Younger Jackets Look to Defend ACC Golf Title

April 19, 2012

ACC Golf Championship page/Live scoring  |  Georgia Tech ACC Championship Notes  |  Coach Heppler Interview

New London, N.C. – Georgia Tech, ranked 8th in the nation in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index and 11th in the Golfstat rankings, return to the Old North State Club at Uwharrie Point this weekend to defend its Atlantic Coast Conference men’s golf championship. The Yellow Jackets have won the last three conference championships and five of the last six, all at the Old North State Club.

The ACC Championship is being held at the Old North State Club (7,102 yards, par 72) for the 11th consecutive year and for the 16th time since 1995. The Yellow Jackets have won seven of their 13 ACC titles at Old North State. Play begins at 8:30 Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and the Jackets have been paired with Clemson and NC State for Fridays opening round, teeing off between 10:10 and 10:50 a.m.

Live web streaming will be available for free on Saturday, April 21 (1:30pm to conclusion of play) and Sunday, April 22 (1:30pm to conclusion of play) on the ACC.com.

Georgia Tech (No. 8), Duke (18), Clemson (19), Virginia (22) and Florida State (24) are all ranked in Golfweek’s latest Top 25 poll. The Yellow Jackets are 15-2 head-to-head against ACC competition this academic year.

Not only has Tech won or shared five of the last six ACC Championships, but the medalist in three of those championships has been a Yellow Jacket, Cameron Tringale in 2006, Chesson Hadley in 2010 and Paul Haley last spring.

Only two of the five players who helped Tech win the 2011 title, All-American James White and sophomore Richard Werenski, are back this year. The other three, Haley, John-Tyler Griffin and Kyle Scott, graduated less than a month after winning that championship. This year’s travel squad features a pair of freshmen, Anders Albertson and Ollie Schniederjans, and sophomore Bo Andrews, who hails from Raleigh, N.C.

Head coach Bruce Heppler’s team has enjoyed a solid year, finishing fourth or higher in every event except one, including a victory at the Brickyard Collegiate in the fall. This spring, the Yellow Jackets have logged runner-up finishes at the Seminole Intercollegiate and the Gary Koch Invitational, while finishing fourth at the Amer Ari Invitational, the Puerto Rico Classic and the Barona Collegiate Cup.

The Yellow Jackets have a head-to-head winning percentage of 82.4 against the nation’s 9th-most difficult schedule.

White, who has finished out of the top 20 only once this year and has five top-5 performances, leads this Tech contingent with a 70.8 stroke average. The senior from Acworth, Ga., won the Byron Nelson Award this year and is ranked 14th nationally in the Golfweek/Sagarin ratings.

Albertson, a first-year player from Woodstock, Ga., ranked 26th nationally in the Sagarin ratings, has a 71.3 stroke average, seventh in the ACC, and has finished in the top 10 four times in nine events. Andrews also has four top-10 finishes and a 72.4 average, while Werenski, from South Hadley, Mass., has a 72.3 average and one top-10, and Schniederjans has an even 73.0 average and three top-20 showings.

Tech Continues to Dominate ACC Championship

Georgia Tech won its third consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference championship in 2011, fifth in the last six years and seventh in the last 12 years, leading wire-to-wire for a 20-shot victory over Duke at the Old North State Club. Senior Paul Haley captured medalist honors.

The Yellow Jackets have won the last two ACC titles by a total of 33 strokes. In last year’s 20-stroke victory over Duke, the top three individuals in the medal race were Tech seniors – Paul Haley, Kyle Scott and John-Tyler Griffin. Current senior James White tied for 8th place.

Tech’s 13 ACC men’s golf titles in history ranks second among conference schools behind Wake Forest (18). Tech has won eight of its conference titles under current head coach Bruce Heppler, five of those outright (1999, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010, 2011) and two shared (2006, 2007).

The Yellow Jackets won five championships (1985, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994) under previous head coach Puggy Blackmon.

Seven of Tech’s ACC titles have occurred at the Old North State Club, the first occurring in 1999 by 10 strokes over North Carolina and Duke, which was and remains the Yellow Jackets’ largest margin of victory in the conference championship. Tech shared the 2006 title with North Carolina, and the 2007 crown with Virginia Tech.

Georgia Tech’s individual ACC Champions include Bob McDonnell in 1985, David Duval in 1991 and 1993, Mikko Rantanen in 1994, Bryce Molder in 2000, Cameron Tringale in 2006 and Chesson Hadley in 2010.

Notable

• Georgia Tech, ranked 9th in the most recent Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index and No. 11 in the Golfstat rankings, has formed its travel squad from among the same six players in each of its five events this spring. Odd man out this week is sophomore Seth Reeves, who has a pair of top-10 finishes and a 72.4 stroke average.

• The fivesome playing this week has 23 top-20 finishes between them, 15 top-10s and sevne top-5s.

• Four of Tech’s players rank among the nation’s top 104 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index – White is No. 14, Albertson is No. 28, Andrews is No. 100 and Wwrenski is No. 104. Schniederjans is No. 166. Reeves, who is not playing this week, is No. 114.

• The Tech quintet playing this week is collectively even-par over 129 competitive rounds of golf.

• The Yellow Jackets’ average drop (non-counting) score is 76.04, the third-best figure in the nation behind Texas and UCLA.

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