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Jackets Take 36-Hole Lead at Golf Club of Georgia

Alpharetta, Ga. – Freshman Hiroshi Tai took sole possession of the individual lead by firing a 3-under-par 69 Saturday, and No. 13 Georgia Tech scored a team total of 9-under-par 279 and opened a three-shot lead in the team race after 36 holes at the Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate Invitational.

Looking for its first victory of the fall season and third the history of its annual home event, Tech stretched its lead over 10th-ranked Tennessee to three on the last hole when junior Christo Lamprecht drained a 60-foot putt from the edge of the 18th green for an eagle. Lamprecht and senior Connor Howe also posted 69s Saturday for Tech.

The final round begins at 9 a.m. Sunday, with Tech’s B team starting at the first hole at 9:55 a.m. and the A team following at 10:50 a.m. Twice a winner of this event, the Yellow Jackets have not won it since 2012.

TECH LINEUP – Tai, who enrolled at Tech in January following a two-year stint in the Navy of his home country of Singapore, made his first bogey of the tournament on the third hole, but played the back nine at The Golf Club of Georgia three strokes under par. He stands at 10-under-par 134 through 36 holes.

Lamprecht’s closing eagle capped a topsy-turvy back back nine, but the junior from George, South Africa played the front in 3-under-par for his 69 and is tied for 13th place individually at 139 (-5). Howe birdied six holes against three bogeys in carding his 69, and the senior from Ogden, Utah is tied for 17th place at 140 (-4).

Senior Andy Mao (Johns Creek, Ga.) provided the Jackets’ fourth counting tally Saturday with an even-par 72.

Tech remains the tournament leader in total birdies (45) and scoring on par-5 holes (-24).

Tech’s B team again acquitted itself well Saturday, posting a 4-under-par total of 284 and completing 36-holes at 9-under-par 567. That group has outperformed 12th-ranked Alabama (-5), No. 7 Virginia (-4) and No. 6 Texas A&M (-1) as well as four other top-50 teams. Senior Ross Steelman (Columbia, Mo.) and sophomore Benjamin Reuter (Naarden, The Netherlands) each shot 2-under-par 70 Saturday to lead the B team. Reuter is tied for fifth place individually after 36 holes at 6-under-par 138, while Steelman is tied for 13th at 139 (-5).

Christo Lamprecht (right) celebrates his 60-foot eagle putt at the 18th hole with assistant coach Devin Stanton. (photo by Danny Karnik)

 

TEAM LEADERBOARD – Georgia Tech, with a 36-hole total of 555 (-21), needed another good round Saturday to stay ahead of hard-charging Tennessee, which shot 16-under-par 272 to get into second place. The Volunteers drew within a stroke of the Yellow Jackets before Lamprecht’s closing eagle, and finished the day at 19-under-par 558.

Defending champion Pepperdine posted an 8-under-par round of 280 and moved into third place at 559 (-17), with No. 5 Stanford (561 -15) and Clemson (562, -14) close behind.

Georgia Tech’s B team (567, -10), Washington (568, -9), No. 12 Alabama (571, -5), No. 7 Virginia (572, -4) and No. 6 Texas A&M (573, -3) round out the top 10 in the 14-team field.

INDIVIDUAL LEADERBOARD – Tai, the Yellow Jacket freshman, has a 36-hole score of 134 (-10) and a one-shot lead over Tennessee freshman Caleb Surratt, the nation’s No. 47-ranked player who carded a 67 Saturday and has a tournament total of 135 (-9). Pepperdine’s William Mouw and Washington’s Bo Peng, who each shot 69 Saturday are tied for third at 137 (-7).

Reuter, the Tech sophomore, is among eight players tied for fifth place at 138 (-6), a group that includes No. 3 Michael Thorbjornsen of Stanford and No. 4 Ben Davis of Virginia.

Tech’s Lamprecht and Steelman are in a group of four players tied for 13th at 139 (-5), while Howe is one of three tied for 17th at 140 (-4).

Fifth-year senior Connor Howe talks about his round 2 at the Golf C;ub of Georgia and what it would mean for Tech to win its home event for the first time in 10 years.

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 is played exclusively on the 7,092-yard, par 72 Lakeside Course, 18 holes each day Friday through Sunday. Admission is free.

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 (12), Georgia Tech (13), Pepperdine (25), Stanford (5), Tennessee (10), Texas A&M (6) and Virginia (7). 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’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.

Round 2 in Photos

Photos by Danny Karnik

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Alexander-Tharpe Fund

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 Annual Athletic Scholarship Fund, which directly provides scholarships for Georgia Tech student-athletes. To learn more about supporting the Yellow Jackets, visit atfund.org.   

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.

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