THE FLATS – After winning or sharing the title in its first two fall events and placing third in a stacked field in its home event, Georgia Tech’s golf team finished the fall season No. 2 in the Golfstat national rankings, No. 2 in the Bushnell Coaches poll and No. 3 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Index.
Tech, in its 24th year under head coach Bruce Heppler, began the fall by sharing the title of the Carpet Capital Collegiate in Rocky Face, Ga., with Tennessee, then rallied on the back nine to take first-place honors at the Maui Jim Intercollegiate in Scottsdale, Ariz. The Yellow Jackets then traveled to Dublin, Ohio for the Jack Nicklaus Collegiate Invitational match play event, where they defeated Kent State and South Carolina in the rain-shortened event.
Tech finished the fall season with its own home tournament, the 13th annual Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate Invitational, finishing third behind No. 10 Southern California and No. 9 Clemson. The field included four of the top 10 teams, seven of the top 25 and 11 of the top 50.
Collectively, Tech faced the nation’s ninth-most difficult schedule, compiling a 15-2-1 record against top-25 teams, 22-2-1 against top-50 teams, and 31-2-1 against top-100 teams.
Three Yellow Jackets are listed among the nation’s top 40 individuals in the Golfstat player rankings – junior Luke Schniederjans (Powder Springs, Ga.) at No. 8, junior Tyler Strafaci (Davie, Fla.) at No. 24 and sophomore Noah Norton (Chico, Calif.) at No. 32. Those three combined for six individual top-10 finishes, led by Schniederjans with three.
Schniederjans, named this week to the watch list for the Fred Haskins National Player of the Year Award, tied for fourth at the Carpet Capital Collegiate, tied for sixth at the Maui Jim Intercollegiate and tied for second at the Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate. Strafaci tied for sixth in each of the first two events and tied for 19th at the Golf Club of Georgia. Norton tied for 11, tied for sixth and tied for 21st, respectively.
Junior Andy Ogletree (Little Rock, Miss.) is ranked No. 131 in Golfstat, earning a pair of top-20 finishes in three events, while senior James Clark (Columbus, Ga.) is No. 137 after posting a pair of top-20 finishes in three events.
Schniederjans (68.78) and Strafaci (69.89) both finished the fall with stroke averages under 70, while Norton (70.22), Ogletree (70.75) and Clark (71.33) are all on the way to career-best norms.
As a team, Tech owns the best average drop score (74.46) in the nation, and also ranked among the nation’s top 10 in average score (70.18, 4th), relation to par (-1.14, 4th), first-round scoring average (68.50, 1st), par-4 scoring (3.98, 3rd), par-5 scoring (4.59 (6th), and was No. 15 in total birdies (215) despite playing in only three stroke-play events (most teams play four or five).
2018-19 National Rankings
- Golfstat – 2
- Golfweek/Sagarin Index – 3 (strength of schedule=9)
- Head-to-Head – 36-2-1
- vs. Top 100 – 31-2-1
- vs. Top 50 – 22-2-1
- vs. Top 25 – 15-2-1
Individuals – (Golfstat/Golfweek)
- Luke Schniederjans – 8 / 9
- Tyler Strafaci – 24 / 31
- Noah Norton – 32 / 43
- Andy Ogletree – 131 / 74
- James Clark – 137 / 137
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH GOLF
Georgia Tech’s golf team is in its 24th year under head coach Bruce Heppler, having won 53 tournaments in his tenure. The Yellow Jackets have won 17 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 (@GTGolf). For more information on Tech golf, visit Ramblinwreck.com.