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Georgia Tech Golf in 2nd Place at NCAA Raleigh Regional

Tyler Strafaci played the back nine at the Lonnie Poole Golf Course in 4-under-par.

Raleigh, N.C. – Chris Petefish, Luke Schniederjans and Tyler Strafaci each fired rounds of 3-under-par 68 Monday as No. 4 Georgia Tech rode balanced scoring to post a 10-under-par team total of 274 at the Lonnie Poole Golf Course. The Yellow Jackets are in second place following the first round of the NCAA Raleigh Regional.

Noah Norton and Andy Ogletree each shot 70 (-1) for the top-seeded Jackets, who sit three shots off the pace set by No. 3 seed Texas (271, -13). The two teams will be paired together again, along with host NC State, for second-round action Tuesday beginning at 7:30 a.m.

The Yellow Jackets are playing in an NCAA regional for the 21st straight year and for the 28th time in the 30 years the NCAA has used a regional qualifying format for its championship. They are part of a regional field that includes 14 teams and five individuals.

NCAA Raleigh Regional site | Live Scoring | Coach Heppler audio

TECH LINEUP – The Jackets started slowly, posting five bogeys and a pair of double bogeys in their first three holes of the day, but gathered steam late in the front nine, collecting nine birdies against one bogey from holes 6 through 9. Tech birdied 14 holes against four bogeys in the inward nine in fashioning its 10-under-par 274 total.

Petefish, a senior from Danville, Calif., played steadily with four birdies and one bogey in his round of 68. Schniederjans, a sophomore from Powder Springs, Ga., played his final seven holes in 4-under-par, while Strafaci, a sophomore from Davie, Fla., went 4-under-par on the back nine, and joined a group of seven players tied for ninth place individually.

Norton, a freshman from Chico, Calif., birdied 7 through 10 in succession on the way to his 70, while Ogletree went 2-under-par over his last four holes to match. They are in a large group of players tied for 23rd place individually.

TEAM LEADERBOARD – Led by All-American Doug Ghim’s 64 (-7) and with a trio of players shooting 69 (-2), 16th-ranked Texas grabbed the first-round lead with a 13-under-par score of 271, three strokes ahead of Tech. Host NC State, the sixth-seeded team in the field, posted an opening 275 (-9) on its home course and sits in third place.

No. 21 Arizona State, the fourth seed, and Santa Clara are tied for fourth place at 276 (-8), while Augusta holds sixth place at 278 (-6). Middle Tennessee is tied for seventh with Liberty and Missouri at 280 (-4), while Duke is in 10th at 281 (-3).

The top five finishers after the 54-hole event concludes Wednesday will advance to the NCAA Championship finals, May 25-30 in Stillwater, Okla.

INDIVIDUAL LEADERBOARD – Doug Ghim, the Texas All-America senior, and Justin Burkhamer, a freshman from Iona, each shot 7-under-par 64 Monday to take the individual lead. Ghim, who won the individual title at Tech’s own Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate in the fall, started birdie-bogey in his first two holes, then played the rest 7-under-par. Burkhamer, who says he models his game after former Yellow Jacket and Raleigh native Chesson Hadley, played bogey-free golf in the last group to finish the first round. They have a one-stroke lead over Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year Stephen Franken of NC State, Chun An Yu of Arizona State and Jack Avrit of Santa Clara, who each shot 65 (-6).

Broc Everett of Augusta, Alex Ross of Davidson and Benjamin Shipp of NC State are tied for sixth place after carding 67s.

"COACH Bruce Heppler SAYS – “We kind of made a mess of the second hole (two double-bogeys), but to play 14-under-par from there is a pretty strong performance. We showed a lot of resolve, and the guys kept playing, turning a tough start into a very good round. Everybody was in the round, so if you have something bad happen, you’re covered. The greens are in perfect shape. The golf course is not a typical driving course, but if you can drive the ball well, you can shoot under par."

TOURNAMENT INFORMATION – A total of 81 teams and 45 individuals are competing this week at the six sites for spots in the NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship, which will be conducted May 25-30 at Karsten Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla.

The other five regional tournaments are being conducted in Bryan, Texas (Traditions Club; Texas A&M, top seed); Columbus, Ohio (Scarlet Course/OSU Golf Course; Oklahoma State, top seed); Kissimmee, Fla. (Reunion Resort; Vanderbilt, top seed); Norman, Okla. (Jimmie Austin OU Golf Club; Oklahoma, top seed) and Stockton, Calif. (The Reserve at Spanos Park; LSU, top seed).

The Raleigh Regional includes eight teams listed among the nation’s top 50 of the Golfstat rankings, including (in order of seed) California (9), Texas (16), Arizona State (21), Duke (28), NC State (36), Liberty (40), Missouri (45), Santa Clara (52), Campbell (56), Middle Tennessee State (74), Augusta (111), Davidson (198) and Iona (268). Liberty, MTSU, Augusta, Davidson and Iona, as well as the Jackets, qualified automatically by winning their conference tournaments.

TECH’S NCAA REGIONAL HISTORY – Georgia Tech has advanced through an NCAA regional 23 times in 27 tries, and all but three times since the NCAA went to a six-regional qualifying format in 2009. Head coach Bruce Heppler’s teams have won five regional tournaments outright, most recently in 2014, and tied for one other. Tech is playing in Raleigh for the second time, having been the No. 1 seed in 2014 with a team led by four current Tour pros in Anders Albertson, Ollie Schniederjans, Seth Reevesand Richy Werenski. The Yellow Jackets won that regional by 17 strokes over Washington, one of seven tournament victories for Tech that year, and reached match play at the NCAA Championship in Hutchinson, Kan., for the fourth time in five years.

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