THE FLATS – Georgia Tech’s golf team, ranked No. 3 in the preseason by the Golf Coaches Association of America and No. 4 by Golfweek magazine, gets its fall schedule underway this weekend with the 31st Carpet Capital Collegiate at The Farm Golf Club in Rocky Face, Ga.
TOURNAMENT INFORMATION – The Carpet Capital Collegiate is being played Friday through Sunday at The Farm Golf Club, a 7,180-yard, par 72 layout designed by Tom Fazio near Dalton, Ga. The Yellow Jackets have been the institutional host of this event since its inception in 1989, winning or sharing nine titles, most recently last fall with Tennessee. The 15-team field for this year’s event includes Clemson and Virginia from the Atlantic Coast Conference, as well as Auburn, Alabama, South Carolina and Tennessee from the Southeastern Conference.
TECH’S CARPET CAPITAL COLLEGIATE HISTORY – Georgia Tech has won or shared the title at the Carpet Capital Collegiate nine times in its 30-year history, including being co-champions each of the past two years. Clemson has won four times, Alabama three. A Yellow Jacket has won medalist honors nine times, including four of the past five years (Luke Schniederjans in 2016, Jacob Joiner in 2015, Ollie Schniederjans in 2013 and 2014). Current PGA Tour pros Stewart Cink, Chesson Hadley, Troy Matteson and Bryce Molder also have claimed victory at The Farm, with Molder taking the title three consecutive times between 1998 and 1999, when the event moved from the spring to the fall schedule.
TEAM UPDATE – Head coach Bruce Heppler’s 25th Yellow Jacket team is ranked No. 3 behind 2019 NCAA runner-up Texas and Arizona State in the coaches poll. The Longhorns received nine of the 23 first-place votes, while the Sun Devils received two and Tech got three. NCAA semifinalists Oklahoma State (three first-place votes) and Vanderbilt (one first-place vote) round out the top five. NCAA quarterfinalists Wake Forest and Oklahoma, Auburn, the defending NCAA Champion Stanford, and Pepperdine all begin the season in the top 10.
Tech returns all five starters from a team which won the Carpet Capital Collegiate, the Maui Jim Invitational and the Jack Nicklaus Invitational in the fall, then followed by winning the Puerto Rico Classic, the Clemson Invitational and the ACC Championship in the spring. The Jackets finished fourth in the NCAA Pullman Regional and 18th at the NCAA Championship.
TECH LINEUP – While Tech does return all five starters from last year’s team, it will have a pair of new faces in the lineup this week. Senior Andy Ogletree (Little Rock, Miss.), who won the U.S. Amateur Championship in August, is in Hoylake, England with the USA team for this weekend’s Walker Cup matches. Sophomore Connor Howe (Ogden, Utah), who played No. 5 on last year’s team in the postseason, finished sixth in the team’s preseason qualifying tournament and will compete this weekend as an individual.
Returning seniors Luke Schniederjans (Powder Springs, Ga.), a 2019 All-American, and Tyler Strafaci (Davie, Fla.), a two-time All-Atlantic Coast Conference performer, and junior Noah Norton (Chico, Calif.), a two-time All-ACC choice who reached match play at the 2019 U.S. Amateur, are in the lineup this weekend.
They’ll be joined by redshirt sophomore Ben Smith (Novi, Mich.), who saw action as an individual in only two events last year but won the Michigan Amateur Championship this summer, and Andy Mao (Johns Creek, Ga.), the Jackets’ only incoming freshman who won the Georgia state individual championship as a senior, had a strong summer and is ranked No. 10 nationally among all junior players, regardless of class, in the Golfweek/Sagarin Index.
Head coach Bruce Heppler interview
ACC NETWORK HAS LAUNCHED!
The ACC Network is a linear and digital platform dedicated to 24/7 coverage of ACC sports that launched on Aug. 22, 2019. It will exclusively televise approximately 450 live events each year, including 40 football games (beginning with Georgia Tech’s 2019 season opener at Clemson on Aug. 29), as well as 150 men’s and women’s basketball contests.
Don’t get shut out! For more information and to learn if your cable/satellite/digital provider is carrying the ACC Network, visit GetACCN.com. Georgia Tech fans whose cable/satellite/digital providers aren’t carrying the ACC Network are urged to contact their providers and ask for the ACC Network to be a part of their subscription.
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH GOLF
Georgia Tech’s golf team is in its 25th year under head coach Bruce Heppler, winning 59 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.