Feb. 3, 2017
Waikoloa, Hawai’i – Senior James Clark fired a 5-under-par 67 Friday, and Georgia Tech shaved 10 shots off its first-round score to move into a tie for ninth place after 36 holes at the 26th annual Amer Ari Invitational at the Waikoloa Village Resort.
TECH LINEUP — Clark (Columbus, Ga.) birdied six holes against one bogey Friday to post the best round of his career, and the senior moved to 1-under-par 143 for 36 holes, tied for 45th place.
For the second straight round, Tech’s three freshmen all counted for the Yellow Jackets. Andy Ogletree (Little Rock, Miss.) bogeyed his opening hole but played the remaining 17 holes 5-under-par for a 68, moving up to a tie for 26th individually. Tyler Strafaci (Davie, Fla.) added a 2-under-par 70 to his opening 69, posting four birdies and two bogeys, and is tied for 19th individually at 5-under-par 139. Luke Schniederjans (Powder Springs, Ga.) posted his second straight 73.
Junior Chris Petefish (Danville, Calif.), competing as an individual, carded a 70 to go with his opening 72 and is tied for 36th place.
TEAM LEADERBOARD — Georgia Tech’s 278 bumped the Yellow Jackets up a couple of positions into a tie for ninth place with No. 10 Texas and No. 33 UCLA at 10-under-par 566. They are 25 shots off the lead of No. 7 Southern California.
The Trojans, at 35-under-par 541, grabbed the 36-hole lead by blistering the 7,074-yard Kings Course to the tune of 20-under-par 268. They are one shot ahead of No. 18 Texas Tech (34-under 542), which shot 16-under-par 272 Friday.
No. 7 Stanford and No. 28 Colorado are tied for third place at 560 (-16), followed by No. 20 Oregon at 561 (-15) in fifth and No. 4 Oklahoma State at 564 (-12) in sixth. Arizona State and TCU are tied for seventh place at 11-under 565.
INDIVIDUAL LEADERBOARD — Rico Hoey of Southern California fired a 9-under-par 63, the low round of the tournament so far, and moved into the individual lead at 14-under-par 130. He’s three shots ahead of a trio of golfers at 11-under 133 — Texas Tech’s Fredrik Nilehn, Colorado’s Ethan Freeman and USC’s Kyle Suppa.
Stanford’s Maverick McNealy and Arizona State’s Jared duToit are tied for fifth at 10-under-par 134.
TOURNAMENT INFORMATION — Georgia Tech is making its 19th appearance in the Amer Ari Invitational, which has been the traditional spring opener for the Yellow Jackets every year since 1999, with one exception. The 54-hole event, which runs through Saturday, is played at the 7,074-yard, par 72 Kings Course at the Waikoloa Resort on the Kona Coast of Hawai’i.
The 21-team field, which gets stronger each year, boasts four of the nation’s top 10 teams — No. 4 Oklahoma State, No. 6 Stanford, No. 7 Southern California and No. 8 Auburn, and 11 of the nation’s top 50 in the current rankings. Two of those teams, No. 11 Texas and No. 22 Oregon, faced off in the NCAA Championship match last spring. Five of the top 10 individuals in the nation are on those teams.