May 4, 2017
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech’s 23rd-ranked golf team has earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Men’s Golf Championship, and has been assigned to compete in the Stanford Regional, to be played May 15-17 at the Stanford University Golf Course at Stanford, Calif.
REGIONAL INFORMATION — The Yellow Jackets, the No. 4 seed at Stanford, are playing in an NCAA regional for the 20th straight year and for the 27th time in the 29 years the NCAA has used a regional qualifying format for its championship. They are part of a regional field that includes 13 teams and 10 individuals.
This is the third straight year that Tech will travel to the West Coast for its NCAA regional. The Jackets played last May in Tucson, Ariz., and in San Diego in 2015. Tech also played in the Cypress Point Classic, a match play event on the Monterrey Peninsula, last fall.
The Stanford Regional will play host to eight teams listed among the nation’s top 50 of the Golfstat rankings, including (in order of seed) Stanford (4), Baylor (9), Oklahoma (15), Georgia Tech (21), Pepperdine (27), North Carolina (33), North Florida (41) and BYU (45). Houston (51), Ohio State (58), UC Santa Barbara (66), Sacramento State (107) and South Dakota State (196). BYU, UCSB, Sacramento State and South Dakota State qualified automatically by winning their conference tournaments.
The NCAA announced on Thursday all 81 teams and 45 individuals who will competing for spots in the NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship, which will be conducted May 26-31 at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill. Of the 81 teams, 31 were automatic qualifiers by winning their conference championships, and the other 50 earned at-large bids.
Each regional is a 54-hole, stroke-play event with 13 teams and 10 individuals, or 14 teams and five individuals, competing. The top five teams after 54 holes and one individual not on those teams advance from each regional to the NCAA Championship finals, which has a field of 30 teams and six individuals.
The other five regional tournaments will be conducted in Baton Rouge, La. (top seed, LSU); College Grove, Tenn. (top seed, Vanderbilt); West Lafayette, Ind. (top seed, Florida); Austin, Texas (top seed, Oklahoma State); and Sammamish, Wash. (top seed, Southern California).
— Georgia Tech Golf (@GT_GOLF) May 4, 2017
TEAM UPDATE — Georgia Tech enters NCAA regionals ranked No. 21 in the Golfstat rankings and No. 23 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Index. Tech had risen as high as No. 20 in Golfstat and No. 19 in the Sagarin ratings after the first five spring events, having finished second in three straight events leading into the ACC Championship, in which the Yellow Jackets tied for seventh place.
Tech’s closest brush with victory came at the Valspar Collegiate Invitational against the toughest field it has faced this spring (10 top-50 teams), when the Yellow Jackets rallied on the final day to come within a shot of No. 9 Wake Forest. Tech tied for second with Florida State at the Seminole Intercollegiate the week before and second at the Clemson Invitational immediately before the ACC Championship.
Previously this spring, Tech tied for seventh place in a 21-team field at the Amer Ari Invitational in Hawai’i and tied for for third among 15 teams at the Puerto Rico Classic. The Jackets’ best finish in the fall was a fifth-place showing at the Carpet Capital Collegiate.
Tech has a 79-37-1 won-loss record cumulatively this year against a schedule rated the 13th-strongest in the country, according to the Golfweek/Sagarin Index (doesn’t include Cypress Point match play event in the fall).
HEAD COACH Bruce Heppler SAYS — “Our guys seem to be excited at the chance to go to California, so them being enthused is a good thing. They had so much fun at Cypress Point in the fall, and I think that’s why they wanted to go back to California. We have traveled all over the country for years, so it’s something we always try to do. It’s a really good golf course; we played in a tournament out there years ago. There’s nowhere you can go and get through if you don’t play well. So we’re excited to see what we can do.”
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH GOLF – Georgia Tech’s golf team is in its 22nd year under head coach Bruce Heppler. The Yellow Jackets have won 16 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, made 28 appearances in the NCAA Championship and been the national runner-up four times. Connect with Georgia Tech Golf on social media by liking their Facebook page, or following on Twitter (@GT_Golf) and Instagram. For more information on Tech golf, visit Ramblinwreck.com.