Oct. 9, 2017
College Grove, Tenn. – Luke Schniederjans fired a 5-under-par 67 to lead four Yellow Jackets under par Monday at The Grove Club as 6th-ranked Georgia Tech posted a 12-under-par team round of 276 and moved into second place after 36 holes of the Franklin American Mortgage Collegiate.
TECH LINEUP — The Jackets’ posted their lowest round on a par-72 course since Tech shot 276 in the second round of the Maui Jim Invitational in the fall of 2016. Tech had shot 273 in the middle round of the NCAA Stanford Regional last spring, but that was on a par-70 layout.
Schniederjans, a sophomore from Powder Springs, Ga., had six birdies and an eagle against three bogeys for his 67, and moved into second place individually at 3-under-par 141. Freshman Noah Norton (Chico, Calif.) fired a bogey-free 4-under-par 68, while senior Jacob Joiner (Leesburg, Ga.) added a 2-under-par 70 and sophomore Tyler Strafaci (Davie, Fla.) carded a 71. Joiner, who shot 72 Sunday, is tied for third place at 2-under 142, while Norton is tied for ninth at even-par 144.
TEAM LEADERBOARD — Georgia Tech might’ve overtaken first-round leader Mississippi if not for the stellar performance of defending NCAA champion Braden Thornberry, who shot 6-under-par 66 Monday. His score enabled the Rebels to post a 3-under-par round of 285 and remain one stroke ahead of the Yellow Jackets. Ole Miss has a team total of 572 (-4), with the Yellow Jackets at 573 (-3).
Host Middle Tennessee State is in third place, nine shots behind the Jackets at 582 (+6), followed by Cincinnati (589 , +13), Liberty (590, +14), Kennesaw State (592, +16) and College of Charleston (595, +19).
INDIVIDUAL LEADERBOARD — Thornberry, whose NCAA Championship title was one of five victories for the Ole Miss junior, took over the 36-hole lead with a 36-hole total of 139 (-5), two shots ahead of Schniederjans (141, -3). Thornberry had shot 73 Sunday, while Schniederjans had opened with a 74.
Joiner is in a group of four golfers at 142 (-2) tied for third place, including the Rebels’ Beau Briggs, while MTSU’s Tyler Johnson and College of Charleston’s Hunter Dunagan are tied for seventh place at 1-under-par 141. Norton is tied for ninth place with four others at even-par 144.
COACH Bruce Heppler SAYS — “We did a much better job of playing solidly, and we eliminated our mistakes for the most part. We for four very good scores, and Jacob (Joiner) and Tyler (Strafaci) finished very well. We still have a lot to work on, and leave some better scores on the course. Hopefully we can get ahead of the weather tomorrow and post another good round.”
TOURNAMENT INFORMATION — The Franklin American Mortgage Intercollegiate concludes Tuesday at The Grove Club in College Grove, Tenn., a venue which hosted one of the six NCAA regional tournaments last May. This is the fourth year of the tournament, which was previously won by Ohio State, Kentucky and Ole Miss. The Grove, designed by Greg Norman, is 7,368 yards long and plays to a par of 72. The event is hosted by Middle Tennessee State’s golf program, whose head coach, Brennan Webb, was an assistant coach at Georgia Tech from 2012-15 and helped Bruce Heppler lead the Jackets to two ACC Championships and two appearances in the match play portion of the NCAA Championship.
The 12-team field includes host Middle Tennessee State, Charleston, Cincinnati, Georgia Tech, Kennesaw State, Liberty, Louisiana, Memphis, Middle Tennessee, Ole Miss, South Dakota State, South Florida and Troy.