Oct. 21, 2016
Alpharetta, Ga. – Junior Michael Pisciotta shot a 73 in his fall debut to lead Georgia Tech Friday, and the Yellow Jackets posted a 9-over-par 297 for 12th place after the opening round of the Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate at the Golf Club of Georgia.
TECH LINEUP – Pisciotta, playing on his home course, played a steady round with two birdies and three bogeys on a gusty day in which winds averaged 15 miles per hour and gusted to nearly 25. James Clark (junior, Columbus, Ga.) shot 74, while freshmen Luke Schniederjans (Powder Springs, Ga.) and Tyler Strafaci (Davie, Fla.) added 75s. Junior Chris Petefish did not count after carding a 77.
TEAM LEADERBOARD – Eighth-ranked Oklahoma and No. 26 Duke were the only teams to break par in the windy conditions Friday. The Sooners posted a 5-under-par 283, led by Max McGreevey’s 68, while the Blue Devils shot a 285 (-3) behind a 68 from their fifth player, Chandler Eaton.
No. 7 Virginia is in third place after a 1-over-par 289, followed by No. 28 Texas and No. 21 Texas A&M at 3-over 291 and No. 16 Clemson at 292 (+4). No. 3 Auburn, one of last year’s co-champions, is tied for seventh with No. 2 Oklahoma State and No. 13 Stanford at 293 (+5). UCLA (295, +7) is 19th and No. 6 LSU (296 (+8).
INDIVIDUAL LEADERBOARD – Virginia’s Jimmy Stanger, ranked 18th in the nation, paced the field Friday with a 67, taking a one-stroke lead over a trio at 68 that includes one of last year’s co-medalists, Will Long of Auburn, as well as Oklahoma’s McGreevey and Duke’s Eaton. LSU’s Sam Burns is along in fifth place at 69 (-3).
Texas’ Scottie Scheffler and Stanford’s Franklin Huang are tied for sixth place with 70s, and nine players shot 71.
COACH Bruce Heppler SAYS – “It was a pretty disappointing day for our group. We put 10 guys out there today on our home courses and only had only player break 74. Hopefully we can regroup and play well the next two days.”
TOURNAMENT INFORMATION – The 11th annual Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate, formerly called the United States Collegiate Championship, continues through Sunday at the Golf Club of Georgia, which serves at the Yellow Jackets’ home club. This year for the first time, the tournament will utilize both of the club’s courses, the 7,017-yard, par 72 Lakeside Course and the 7,039-yard, par-72 Creekside Course, for the first two rounds of the event. Each team plays one round on each course Friday or Saturday, and all 17 teams will play the final round Sunday on the Lakeside Course, where every round of the tournament was played in previous years. Competition begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, and 8 a.m. Sunday. Admission is free.
Auburn and Wake Forest were co-champions of last year’s tournament, while Virginia’s Derek Bard, Stanford’s Maverick McNealy, Auburn’s Will Long and Wake Forest’s Cameron Young tied for medalist honors. The field is traditionally one of the strongest in college golf, and 14 of the 17 teams this year are in the current Golfstat top 50. Six of those are ranked among the top 10, with four others in the top 25. Auburn and Wake Forest are back to defend their 2015 shared title, and all four co-medalists from 2015 are back as well. Bard also won medalist honors alone in 2014 with a tournament-record score of 201 (-15). Twelve of the nation’s current top 25 players, according to Golfstat, are in the field.
The field, in alphabetical order with current Golfstat ranking – Auburn (3), Clemson (16), Duke (26), East Tennessee State (111), Georgia Tech (31), LSU (6), Oklahoma (8), Oklahoma State (2), Southern California (19), Stanford (13), Texas (28), Texas A&M (21), TCU (68), UCLA (33), Villanova (224), Virginia (7), Wake Forest (9).
Tech is again paired with Oklahoma and Stanford Saturday, teeing off at 9:55 a.m. Saturday on the Lakeside Course.
TECH’S GOLF CLUB OF GEORGIA COLLEGIATE HISTORY – Georgia Tech has won the USCC twice in its 10-year history, in 2010 and 2012. Clemson is the only other multiple winner, having captured the inaugural title in 2006 and again in 2009. James White, who set tournament records for 18-hole score (62) and 54-hole score (204, broken in 2014), won medalist honors in 2010, while Ollie Schniederjans won it in 2013 for Tech’s only individual titles. The Yellow Jackets finished fifth last fall.