THE FLATS – Georgia Tech’s No. 3-ranked golf team, fresh off a 20-stroke victory in the season-opening Carpet Capital Collegiate, travels to the Chicago area this weekend for the Olympia Fields Country Club/Fighting Illini Invitational, Friday through Sunday in Olympia Fields, Ill.
TOURNAMENT INFORMATION – Georgia Tech is competing in this event for the second time, and first since 2006, at the famed Olympia Fields Country Club, which has hosted two U.S. Open Championships and two PGA Championships.
Olympia Fields, hosted by the University of Illinois’ golf program, annually attracts one of the strong fields in college golf, and this year brings in 10 of the nation’s top 25 teams as ranked in the preseason by the Golf Coaches Association of America. The 15-team field includes Alabama (21), Baylor (20), California (16), Florida State (27), Florida (25), Georgia Tech (3), Indiana, UNLV, North Carolina (23), Northwestern, Oklahoma State (4), Pepperdine (10), Texas (1) and Texas A&M (14). The host Illini are ranked 19th.
TEAM UPDATE – Head coach Bruce Heppler’s 25th Yellow Jacket team is ranked No. 3 behind 2019 NCAA runner-up Texas and Arizona State in the coaches poll. The Longhorns received nine of the 23 first-place votes, while the Sun Devils received two and Tech got three. NCAA semifinalists Oklahoma State (three first-place votes) and Vanderbilt (one first-place vote) round out the top five. NCAA quarterfinalists Wake Forest and Oklahoma, Auburn, the defending NCAA Champion Stanford, and Pepperdine all begin the season in the top 10. Three of those teams are in the Olympia Fields event.
Tech returns all five starters from a team which won six tournaments in 2018-19, including the ACC Championship in the spring. The Jackets finished fourth in the NCAA Pullman Regional and 18th at the NCAA Championship. This year’s unit won the Carpet Capital Collegiate, for the third straight year, two weeks ago.
Great night in Chicago for the guys! pic.twitter.com/fXNCYfGYXd
— Georgia Tech Golf (@GTGolf) September 19, 2019
TECH LINEUP – All four of Georgia Tech’s returning starters are in the lineup for the Olympia Fields Invitational for the first time this fall. Senior Andy Ogletree (Little Rock, Miss.), who won the U.S. Amateur Championship in August, missed the Carpet Capital Collegiate while in Hoylake, England helping Team USA win the Walker Cup. He joins fellow seniors Luke Schniederjans (Powder Springs, Ga.), a 2019 All-American, and Tyler Strafaci (Davie, Fla.), a two-time All-Atlantic Coast Conference performer, and junior Noah Norton (Chico, Calif.), a two-time All-ACC choice who reached match play at the 2019 U.S. Amateur.
Schniederjans and Strafaci finished 1-2 at the Carpet Capital Collegiate two weeks ago, the former capturing his third career tournament title. Norton shot an opening-round 70 before back spasms prevented him from competing in the final two rounds. Redshirt sophomore Ben Smith (Novi, Mich.) competed in the Carpet Capital Collegiate and tied for 48th place.
"This is an opportunity to take a really good team to a really hard golf course against a really good field, so I think it’ll be a good early test for where we are. Andy (Ogletree) is excited about being back and joining the group, so I think it’ll be an incredible test, and we have an opportunity to build on our success from the first tournament."
ACC NETWORK HAS LAUNCHED!
The ACC Network is a linear and digital platform dedicated to 24/7 coverage of ACC sports that launched on Aug. 22, 2019. It will exclusively televise approximately 450 live events each year, including 40 football games (beginning with Georgia Tech’s 2019 season opener at Clemson on Aug. 29), as well as 150 men’s and women’s basketball contests.
Don’t get shut out! For more information and to learn if your cable/satellite/digital provider is carrying the ACC Network, visit GetACCN.com. Georgia Tech fans whose cable/satellite/digital providers aren’t carrying the ACC Network are urged to contact their providers and ask for the ACC Network to be a part of their subscription.
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH GOLF
Georgia Tech’s golf team is in its 25th year under head coach Bruce Heppler, winning 59 tournaments in his tenure. The Yellow Jackets have won 18 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, made 29 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 (@GTGolf) and Instagram. For more information on Tech golf, visit Ramblinwreck.com.