April 22, 2017
Clinton, S.C. – Senior Vincent Whaley shot a pair of 74s Saturday and completed the best finish of his career in the conference championship, but Georgia Tech was unable to gain any traction on the field and finished in a tie for seventh place at the 64th Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Golf Championship at Musgrove Mill Golf Club.
Because of inclement and possibly severe weather forecast for Sunday, the final 36 holes were contested Saturday. The Yellow Jackets now await the NCAA selections for its six regional qualifying tournaments, which will be announced May 4.
TECH LINEUP – The Yellow Jackets, who opened with an even-par 288 Friday and began the 36-hole marathon Saturday in fourth place, posted an 8-over-par 296 in the morning round to fall to eighth place and 22 shots behind Duke, which shot 3-under-par and widened its lead on the field to double digits. Clark led the Jackets with a 1-over-par 73 as increasingly breezy conditions lifted scored across the board, while Whaley and each shot 74, and added a 75.
Tech began the afternoon round still within reach (3 strokes) of third place, but came posted a 299 (+11), led by Ogletree’s even-par 72. He and Whaley made an early push in the afternoon for the Yellow Jackets, who got to 5-under-par in the early part of the front nine. Whaley recorded an ace on the par-3 second hole and followed with a birdie on 3, but was unable to sustain his momentum and finished with a 74. Still, the senior from McKinney, Texas earned his best career finish and score at the ACC Championship, tying for 15th place at 217 (+1). Clark posted a 76 and Strafaci a 77 for the other two counting scores. Ogletree finished just outside the top 20 with a tie for 22nd 220, +4).
TEAM LEADERBOARD – No. 21 Duke, which shot 11-under-par 277 Friday, maintained its edge when the course conditions became more difficult Saturday, playing the 36 holes Saturday 3-under-par to finish at 14-under-par 850 and capture its eighth ACC title. The Blue Devils finished 12 shots ahead of No. 18 Clemson (862, -2), the only other team to finish under par for 54 holes.
Ninth-ranked Wake Forest posted the best round of the afternoon at 286 (-2) and finished in third place at 867 (+3), with No. 27 Florida State (868 (+4) taking fourth and No. 33 NC State (873, +9) grabbing fifth. Virginia (874, +10) took sixth, while the Yellow Jackets tied with No. 29 North Carolina (883, +19) for seventh.
INDIVIDUAL LEADERBOARD – Jimmy Stanger of Virginia won the individual ACC title in a four-man playoff, breaking the tie with a birdie at the par-4 18th, the first playoff hole. He shot a final-round 71 and finished 54 holes at 5-under-par 211 along with Paul McBride of Wake Forest (final-round 69), Bryson Nimmer of Clemson (72) and Ben Griffin of North Carolina (74).
Wake’s Will Zalatoris, the nation’s fifth-ranked player, finished in a three-way tie for fifth with NC State’s Stephen Franken and Duke’s Alex Smalley, one shot out of the playoff at 212 (-4). Six other players finished under par for the tournament.
COACH SAYS – “It was a disappointing day. We didn’t compete well at all. Everybody had a stretch where they went five or six over par in four holes or so, and it keeps adding up. At some point, you have to put a stake in the ground and say I’m not going to let that happen. The course was challenging. The greens are elevated, they’re up and they’re down, there’s a little bit of breeze. It helps to hit it in the right spot. I thought we lag putted the ball fine. But I thought we missed a lot of greens with short irons, we weren’t sharp with our chipping. But some of it is just competing.”
TECH’S ACC CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY – Georgia Tech has won two of the last four Atlantic Coast Conference championships, six of the last nine and eight of the last 12. Tech’s 16 ACC men’s golf titles in history ranks second among conference schools behind Wake Forest (18). Tech has won 11 of its conference titles under current head coach , nine of those outright (1999, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015) and two shared (2006, 2007). The Yellow Jackets won five championships (1985, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994) under previous head coach Puggy Blackmon.
Albertson became Tech’s 10th ACC individual champion, winning twice in 2013 and 2015, joining Bob McDonnell (1985), David Duval (1991, 1993), Mikko Rantanen (1994), Bryce Molder (2000), (2006), (2010), (2011), Albertson (2013, 2015) and (2014).
TOURNAMENT INFORMATION – The 64th annual Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Golf Championship was contested over 54 holes at the 6,951-yard, par-72 Arnold Palmer designed course at the Musgrove Mill Golf Club in Clinton, S.C.
Five ACC teams are ranked in the Golfstat Top 25, with Wake Forest leading the way at No. 9 and followed by No. 15 Clemson, No. 17 Virginia, No. 20 Georgia Tech and No. 21 Duke. Four ACC golfers rank in the Top 25 of the Golfstat individual rankings: No. 4 Will Zalatoris (Wake Forest), No. 14 Cristobal Del Solar (Florida State), No. 15 Jimmy Stanger (Virginia), and No. 22 Doc Redman (Clemson).
Wake Forest leads all schools with 18 league titles and 22 individual champions. Georgia Tech, which has won 14 outright ACC Championships and shared two more, has produced 11 individual medalists. North Carolina is third with 11 titles (10 outright), followed by Clemson with 10 (nine outright).