Oct. 18, 2015
Alpharetta, Ga. – Riding four subpar scores, Georgia Tech finished strong Sunday with a 6-under-par score of 282 and placed fifth at the United States Collegiate Championship at the Golf Club of Georgia. The Jackets finished the tournament with a 3-over-par total of 867, 12 strokes behind co-champions Auburn and Wake Forest.
TECH LINEUP — Four Tech players posted-under-par scores in the same round for the first time this fall. Jacob Joiner set the pace, shooting a closing 69 (-3), while James Clark, Chris Petefish and Vincent Whaley each shot 71 (-1). The Yellow Jackets’ non-counting score was a 73 from Michael Pisciotta.
Joiner, a sophomore from Leesburg, Ga., who won medalist honors at the Carpet Capital Collegiate in September, birdied six holes in his round, while Clark, a sophomore from Columbus, Ga., birdied five. Joiner finished in a tie for 15th place individually, his second top-20 showing this fall, at 1-under-par 215.
Whaley tied for 25th at 218 (+2), while Pisciotta tied for 31st at 219 (+3), Clark tied for 26th at 221 (+5) and Petefish tied for 41st at 222 (+6) in the 90-player field.
TEAM LEADERBOARD — Fifth-ranked Wake Forest, the 36-hole leader, built a three-shot lead on the back nine but couldn’t hold it, finishing at 9-under-par 855 with top-ranked Auburn. The Demon Deacons began the day one shot ahead of the Tigers and shot 2-under-par 286 while Auburn posted a 3-under-par 285. No. 21 Clemson, with the day’s best round at 280 (-8) finished third at 859 (-5), while top-ranked Florida State was fourth at 860 (-4). They were the only teams in the heavyweight 17-team field to finish 54 holes under par.
Tech, ranked 19th, was fifth at 867 (+3), followed by No. 13 Texas and No. 8 Stanford tied for sixth at 869 (+5). The Jackets also finished ahead of No. 7 Southern California (8th), No. 9 Oklahoma (9th) and No. 2 Oklahoma State (13th).
INDIVIDUAL LEADERBOARD — Will Long of Auburn and Cmaeron Young of Wake Forest, playing in the final group to finish, joined Maverick McNealy of Stanford and Derek Bard of Virginia in a four-way tie for medalist honors at 6-under-par 210. McNealy joined that group by posting the low round of the day, a 5-under-par 67. Bard, defending his 2014 title in the USCC, shot even-par 72, while Young shot a closing 73 and Long a 74.
Wake’s Will Zalatoris, Auburn’s Michael Johnson and Southern Cal’s Rico Hoey tied for fifth place one stroke back at 211 (-5). Four more players tied for eighth at 212 (-4).
HEAD COACH Bruce Heppler SAYS — “We had five guys in the round today. It’s funny, in each event this year, we’ve had one round get away from us. Yesterday was a little different in that we didn’t have any really high scores, but none of them were good scores. Today we got a chance to start again on No. 10, and we handled it a lot better. In the first two tournaments, the last round was the bad one, this time it was the best one. We beat some really good teams here this weekend, and maybe our young guys start to think they can do this.”
TOURNAMENT INFORMATION — The Carpet Capital Collegiate is played at the 7,017-yard, par 72 Lakeside Course at the Golf Club of Georgia, which also serves as the Yellow Jackets’ home course. Tech has been the institutional host of this event since its inception in 2006. The Yellow Jackets finished seventh last year while Texas outlasted Virginia for the team title. The Cavaliers’ Derek Bard won medalist honors. The field is traditionally one of the strongest in college golf, and 16 of the 17 teams this year are in the current Golfstat top 50. Seven of those are ranked among the top 10, with five others in the top 25.
The field, in alphabetical order with Golfstat ranking — Auburn (1), Clemson (21), East Tennessee State (50), Florida State (4), Georgia Tech (19), Iowa (43), Kent State (48), LSU (27), Mississippi (71), Oklahoma (9), Oklahoma State (2), Southern California (7), Stanford (8), Texas (13), UCLA (24), Virginia (22), Wake Forest (5)
TECH’S UNITED STATES COLLEGIATE CHAMPIONSHIP 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), won medalist honors in 2010, while Ollie Schniederjans won it in 2013 for Tech’s only individual titles. The Yellow Jackets’ seventh-place finish last fall was its lowest in the nine previous events.
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH GOLF
Georgia Tech’s golf team is in its 21st year under head coach Bruce Heppler. The Yellow Jackets have won 16 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, made 28 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.