Scottsdale, Ariz. – Tyler Strafaci and Luke Schniederjans each fired a 5-under-par 65 Friday to pace Georgia Tech, and the sixth-ranked Yellow Jackets posted a 15-under-par score of 265 and are tied for second place after the opening round of the Maui Jim Intercollegiate in Scottsdale, Ariz.
TECH LINEUP – Strafaci (Davie, Fla.), who finished fourth in this event a year ago, and Schniederjans (Powder Springs, Ga.), who tied for 16th, each had six birdies and one bogey on their cards and are tied for third place individually. Sophomore Noah Norton (Chico, Calif.) is tied for 15th place after firing a 67 (-3), while junior Andy Ogletree (Little Rock, Miss.) is tied for 25th place after carding a 68 (-2).
Tech tossed out a 71 from senior James Clark, and freshman Connor Howe (Ogden, Utah), competing as an individual in his college debut, is tied for 15th place after carding a 67.
TEAM LEADERBOARD – LSU, led by an 8-under-par 62 from senior Luis Gagne, posted a 17-under-par total of 263 to take a two-stroke lead over the Yellow Jackets and Arizona State, each at 265 (-15).
Augusta fired an 8-under-par 272 and is another seven strokes back in fourth place followed by Minnesota and NC State tied for fifth place at 7-under-par 273. Auburn, Oregon and Georgia State are tied for seventh place at 5-under-par 275. Eleven of the 14 teams in the field broke par for the day.
INDIVIDUAL LEADERBOARD – LSU’s Gagne birdied nine holes against one bogey in fashioning his 8-under-par 62, and grabbed a one-stroke lead over Shawn Lu of Oregon State, who shot 63. Tech’s Strafaci and Schniederjans are tied with seven other golfers at 65 (-5).
Three other golfers shot 4-under-par 66, and a total of 35 of the 78 golfers in the field broke par in Friday’s opening round.
COACH BRUCE HEPPLER SAID – “This was a good start to the event. The course is in great shape, and it was a windless day. Guys are growing in confidence and belief in each other. Everybody had some highlights during their rounds. There are some very good teams here, so the next two days will be a real challenge.”
TOURNAMENT INFORMATION – The Maui Jim Intercollegiate is being played Friday through Sunday at Mirabel Golf Club, a 7,081-yard, par 70 layout on Scottsdale, Ariz., for the second time in the three-year history of the event. Last year’s event, hosted by Georgia State’s golf program, was played at Desert Forest Golf Club in Carefree, Ariz., while Mirabel was being renovated. Tech finished second in last year’s tournament, by one stroke to Arizona State, with three Yellow Jackets finishing among the top 20 individuals, led by Tyler Strafaci (T4).
The 14-team field includes host Georgia State, Arizona State, Auburn, Augusta, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Houston, Kansas State, Kent State, LSU, Minnesota, NC State, Oregon and Oregon State.
The Yellow Jackets are paired with preseason ninth-ranked LSU and No. 19 Arizona State for the Friday and Saturday rounds, which begin at 7:30 a.m. local time. Sunday pairings are determined by 36-hole scores.