THE FLATS – Looking for its first victory of the fall season and its third the history of its annual home event, Georgia Tech’s 13th-ranked golf team returns to action this weekend, hosting the 16th Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate Invitational Friday through Sunday at the Golf Club of Georgia in Alpharetta.
Ranked No. 3 in the pre-season by Golf Channel and No. 4 by Golfweek, Georgia Tech now sits No. 13 in the most recent Golfstat rankings following a 12th-place finish at the Ben Hogan Collegiate Invitational the first week of October. The Yellow Jackets placed fourth in the Maui Jim Intercollegiate to open the fall and second at the Inverness Intercollegiate in September.
Bartley Forrester was Tech’s top finisher, a tie for sixth place, in its last event at the Ben Hogan Collegiate Invitational. (photo by Todd Drexler)
TOURNAMENT INFORMATION – The Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate, formerly called the United States Collegiate Championship, is contested at the Yellow Jackets’ home club. The tournament will be played exclusively on the 7,092-yard, par 72 Lakeside Course, 18 holes each day Friday through Sunday. Competition begins at 9 a.m. Friday and Saturday, and at 8:30 a.m. Sunday. Admission is free all three days.
All 13 teams competing at the Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate played in NCAA regionals last spring, six advancing to the NCAA Championship, including 2021 national champion Pepperdine and perennial ACC powerhouses Clemson and Wake Forest, as well as traditionally-strong Western teams Southern California, Stanford, Texas A&M and UCLA. Seven teams are currently ranked among the top 25 in the Golfstat rankings – Alabama (11), Georgia Tech (13), Pepperdine (20), Stanford (7), Tennessee (10), Texas A&M (9) and Virginia (8). Among the individuals, the field includes 18 players ranking among the top 100 in the most recent Golfstat rankings.
All 10 Georgia Tech players are competing in two teams, with the primary team composed of the top five players, and a B team composed of the rest. The B team also will compete for a team score.
Tech is paired with Stanford and Tennessee for Friday’s opening round, and with Clemson and Stanford for Saturday’s second round. Pairings for the Sunday’s final round will be set based on the leaderboard through the conclusion of 36 holes.
TECH’S GOLF CLUB OF GEORGIA COLLEGIATE HISTORY – Georgia Tech has won the Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate twice in the event’s 15-year history, in 2010 and 2012. James White, who set tournament records for 18-hole score (62) and 54-hole score (204, broken in 2014), won medalist honors in 2010, while Ollie Schniederjans won it in 2013 for Tech’s only individual titles.
Clemson, Oklahoma State, Southern California and Texas also have won twice. The Tigers captured the inaugural title in 2006 and again in 2009, the Longhorns won in 2014 and shared the title with Virginia in 2016, the Cowboys won in 2013 and 2017, and the Trojans in 2008 and 2019. The tournament was not played in the fall of 2020 due to COVID-19, and Pepperdine captured the title in 2021.
The Yellow Jackets tied for sixth place last fall in this event, and have finished out of the top five four times in 15 years.
TEAM UPDATE – Head coach Bruce Heppler, who welcomed back all five starters from Georgia Tech’s team that finished 12th at the NCAA Championship last spring, has seen his lineup shift for each of the Yellow Jackets three fall events. Christo Lamprecht, the 6-8 junior from South Africa, and Connor Howe, a senior from Ogden, Utah, are the only Tech players to start all three tournaments. Lamprecht, who reached match play at the U.S. Amateur in August, earned his first collegiate victory at the Inverness Intercollegiate, but finished 44th and 27th in the Jackets’ other two events. Howe tied for third at the Maui Jim and 14th at Inverness for his two best performances.
They lead the Yellow Jackets this weekend at the Golf Club of Georgia along with senior Bartley Forrester (Gainesville, Ga.), Tech’s top finisher at the Ben Hogan Collegiate (T-6), freshman Hiroshi Tai (Singapore), who has qualified his way into the Tech lineup for each of its last two events, and senior Andy Mao (Johns Creek, Ga.), making his first start of the fall after winning the Southeastern Amateur in July.
Tech’s B team includes senior Ross Steelman (Columbia, Mo.), making his first start since tying for 21st at the Maui Jim, freshman Aidan Tran (Fresno, Calif.), juniors Aidan Kramer (Oviedo, Fla.) and Adam Bratton (Newburgh, Ind.) and sophomore Benjamin Reuter (Naarden, The Netherlands). Tran and Kramer are each making their third starts of the fall.
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ABOUT GEORGIA TECH GOLF
Georgia Tech’s golf team is in its 28th year under head coach Bruce Heppler, winning 70 tournaments in his tenure. The Yellow Jackets have won 18 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, made 31 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.