Sept. 4, 2014
THE FLATS – With three new competitors joining a lineup anchored by All-Americans Ollie Schniederjans and Anders Albertson, Georgia Tech goes back to work this weekend, competing in its traditional fall opener at the Carpet Capital Collegiate in Rocky Face, Ga.
The Yellow Jackets begin their 20th season under seven-time Atlantic Coast Conference Coach of the Year Bruce Heppler having to replace three graduated starters. But it is the presence of the reigning ACC Player of the Year in Schniederjans, the winner of the 2014 Mark H McCormack Medal as the world’s No. 1 amateur player, and a three-time All-ACC performer in Albertson that has Tech beginning the fall No. 3 in the Golf Coaches of America rankings and in the top three of Golfweek magazine’s pre-season ranking.
Tech won six tournaments a year ago, including the Carpet Capital Collegiate, which is being played Friday through Sunday at The Farm Golf Club, a 7,012-yard, par 72 layout designed by Tom Fazio near Dalton, Ga. The Yellow Jackets have been the institutional host of this event since its inception in 1989, winning seven times. Tech won last year for the first time since 2001, by six strokes over Georgia. The field maintains its predominantly ACC (Clemson, Tech, North Carolina, Wake Forest) and SEC (Auburn, Alabama, Florida, LSU, South Carolina, Tennessee) flavor, and has six 2014 NCAA Championship teams in the 14-team field.
The Crimson Tide won their second straight NCAA title last spring in Hutchinson, Kan., defeating Oklahoma State in the championship match. Tech reached match play for the fourth time in five years but lost to the Cowboys in the quarterfinals.
“That’s pretty ambitious,” said Heppler of his team’s No. 3 ranking. “We have talented players on our team, but you get to a point where experience matters. We have potential, but it’s difficult to know what to expect. We’ll need Ollie and Anders to play like they can. The others can hit the shots, but they haven’t been in tournaments and haven’t seen the golf courses that we typically play. Only one of the freshmen came through qualifying, so that speaks a little to the experience factor.
“Ollie is chomping at the bit to play, and he just needs to get out there and get started. For us to be successful, Anders needs to return to the form that he played with the year before last.”
Schniederjans returns to defend one of his two fall titles, along with Albertson, senior Drew Czuchry, sophomore Michael Hines and freshman Jacob Joiner. Sophomore Vincent Whaley will compete as an individual.
Czuchry, who has played in just four tournaments for Tech in three years since transferring from Akron, blew away his teammates in the Jackets’ 108-hole qualifying tournament by 13 strokes to earn a spot on the travel team this week. The senior from Auburn, Ga., went 19-under-par in the gauntlet, of which three rounds were played at East Lake Golf Club and three at the Golf Club of Georgia, no small feat.
Albertson, the 2013 ACC Champion, was 6-under-par, followed by Joiner (-5) and Hines (-4). Albertson, from Woodstock, Ga., enters his senior year as one of Tech’s most accomplished players ever, only the 10th Tech player to earn All-ACC honors three times with the third-best career stroke average (71.50) in Tech history.
Joiner, from Leesburg, Ga., who qualified for the U.S. Amateur earlier in the summer, is part of a stellar freshman class entering Tech, with all four signees having been ranked among the top 50 juniors in the United States. Hines, from Acworth, Ga., red-shirted last year after playing in seven tournaments as a freshman.
Due to a weather forecast calling for afternoon thunderstorms all three days, each round of the Carpet Capital Collegiate will begin at 7:30 a.m.
— Georgia Tech Golf (@GT_GOLF) September 4, 2014
TECH THREESOME COMPETING TO COME HOME
Three former Georgia Tech stars – Matt Kuchar, Cameron Tringale and Chesson Hadley – begin competition Thursday at the BMW Championship in Denver, Colo., the third stage of the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup Playoffs, with the hope of advancing to the final stage in two weeks at East Lake Golf Club for the Tour Championship by Coca-Cola.
The BMW Championship, being contested at Cherry Hills Country Club outside of Denver, features the top 70 players in FedEx Cup points. Kuchar, No. 5 on the points list, tees off at 2:50 p.m. Eastern time Thursday, while Tringale, who tied for second at The Barclays two weeks ago and ranks no. 18, tees off at the same time on the 10th tee. Hadley, who tied for ninth last week at the Deutsche Bank Championship and ranks No. 57, begins his opening round at 2:04 p.m.
Kuchar is paired for the first two rounds with Bubba Watson and Jimmy Walker. Tringale is paired with Bill Haas and John Senden, while Hadley is playing with Phil Mickelson and Will MacKenzie.
East Lake, founded by the legendary Bobby Jones and the original home of the Atlanta Athletic Club, is one of Tech’s two home courses and has been the site of the Tour Championship each year since 2004. The top 30 players in FedEx Cup points following this weekend’s BMW Championship will advance to East Lake.
FORRESTER COMPETING AT U.S. MID-AMATEUR
Another former Georgia Tech All-American, Carlton Forrester, has qualified for and will begin competition in the United States Mid-Amateur Championship Saturday at Saucon Valley Country Club in Bethlehem, Pa.
Forrester, who reached the finals of the 2005 Mid-Amateur, qualified this year by earning co-medalist honors Aug. 4 at Berkeley Hills Country Club in Duluth, Ga. Inducted into the Georgia Tech Sports Hall of Fame in 2012, Forrester played on Tech teams anchored by Matt Kuchar and Bryce Molder that recorded two NCAA runner-up finishes and an ACC title.
He is actually one of two Tech graduates in this year’s Mid-Amateur. The other is Peter Davison of West Hartford, Conn., a highly-accomplished junior player who enrolled at Tech in 1983 and played in eight tournaments for the Yellow Jackets. He was the co-medalist in the qualifier at Timberlin Country Club in Kensington, Conn. Davison graduated from Tech in 1987 with a degree in Industrial Management.
Both Forrester and Davison are successful businessmen in the financial services industry.
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH GOLF
Georgia Tech’s golf team is in its 20th year under head coach Bruce Heppler. The Yellow Jackets have won 15 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, made 27 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.