Las Vegas, Nev. – Led by redshirt freshman Bartley Forrester with a 3-under-par 69, Georgia Tech improved its score by 10 strokes Monday, posting a 4-over-par 292, but was unable to gain any ground on the leaderboard and remains tied for 11th place after 36 holes at the Southern Highlands Collegiate.
TECH LINEUP – Bartley Forrester (Gainesville, Ga.), who earned his first career victory in Georgia Tech’s last tournament in Puerto Rico, put together a steady round, recording five birdies and two bogeys on the 7,374-yard Southern Highlands Golf Club, and sits in a tie for 11th place after 36 holes at even-par 144.
Seniors Luke Schniederjans (Powder Springs, Ga.) and Tyler Strafaci (Davie, Fla.) each shot 2-over-par 74 Monday, while U.S. Amateur champion Andy Ogletree (Little Rock, Miss.) added a 3-over-par 75. Sophomore Connor Howe (Ogden, Utah) did not count for the Jackets after shooting 76.
Schniederjans and Strafaci are tied for 35th place individually at 5-over-par 149, while Ogletree is tied for 50th place at 8-over-par 152.
Tech, which started round 2 at the 10th hole, again struggled on the back nine at Southern Highlands, but rallied to play the front nine in 1-over-par and completed 36 holes at 18-over-par 594.
Sophomore Ben Smith (Novi, Mich.), competing as an individual, shot 79 Monday and fell back to a tie for 61st.
Senior Luke Schniederjans shot 74 Monday and is tied for 35th place. (photo by Danny Karnik).
TEAM LEADERBOARD – No. 23 Southern California shot a 5-under-par 283 Monday, led by Yuxin Lin’s 67, and remains the only team of the 15 in the field under par, finishing 36 holes at 6-under-par 570. The Trojans lead No. 8 Texas, who shot 1-under-par 287 Monday, by nine strokes. The Longhorns have a two-round score of 579 (+3).
No. 5 Texas Tech and No. 26 Florida each shot even-par 288 Monday and are tied for third place at 583 (+7), followed by No. 22 UCLA at 586 (+10) and No. 1 Pepperdine at 587 (+11).
The Yellow Jackets are 24 shots off the pace.
INDIVIDUAL LEADERBOARD – Even with scores lower on Monday, Yuxin Lin of Southern California defied the difficulty of the golf course with his second straight 5-under-par 67 and opened a five-stroke lead on the field in the medal race, finishing 36 holes at 10-under-par 134.
Florida’s Ricky Castillo, with a 68 Monday, has second place at 5-under-par 139, while SMU’s Mac Meissner (69 Monday) holds third at 4-under-par 140. Pepperdine’s Sahith Theegala shot the best round of the tournament with a 7-under-par 65 and moved into a four-player tie for fourth place at 3-under-par 141.
Georgia’s Davis Thompson, the first-round leader, shot 75 Monday and is tied for eighth with USC’s Cameron Henry at 142 (-2), with UCLA’s Hidetoshi Yoshihara the only other player under par at 143 (-1), in 10th place.
The Southern Highlands course, which yielded only nine subpar scores to the 84-player field Sunday, gave up 21 subpar rounds Monday.
"It was a better day for us, we played really well on a challenging golf course under some challenging conditions. We still made some unforced errors, and with a little better decision-making, we might have been able to shoot under par. I’m very pleased with Bartley, he’s having another good tournament for us. So we’ll look to come back out tomorrow and try to shoot our best score of the tournament."
Head coach Bruce Heppler
TOURNAMENT INFORMATION – Georgia Tech is making its 17th appearance in the Southern Highlands Collegiate and for the second straight year after a four-year hiatus. The 54-hole event runs through Tuesday and is played at the Southern Highlands Golf Club, a 7,374-yard, par-72 layout. The four low scores for each team are counted each round for the team total, and individual ties will be broken by a sudden-death playoff.
For the second straight year, the individual champion will receive a sponsor’s exemption to the PGA Tour’s Shriners Hospital for Children Open, which will take place Oct. 8-11 at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas.
Seven of the top 10 teams in the nation, according to the Golfstat rankings, are in the 15-team field, including No. 1 Pepperdine, No. 2 Oklahoma, No. 3 Georgia Tech, No. 5 Texas Tech, No. 7 Duke, No. 8 Texas and No. 10 SMU. Also competing are No. 16 Georgia, No. 22 UCLA, No. 26 Florida, No. 28 New Mexico, No. 36 Southern California, No. 65 Central Florida, No. 69 TCU and No. 67 UNLV, the host team.
For the second year in a tow, through a partnership with Golfweek and USA Today Network the Southern Highlands Collegiate will feature exclusive livestream coverage on Tuesday, March 3, from 2-7 p.m. Click here to access the live stream.
Georgia Tech has won the event twice, in 2001 and 2002. Four Yellow Jackets, all of whom have competed on the PGA Tour, have captured medalist honors, beginning in 1992 when Stewart Cink and David Duval shared the title. Troy Matteson won a share of the title in 2002 with Florida’s Camilo Villegas, and Cameron Tringale win the tournament outright in 2009.
The Alexander-Tharpe Fund is the fundraising arm of Georgia Tech athletics, providing scholarship, operations and facilities support for Georgia Tech’s 400-plus student-athletes. Be a part of developing Georgia Tech’s Everyday Champions and helping the Yellow Jackets compete for championships at the highest levels of college athletics by supporting the A-T Fund’s Annual Athletic Scholarship Fund, which directly provides scholarships for Georgia Tech student-athletes, and Athletics Initiative 2020, Georgia Tech athletics’ ongoing $125 million initiative to allow Tech to recruit the nation’s most elite student-athletes, build a better student-athlete once they arrive on The Flats and, ultimately, win! To learn more about supporting the Yellow Jackets, visit atfund.org.
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH GOLF
Georgia Tech’s golf team is in its 25th year under head coach Bruce Heppler, winning 61 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.