Las Vegas, Nev. – Georgia Tech held onto its lead after 36 holes at the Southern Highlands Collegiate golf tournament, getting under-par performances Monday from Luke Schniederjans (69), Tyler Strafaci (70) and Andy Ogletree (71), and the Yellow Jackets enter the final round with a one-stroke lead over Stanford and two over Oklahoma.
TECH LINEUP – Georgia Tech, who played the front nine in 3-over-par and fell behind by as many as seven strokes, started a back-nine charge with six birdies and an eagle on the 13th and 14th holes to overtake Stanford and Oklahoma. Noah Norton, Tyler Strafaci and Andy Ogletree all birdied the par-5 18th to keep the lead for the Yellow Jackets.
Strafaci carded a 2-under-par 70, Ogletree a 1-under-par 71 and Norton an even-par 72 for the Yellow Jackets Monday. Norton and Schniederjans are tied for fourth place individually at 5-under-par 139, while Ogletree is tied for 14th at 2-under 142. Strafaci is tied for 24th at 145 (+1).
The Yellow Jackets lead the field in birdies with 39, and are in the top five of the field in scoring average in par 3s, par 4s and par 5s.
TEAM LEADERBOARD – Georgia Tech began the day one stroke ahead of Stanford, and it remained that way after both teams posted a team score of 282 (-6). Tech finished 36 holes at 11-under-par 565, while Stanford has a 10-under-par total of 566. The Cardinal and No. 11 Oklahoma stormed out of the gate on the front nine while the Yellow Jackets struggled on the front nine, but the fortunes reversed for all three teams on the back side. The Sooners are in third place at 568 (-8).
No. 8 Texas, who posted the day’s best round at 11-under-par 277, and No. 18 Texas Tech are tied for fourth place at 572 (-4). No. 15 California and host UNLV are the only other two teams under par, tied for sixth place at 574 (-2).
INDIVIDUAL LEADERBOARD – UNLV’s Jack Trent, who shared the first round lead with Tech’s Noah Norton, shot 68 Monday to build a three-stroke lead in the medal race, finishing 36 holes at 9-under-par 135. Stanford’s Brandon Wu and Texas Parker Coody are tied for second place at 138 (-6).
Norton and Luke Schniederjans are tied for fourth place at 139 (-5), followed by Oklahoma’s Quade Cummins, Illinois’ Bryan Baumgarten, California’s Collin Morikawa and Stanford’s Henry Shimp tied for sixth place at 140 (-4).
COACH BRUCE HEPPLER SAYS – “Conditions were ideal today with weather; the course was still firm, but it was gettable. We were way back and did a nice job of hanging in there. They just kept playing. That’s what good teams do.”
TOURNAMENT INFORMATION – Georgia Tech is making its 16th appearance in the Southern Highlands Collegiate and first since 2014. The 54-hole event concludes Tuesday with a shotgun start at noon Eastern time, and is played at the Southern Highlands Golf Club, a 7,374-yard, par-72 layout. The four low scores for each team are counted each round for the team total, and individual ties will be broken by a sudden-death playoff.
For the first time, the individual champion will receive a sponsor’s exemption to the PGA Tour’s Shriners Hospital for Children Open, which will take place Oct. 3-6 at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas.
Eight of the 15 teams in the field are ranked among the nation’s top 50 in the Golfstat rankings – Auburn (17), California (11), Florida, Georgia Tech (4), Illinois, Oklahoma (6), Pepperdine (13), Southern California (3), Stanford (38), TCU, Texas (10), Texas Tech, UCF, UCLA and host UNLV.
For the first time, through a partnership with Golfweek and USA Today Network the Southern Highlands Collegiate will feature exclusive livestream coverage on Monday and Tuesday, March 4 and 5. Livestream coverage will begin at 3 p.m. Eastern time those days. Click here to access the live stream.
Georgia Tech has won the event twice, in 2001 and 2002. Four Yellow Jackets, all of whom have competed on the PGA Tour, have captured medalist honors, beginning in 1992 when Stewart Cink and David Duval shared the title. Troy Matteson won a share of the title in 2002 with Florida’s Camilo Villegas, and Cameron Tringale win the tournament outright in 2009.