April 11, 2014
THE FLATS – Looking to get some experience in course conditions different from what Southeastern courses offer, Georgia Tech heads to Columbus, Ohio this weekend to play in the Robert Kepler Intercollegiate.
The 54-hole event, which begins with 36 holes in a shotgun start Saturday, is being played at the Ohio State University Golf Club’s Scarlet Course, where Tech has played in three NCAA Championships (1987, 1995, 2002) and one NCAA regional (2008) since 1985. It plays to a par of 71 and measures 7,455 yards, exceeded in length only by the Southern Highlands Golf Club in Las Vegas among layouts Tech has played this year.
The tournament kicks off a stretch of three straight weeks of competition culminating in the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship, April 25-27 in New London, N.C. Next weekend, Tech hosts the Capital City Club Match Play Championship at the Crabapple Course in Milton, Ga.
“One of the things that we try to look at is competing relatively close to ACCs,” said Heppler. “You don’t want to go three weeks without putting a pencil to it [keeping score for real],” Heppler said. “It’s a great course, a good field, and . . . Midwest golf is a whole lot different than Southeastern golf.
“We’re playing some golf that we could ship to Chicago. The thick, bluegrass rough, and bent grass fairways . . . it’s completely different than Bermuda.”
Though Tech has not played in this event before – it has been played annually since 1969 with the exception of last spring – it has played in the four NCAA events mentioned above to mixed success. The Jackets finished 22nd in 1987 and missed the cut in 1995, respectively, before recording the third of their four all-time NCAA runner-up finishes in 2002. Tech finished 15th out of 27 teams in the 2008 NCAA regional, failing to advance to the finals that year.
The 15-team field for this year’s event includes five other top-50 teams, including No. 18 UAB and No. 29 UNLV, which won the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters in March. Kent State, the 2012 champion in this event, Liberty, Northwestern, Missouri, Oregon State, Ohio State and Charlotte all are ranked in the top 70 in this week’s Golfweek/Sagarin Index.
Tech is ranked No. 3 this week following a victory at the Valspar Invitational in its last outing. Junior Ollie Schniederjans (Powder Springs, Ga.), with three individual victories this year, including the Valspar event, is ranked fifth nationally, while senior Seth Reeves (Duluth, Ga.), with two wins in the fall and three top-20s this spring, is ranked 24th.
Junior Anders Albertson (Woodstock, Ga.), who has struggled since a sixth-place finish at Puerto Rico, is ranked 80th, while senior Richard Werenski (South Hadley, Mass.) is No. 116, and senior Bo Andrews (Raleigh, N.C.) is No. 129 after finishing third in Puerto Rico and 15th at the Valspar.
About Georgia Tech Golf
Georgia Tech’s golf team is in its 19th year under head coach Bruce Heppler. The Yellow Jackets have won 14 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, made 26 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). For more information on Tech golf, visit Ramblinwreck.com.