Feb. 6, 2016
Waikoloa Village, Hawai’i – Vincent Whaley shot a 4-under-par 68 for the second straight day, while Georgia Tech posted its best score of the weekend and finished 12th at the Amer Ari Invitational at the Waikoloa Resort.
TEAM LEADERBOARD — Georgia Tech shot a 2-under-par 286 Saturday and finished 54 holes at 1-over-par 865, which was 30 shots off the pace set by seventh-ranked Southern California. The Trojans, who shared the first round lead and began the final round two strokes behind No. 23 UCLA, shot 6-under 282 Saturday and overtook the Bruins, who posted a 2-under 286. Southern Cal finished the tournament at 835 (-29), with UCLA two shots back at 837 (-27). No. 9 Arizona State and No. 30 Oregon, both of whom shot 7-under 281 Saturday, tied for fourth place at 842 (-22).
No. 16 Oklahoma State finished fifth at 845 (-19), and No. 5 Stanford, a first-round co-leader, was sixth at 846 (-18).
Nine of the 19 teams in the field are listed among the nation’s top 50 in this week’s Golfstat rankings.
TECH LINEUP — The Yellow Jackets began their final round on holes 7, 8 and 9 in a shotgun start at the par-72 Kings Course at Waikoloa Village, rallying late by playing their final nine holes in 7-under-par.
Whaley opened with a 71 Thursday but closed 68-68 to earn his second top-5 finish of the year. The junior from McKinney, Texas, played the back nine in even par with two bogeys and two birdies, but played the front 4-under. His 9-under-par total of 207 was the best tournament score of his career, including his victory at last spring’s Robert Kepler Intercollegiate (208, -5).
Sophomore James Clark (Columbus, Ga.) and junior Michael Hines (Acworth, Ga.) continued to play consistent golf. Clark closed with a 1-under 71 after carding a pair of 73s the first two rounds. Hines shot even-par 72 Saturday to follow his 71-74. Sophomore Chris Petefish (Danville, Calif.) provided Tech’s fourth counting score with a 75 Saturday, while sophomore Michael Pisciotta (Alpahretta, Ga.) had a 77.
INDIVIDUAL LEADERBOARD — Oregon’s Aaron Wise (200, -16) shot 64 Saturday and earned a two-shot victory over Southern California’s Rico Hoey (202, -14), who closed with a 66. Stanford’s Maverick McNealy finished third at 13-under 203, with Oklahoma’s Zachary Olsen in fourth at 11-under 205.
Whaley tied with UCLA’s Jonathan Garrick at 9-under-par 207.
COACH BRUCE HEPPLER SAYS – “Vince had a great tournament and a very good round today. We were close to having a good round today. We just have to continue to work and get better, player by player.”
TOURNAMENT INFORMATION — Georgia Tech is making its 18th appearance in the Amer Ari Invitational, which has been the traditional spring opener for the Yellow Jackets every year since 1999, except for last season. 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.