Oct. 6, 2011
ATLANTA – All-American James White will lead Georgia Tech’s golf team into its third of four fall events Friday when the fifth annual Brickyard Collegiate commences in Macon, Ga.
The 54-hole event, played at the Mark McCumber-designed Brickyard at Riverside Golf Club, runs through Sunday. Tech, ranked 22nd in the latest Golfweek/Sagarin ratings, is in a 15-team field that includes three-time defending tournament champion Georgia and two-time defending national champion Augusta State. Also participating are 8th-ranked Chattanooga, No. 13 Florida State, College of Charleston, North Florida, Colorado State, Mississippi, Air Force, Gonzaga, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma and Texas-Arlington.
The Yellow Jackets finished fourth in last year’s event, and placed third, second and 12th in the first three. White, a senior from Acworth, Ga., has finished 28th, 15th and 8th in his three tries.
He is joined in Tech’s travel group by freshman Anders Albertson, senior William Miller and sophomores Seth Reeves and Richard Werenski. Miller, who has played in seven events in his career, and Werenski, who played 11 tournaments as a freshman last year, are making their 2011-12 debuts for the Yellow Jackets.
Unlike last year, when Tech had three seniors and White to anchor the lineup on a weekly basis, head coach Bruce Heppler is managing a much younger team and is sending his third different lineup out in three events this fall.
“We don’t have three or four guys who are out there every week,” said Heppler. “Because of graduation, we haven’t had anyone lock up a spot. The only guy who has played well twice is Anders, a freshman. So it’s just the nature of the deal, and you hope James, our lone senior, is the rock of the team. You’re still going to see some results that are all over the map.
“The best way to develop that is to have them compete week-in and week-out so we generate that stability the right way, which is that they’ve earned it.”
White missed the Carpet Capital Collegiate, Tech’s first event this fall, but tied for 18th (+4, 220) in his debut last week at the Golfweek Conference Challenge in Iowa. Albertson, a first-year player from Woodstock, Ga., has played consistently well in both events, compiling a 71.8 stroke average. He tied for third place at the Carpet Capital Collegiate and 18th at the Golfweek Conference Challenge.
Reeves, a sophomore from Duluth, Ga., who has played in both events this fall, is looking for better consistency this weekend. His 75.3 stroke average in six rounds includes a closing 65 at the Carpet Capital and two rounds in the 80s.
Miller, a Venetia, Pa., native playing in his third event as a counting member of the team, won the team’s qualifying tournament for this event, which included one round at the Brickyard. Werenski, from South Hadley, Mass., had three top-20 finishes and a 74.1 stroke average last year.
“William is playing really well. He was making putts and hitting shots right at the flag,” said Heppler. “He thinks he can help the team, so let’s see what happens. I think Richy played too much golf over the summer, and was not ready to get back in the grind immediately, and the new guys who were chomping at the bit played better and made the travel team. He’s played pretty well this week.”
Heppler is also taking two other players, sophomore Bo Andrews (73.8 average) and freshman Ollie Schniederjans (75.2), to compete as individuals. Both players have been on the travel squad for the first two fall events, but did not qualify this week.
“One of the reasons we like to play in this event is we can take some extra players and get them experience,” said Heppler. “The players are made to feel at home, and it’s a good golf course.”