Sept. 23, 2011
ATLANTA – All-American James White will make his fall debut for Georgia Tech and will lead the 2nd-ranked Yellow Jackets into their second fall event, the Golfweek Conference Challenge beginning Sunday at Spirit Hollow Golf Club in Burlington, Iowa.
This is the third renewal of the event, hosted by the University of Iowa, which won last year’s event. Florida State won the inaugural Challenge in 2009. Tech, which finished third in the Carpet Capital Collegiate two weeks ago, is playing in the state of Iowa for the first time.
Among the 15 teams, each from different conferences, in the field for the Golfweek Conference Challenge are No. 8 Oklahoma State, No. 9 Arkansas, No. 20 California and No. 30 Kennesaw State. Ball State, Chattanooga, New Mexico, New Mexico State, North Texas, Southeastern Louisiana, Tulsa, UC Irvine and Xavier also are participating.
“We have been invited to this event before and have not been able to go,” said head coach Bruce Heppler. “Without a Preview event this year at Riviera (site of the 2011 NCAA Championship), we thought it would be something different. We have heard good things about this event, so we decided to go to Iowa.”
Despite losing three starters from last year’s team, Tech is ranked No. 4 behind Alabama, UCLA and Stanford in the college preview released by Golfweek magazine. The Yellow Jackets’ lineup for the Carpet Capital Collegiate included two freshmen and three sophomores. The two freshmen, Anders Albertson of Woodstock, Ga., and Ollie Schniederjans of Powder Springs, Ga., finished tied for third and 11th, respectively, and the Jackets closed out the event with a record score of 14-under-par 274.
White, who did not qualify to travel with Tech to the Carpet Capital, left nothing to chance this time, winning the team’s 54-hole qualifier. The senior from Acworth, Ga., piled up a long list of honors last year, including ACC Scholar-Athlete of the Year, All-ACC for the second time, and two first-team All-America nods (Golf Coaches Association and Golfweek). He won two events with strong fields, the United States Collegiate Championship and the Puerto Rico Classic.
Albertson, whose closing 67 gave him a 5-under-par 211 in the Carpet Capital Collegiate, will be playing this weekend along with Schniederjans, who also shot 67 in the final round of the Carpet Capital and finished at 2-under 214.
Sophomores Seth Reeves from Duluth, Ga., and Bo Andrews of Raleigh, N.C., complete the travel squad for this event. Andrews tied for 27th at the Carpet Capital Collegiate with rounds of 73-72-75, while Reeves shot a closing 65 and tied for 33rd.
“The freshmen both played well in Dalton, and it was good to see them come back and play well in this qualifying. That’s really positive,” said Heppler. “The 65 Seth shot in the final round at Dalton gave him confidence and carried over qualifying. James played the way we know he can, and the way he needs to. That’s winning golf. That’s the goal, to be playing well when you leave town to go on a trip.”
The 54-hole event runs through Tuesday. Click here for live scoring and tee times.