Waimea, Hawai’i – After posting four subpar scores in Tuesday’s opening round, Georgia Tech was unable to sustain the high level of play Wednesday as Luka Karaulic and Christo Lamprecht carded team-low 74s and the No. 20 Yellow Jackets fell to third place after 36 holes at the Amer Ari Intercollegiate.
Under warm but very windy conditions on the 6,875-yard, par-72 Hapuna Golf Course, Tech shot a 12-over-par 300 in round 2 and finished 36 holes at 2-under-par 574, 24 strokes behind 10th-ranked Arizona State. The Jackets were holding their own, 1-over-par for their round after four players birdied the par-5 14th, but lost 11 shots to par over the final four holes.
TECH LINEUP – Four Tech players remain among the top 21 individuals, led by junior Connor Howe (Ogden, Utah), who followed his opening 67 with a 75 Wednesday and is tied for 11th place at 2-under-par 142. Lamprecht, a freshman from George, South Africa, is tied for 13th place at 143 (-1), following his opening 69 with a 74.
Senior Noah Norton (Chico, Calif.) went from 68 to 77 and is alone in 17th place (145, +1), and Karaulic (Dacula, Ga.) is tied for 21st at 147 (+3). Senior Will Dickson (Providence, R.I.), carded an 86 Wednesday after posting a 70 in round 1, and is in 38th place at 156 (+12).
Tech’s individuals fared no better, as sophomore Andy Mao (Johns Creek, Ga.) shot 78 Tuesday, junior Ben Smith (Novi, Mich.) shot 79, and sophomore Bartley Forrester (Gainesville, Ga.) shot 80. Forrester holds the highest 36-hole position among that group, tied for 27th place at 150 (+6).
Luka Karaulic was 3-under-par through 10 holes Wednesday before finishing with a 74. (photo by Jeff Golden)
TEAM LEADERBOARD – No. 10 Arizona State, the highest-ranked team in the field, flexed its muscle Wednesday with four subpar rounds, matching its score from round 1 with a 13-under-par 275 and opening an eight-shot lead over Southern California, which posted a 10-under-par 278. The Sun Devils, who have three of their counting players among the top eight individuals on the leaderboard, have a 36-hole total of 550 (-26), while the Trojans, with two players among the top eight, have a cumulative score of 558 (-18).
Tech shot 12-over-par 300, falling to third place at 2-under-par 574. Oregon State posted a 2-under-par 286 and got into red figures for the tournament at 575 (-1), sitting in fourth place.
San Jose State (576, even), Washington (590, +14), Hawai’i (626, +50) and Hawai’i-Hilo (637, +61) round out the field.
INDIVIDUAL LEADERBOARD – Arizona State’s Blake Wagoner held onto the individual lead, following his opening 63 with a 71 for a 36-hole total of 134 (-10). He is one stroke ahead of Sun Devil teammate David Puig, who is attempting to win his second straight event after firing a 68 Wednesday to move into second place at 135 (-9).
USC’s Sixian Guo and ASU’s Cameron Sisk are tied for third at 136 (-8), while the Sun Devils’ Ryggs Johnston and the Trojans’ Shane Ffrench are in a group of four players at 139 (-5).
Fourteen of the 51 players in the field are under par.
"The winds in those closing holes were about as severe as I’ve ever seen, it was all you could ever want. You didn’t know what to hit on some of those shots. Luka was playing really well and had a good round going until the end, and so did Christo. Playing late was definitely the short end of the stick today."
Head coach Bruce Heppler
TOURNAMENT INFORMATION – Georgia Tech has played in the Amer Ari Intercollegiate every year since 1999. Tech has already played twice this spring, adding a pair of events to its spring slate after the fall season was cancelled. The 30th annual event, which concludes Thursday, is a 54-hole, 5-count-4 stroke-play tournament. The event this year has been contested on Hapuna Golf Course (6,875 yards, par 72), rather than the usual Kings Course at the Waikoloa Beach Resort.
The Yellow Jackets have won this event five times, all between 2000 and 2007, and six Yellow Jackets have won or shared the individual title, including Matt Kuchar (shared title in 2000 and 2001), Carlton Forrester (shared title in 2000), Bryce Molder (shared title in 2001), Troy Matteson (2003) and Cameron Tringale (2007). Tech finished fifth last year in a 20-team field.
The change in venue is not the only effect of COVID on this year’s tournament. The field, still strong in quality, includes just eight teams rather than the normal 20, with the Jackets joining Arizona State, Hawai’i, Hawai’i-Hilo, Oregon State, San Jose State. Southern California and Washington.
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ABOUT GEORGIA TECH GOLF
Georgia Tech’s golf team is in its 26th year under head coach Bruce Heppler, winning 64 tournaments in his tenure. The Yellow Jackets have won 18 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, made 29 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 (@GTGolf) and Instagram. For more information on Tech golf, visit Ramblinwreck.com.