whom Tech had defeated 4-2 in the morning semi-finals, took consolation honors with a 5-1 victory over 19th-ranked Florida State. Georgia had reached the finals with a 3 ½-2 ½ win over the Seminoles in the morning. All the competitors and coaches Saturday wore ribbons on their hats in memory of the late Golfweek writer Ron Balicki.
Albertson, a junior from Woodstock, Ga., won the first two holes against the Bulldogs’ Nicholas Reach and finished off an undefeated day with a 5 and 4 victory. Whaley lost a 3-up lead on Greyson Sigg on 13, 14 and 15, but the Tech freshman from McKinney, Texas, overcame that to win the 17th and 18th holes for a 2-up victory that gave the Yellow Jackets’ their third point of the match.
Meanwhile, senior Richard Werenski won his second match of the day with a 4 and 3 decision over Michael Cromie, and classmate Seth Reeves closed out Lee McCoy on the 17th hole, winning 2 and 1 to clinch the overall match for Tech. Reeves also won both his matches on the day.
Ollie Schniederjans, the nation’s seventh-ranked player who had halved his morning match against Auburn, trailed Georgia’s Joey Garber, the fourth-ranked player in the nation, for most of their match in the afternoon. But the Tech junior took advantage of errant approach shots by the Bulldog senior to even the contest at 14, took a 1-up lead at 16 and won the 18th for a 2-up triumph.
With Schniederjans and Garber all square and Reeves clinging to a 1-up lead on McCoy, the 16th hole proved pivotal in both matches, which were the last off the tee in the afternoon. Garber hit his tee shot off line, punched back to the fairway and then missed the green on his third shot, while McCoy sailed his approach into a stand of trees behind the green.
McCoy was able to get his ball on the green in three, but Reeves chipped close from the fringe and McCoy conceded the hole. Garber was not able to get his ball on the green with his fourth shot and conceded to Schniederjans, who had landed his second shot within 10 feet of the hole.
Tech improved to 4-1 against Georgia head-to-head this year, and the Yellow Jackets are 4-1 against the Bulldogs since 2000 when they have met at match play.
All four teams that participated Saturday play in their respective conference tournaments next week, Tech and Florida State in the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship in New London, N.C., and Auburn and Georgia in the Southeastern Conference Championship in Sea Island, Ga.
Tech-Auburn Semifinal Recap
Werenski won his match, 5 and 3, over Long in the first match to finish Saturday morning, and Albertson gave Tech a cushion with a 3 and 2 win over Dan Stringfellow in match 2. Reeves won by the same score in match 5 over Matt Gilchrest to clinch at least a tie for the Yellow Jackets after Vincent Whaley fell 2 and 1 to Ryan Benton in the first match off the tee.
Bo Andrews and Ollie Schniederjans, meanwhile, had to rally to halve their matches in order for Tech to clinch the win and avoid a playoff. Andrews was down two holes with three to play, but won 17 and 18 to square his contest with Jake Mondy in match 3, which decided the match in favor of the Jackets. Schniederjans took 1-hole deficit to the last hole and won that to square his match against Niclas Carlsson.