Oct. 31, 2016
Pebble Beach, Calif. – Georgia Tech’s golf team enjoyed its finest day of the fall season Monday, knocking off 14th-ranked Georgia and sixth-ranked Stanford at match play to reach the championship match of the Cypress Point Classic at the Cypress Point Club.
The Yellow Jackets scored an 8-4 victory over Stanford in its semifinal contest Monday afternoon, following up an 8 ½ – 3 ½ victory over Georgia in the opening round Monday morning. Tech moves on to face No. 15 Southern California Tuesday morning in the championship match. The Trojans tied UCLA, 6-6, in the other semifinal match but advanced on a tiebreaker.
Sunday’s other final round matches feature Stanford vs. UCLA for third place, California vs. 10th-ranked Wake Forest for fifth place, and Georgia vs. Alabama for seventh place.
SEMIFINALS (FOURSOMES) — Barely a week after finishing 20 strokes behind Stanford on its home golf course at the Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate, Tech pulled off a match-play upset of the Cardinal at their home event, winning two of the three individual matches handily in the foursomes (alternate-shot) format.
The Jackets’ senior duo of Vincent Whaley (McKinney, Texas) and James Clark (Columbus, Ga.) earned all four available points (one for each nine holes, two for the overall match), winning the front nine, back nine and overall to blank the Cardinal’s Brad Knox and Jeff Swegle. Tech’s freshman tandem of Luke Schniederjans (Powder Springs, Ga.) and Tyler Strafaci (Davie, Fla.) halved the first nine, won the back and the overall to take a 3 ½ – ½ win over Maverick McNealy, the nation’s top-ranked collegiate player, and Brandon Wu. Junior Chris Petefish (Danville, Calif.) and sophomore Tyler Joiner (Leesburg, Ga.) earned a half-point for the Jackets in their match against Viraat Badhwar and Franklin Hwang.
California crushed Georgia, 11-1, and Wake Forest routed Alabama, 10-2, in the consolation bracket semifinals.
Georgia Tech 8, Stanford 4
Luke Schniederjans/Tyler Srafaci (GT) def. Maverick McNealy/Brandon Wu (STAN), 3 ½ – ½
Viraat Badhwar/Franklin Hwang (STAN) def. Chris Petefish/Tyler Joiner (GT), 3 ½ – ½
Vincent Whaley/James Clark (GT) def. Brad Knox/Jeff Swegle (STAN), 4-0
FIRST ROUND (FOURBALL) — In their first meeting of the fall, Tech trounced Georgia in their opening-round match Monday morning, easily winning two of the three individual matches, advancing to the semifinals where sixth-ranked Stanford awaited the Yellow Jackets after defeating California, 10 ½ – ½.
Petefish and Joiner paced the Jackets by capturing all four available points against the Bulldogs’ Zach Healy and Jaime Lopez Rivarola. Freshmen Schniederjans and Strafaci won the front nine, halved the back and earned the two points for the overall in taking a 3 ½- ½ victory over Greyson Sigg and Spencer Ralston. In the third match, seniors Whaley and Clark won the opening nine but lost the back nine and the overall match, 3-1.
On the other side of the bracket, UCLA toppled the Demon Deacons, 7 ½ – 4 ½, and Southern California downed Alabama, 9 ½ – 2 ½.
Georgia Tech 8 ½, Georgia 3 ½
Luke Schniederjans/Tyler Strafaci (GT) def. Greyson Sugg/Spencer Ralston (UGA), 3 ½ – ½
Chris Petefish/Tyler Joiner (GT) def. Zach Healy/Jaime Lopez Rivarola (UGA), 4-0
Trevor Phillips/David Mackey (UGA) def. Vincent Whaley/James Clark (GT), 3-1
COACH Bruce Heppler SAYS — “It was a very impressive afternoon. Luke and Tyler had seven birdies in their match. James and Vince birdied seven of their first 12 holes. Stanford is a really talented team, and it took great play to beat them. I’m very proud of the way our guys played today.”
TOURNAMENT INFORMATION — The Cypress Point Classic is a bracketed match play event hosted by Stanford and featuring Alabama, California, Georgia, Southern California, UCLA and Wake Forest, six of whom are ranked among the top 30 teams in the nation by Golfstat. The eight teams competing have been pre-seeded No. 1 through No. 8 in order by average ranking between Golfstat and Golfweek rankings seven days prior to event. No. 1 seed plays No. 8 seed, etc., in the first round of bracketed play. Winners go forward in bracket, losers move to consolation bracket. Each team is guaranteed three matches under each format outlined.
The first two rounds were played Monday. Round one was contested with fourball, or best ball, matches. Teams competed in foursomes, or alternate shot, matches in round two. Round three on Tuesday will feature singles matches.
Four total points are available per match. One point each is awarded for front-nine match, back-nine match, and two points for the overall match. Each match is played over 18 holes under the format set for that round. The total number of “holes won” by each side over the full 18-holes will settle ties. Teams with highest point total at the end of each round will advance in the bracket.
TEAM UPDATE — Georgia Tech is ranked No. 29 in this week’s Golfstat rankings and No. 30 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Index. Tech’s travel team for the Cypress Point Classic was created using a qualification system based on points accumulated through players finishes in the Yellow Jackets’ first three events this fall and team qualifying rounds.