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Georgia Tech Golf Set to Defend ACC Title

THE FLATS – In search of the 20th conference championship in program history, Georgia Tech’s golf team begins post-season competition this weekend with the 70th Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Golf Championship, which will be conducted Friday through Monday (April 19-22) at Charlotte Country Club in Charlotte, N.C.

The Yellow Jackets have captured 11 of the last 17 championships, most recently winning the 2023 title at the Country Club of North Carolina in Pinehurst, N.C. It was the 19th in program history, tying Wake Forest for the most in conference annals. The Yellow Jackets defeated the Demon Deacons, 3-2, in the finals, one year after Wake had downed Tech by the same score to capture its 19th all-time title.

At No. 16 in the current Scoreboard NCAA Golf national rankings, Georgia Tech sits behind North Carolina (No. 3), Florida State (No. 6) and Virginia (No. 13) and is the No. 4 seed in the championship, which begins with 18 holes of stroke play on Friday. Duke (No. 24) is the only other ACC team in the top 25 of the current Golfstat rankings, while Wake Forest (No. 29) and Notre Dame (No. 31) reside inside the top 50.

The Yellow Jackets are paired with the No. 5-seed Blue Devils and the No. 6-seed Demon Deacons for the first round on Friday, which begins at 9 a.m., utilizing split tees with continuous play through 54 holes of golf. Stroke play continues at 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, after which the top four teams on the leaderboard will be seeded for match play beginning Monday morning..

In last year’s ACC Championship, Tech cruised to a 16-shot victory in the stroke-play portion of the championship, with freshman Hiroshi Tai (Singapore) finishing runner-up for medalist honors after a playoff with Wake Forest’s Michael Brennan. The Yellow Jackets defeated Duke, 3-1-1, in the match play semifinals, and outlasted the Demon Deacons, 3-2, in the final.

Three starters are back from the Yellow Jackets team that captured the ACC Championship last year. (photo by Andy Mead)

 

TEAM UPDATE – Tech has been ranked as high as No. 10 this spring in the Scoreboard NCAA Rankings heading into the spring schedule, and currently sit No. 16 after posting a runner-up finish at the Watersound Invitational, fourth-place finishes at the RE Lamkin Invitational, Linger Longer Invitational and the Calusa Cup, a fifth-place at The Goodwin and sixth-place at the Amer Ari Intercollegiate.

Three of the five starters who teed it up for Tech in last year’s ACC Championship are back for this edition, including All-American Christo Lamprecht (George, South Africa), fifth-year senior Bartley Forrester (Gainesville, Ga.) and sophomore Hiroshi Tai (Singapore). Only Forrester has played in all 10 stroke-play events for the Yellow Jackets this year. Lamprecht missed the Calusa Cup to play in the Masters, and Tai didn’t compete in the fall opener at the Olympia Fields/Fighting Illini Invitational.

Head coach Bruce Heppler, who has coached Tech to 14 of its 19 ACC titles, has started freshmen Kale Fontenot (Lafayatte, La.) and Carson Kim (Yorba Linda, Calif.) in five of the Jackets’ six spring tournaments.

Lamprecht, a 6-8 junior from South Africa who is a semifinalist for the Ben Hogan Award for the second straight year, won the Olympia Fields event and the Ben Hogan Collegiate Invitational in the fall, has three more top-10 finishes since then, and has not finished below 14th in any event this year. He remains the No. 1 amateur in the World Amateur Golf Rankings, No. 2 in the PGA Tour University list and No. 6 in the Scoreboard collegiate rankings.

Tai (Watersound and RE Lamkin) and Forrester (Olympia Fields and Amer Ari Intercollegiate) each have a pair of top-10 finishes this year and rank 1-2 on the team in stroke average. Freshmen Fontenot and Kim have played in nine events each; Fontenot’s top finish this spring coming at the Watersound Invitational (T-14) and Kim’s coming at the Linger Longer Invitational (T-22).

Tech’s alternate player for the championship will be sophomore Aidan Tran (Fresno, Calif.), who has competed in seven events, including five this spring, with a high finish of a tie for 12th place at both the Linger Longer Invitational and the Calusa Cup.

TOURNAMENT INFORMATION – The ACC Championship is in the state of North Carolina for the second straight year, at Charlotte (N.C.) Country Club, completing a four-year rotation to different sites within the ACC footprint. Last year’s championship was contested at the Country Club of North Carolina in Pinehurst, N.C., following the 2023 championship at Shark’s Tooth Golf Course at Watersound Club in Panama City, Fla., and the 2021 championship at the Capital City Club’s Crabapple Course in Milton, Ga.

The Donald Ross-designed course measures 6,808 yards for the ACC Championship, which is being conducted for the fourth time under a combination stroke play/match play format Friday through Monday. The championship used the traditional 54-hole, stroke-play format from 1980 to 2019 (the championship was not held in 2020 due to COVID-19). All 12 competing teams (Miami, Pittsburgh and Syracuse do not sponsor men’s golf) will play 54 holes of stroke play, 18 holes each Friday, Saturday and Sunday, starting at 9 a.m., with the standard low four individual rounds counting toward the team’s daily score each round.

The top four teams after 54 holes are seeded in a match play bracket, with the semi-final matches and the championship match to take place Monday. Each match will be 18 holes and involve all five players from each team. The format is similar to the way the NCAA Championship has been conducted every year since 2009. Semifinal matches begin at 7:30 a.m. Monday, followed by the championship match at 1:30 p.m.

BROADCAST INFORMATION – Semifinal matches and the championship match will be streamed live on the ACC Network Extra platform, available on the ESPN app.

 


Alexander-Tharpe Fund

The Alexander-Tharpe Fund is the fundraising arm of Georgia Tech athletics, providing scholarship, operations and facilities support for Tech’s 400-plus student-athletes. Be a part of the development of Yellow Jackets that thrive academically at the Institute and compete for championships at the highest levels of college athletics by supporting the Annual Athletic Scholarship Fund, which directly provides scholarships for Georgia Tech student-athletes. To learn more about supporting the Yellow Jackets, visit atfund.org.

ABOUT GEORGIA TECH GOLF

Georgia Tech’s golf team is in its 29th year under head coach Bruce Heppler, having won 72 tournaments in his tenure. Heppler is the 10th-longest-tenured head coach in Division I men’s golf. The Yellow Jackets have won 19 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, made 33 appearances in the NCAA Championship and been the national runner-up five times. Connect with Georgia Tech Golf on social media by liking their Facebook page, or following on Twitter (@GTGolf) and Instagram. For more information on Tech golf, visit Ramblinwreck.com.

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