Feb. 1, 2012
Waikoloa, Hawai’i – Richard Werenski and Bo Andrews each fired 3-under-par 69 Wednesday afternoon, pacing 9th-ranked Georgia Tech to a 10-under-par team total, eight shots behind top-ranked Texas after the first round of the 22nd annual Amer Ari Invitational golf tournament.
With the Yellow Jackets beginning midway around the front nine in a shotgun start, Tech was languishing on the lower half of the leaderboard until rallying over their final six holes. Werenski, Andrews, Anders Albertson and All-American James White combined for eight birdies and no bogeys over that stretch.
Texas, behind a trio of golfers shooting 67, stormed to an 18-under-par 270 and a five-stroke lead over No. 4 UCLA and No. 5 Washington (each at 13-under 275). No. 12 Southern California holds fourth place at 12-under 276. The Amer Ari field includes 20 teams, seven ranked among the nation’s top 15.
“We got off to a slow start and played well coming home,” said head coach Bruce Heppler. “With a shotgun start, it does depend on where you start. We had three par 5’s in our last six holes and played those very well. It was a good start, but a very strong field requires great play. We’re looking forward to the next two days.”
Werenski, a sophomore from South Hadley, Mass., and Andrews, a sophomore from Raleigh, N.C., are tied for 15th individually, three strokes behind a trio of players – Stanford’s Patrick Grimes, Washington’s Cheng-Tsung Pan and UCLA’s Pontus Wiedegren – who each shot 66. The Longhorns’ Dylan Frittelli, Cody Gribble and Toni Hakula each carded 67 along with four others.
Alberton, a freshman from Woodstock, Ga., and White, a senior from Acworth, Ga., each shot 2-under 70 and are tied for 26th place. Freshman Ollie Schniederjans of Powder Springs, Ga., did not count for Tech Wednesday after a 73.
Thursday’s second round begins with a shotgun start at 12:30 p.m. Eastern Time.