Oct. 5, 2014
THE FLATS – For the first time in nine years, Georgia Tech’s golf team will play in the Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate, facing two-time defending NCAA Champion Alabama among other top Southeastern teams.
Tech, ranked No. 2 in the nation in the latest golf coaches’ poll, is making its 10th appearance in the event, but the first since the fall of 2005, when the Roberto Castro-led Yellow Jackets captured a victory at Old Overton Golf Club in Vestavia Hills, Ala. (7,209 yards, par 70).
The 12-team field includes the host Crimson Tide, the second time the Yellow Jackets have seen Alabama this fall, Florida State, Mississippi State, Georgia State, Georgia Tech, Ole Miss, Texas A&M, UAB, Arkansas, UNLV, Charlotte and Texas-San Antonio. They’ll play 36 holes on Monday and finish with an 18-hole round Tuesday.
“Old Overton is a lot like the Golf Club of Georgia (Tech’s home course), very good greens, a similar look,” said head coach Bruce Heppler. “We’ve had some good results over there, but only one really good team finish. “We’ve gotten off to a pretty good starts. We’ve not seen Florida State this year. They were my pick to win the conference this year with everybpody back and some real good individual players. It’ll be good to see where we stand against them.”
Alabama, which won the NCAA title the last two years, won the Jerry Pate last fall by 16 shots over Texas A&M. The Tide are ranked No. 14 in the current coaches’ poll, while Florida State is No. 4.
Heppler will again take his trio of seniors – Ollie Schniederjans (Powder Springs, Ga.), Anders Albertson (Woodstock, Ga.) and Drew Czuchry (Auburn, Ga.) into their third tournament of the fall. They’ll be joined by sophomore Michael Hines (Acworth, Ga.) and freshman James Clark (Columbus, Ga.), who each survived qualifying this week to make the travel squad for the second time.
Schniederjans has a win (Carpet Capital Collegiate) and a third-place finish (DICK’S Sporting Goods Challenge) so far this fall, while Albertson logged a pair of top-20 finishes in those events. Czuchry earned his best career finish last time out, a tie for ninth at the DICK’s Sporting Goods event, and lifted Tech to the team title with a chip-in at the 18th hole of the final round.
Clark is starting for the second straight tournament after tying for 23rd in Nashville with closing rounds of 71-72. Hines tied for 46th in his previous start at the Carpet Capital Collegiate.
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.