THE FLATS – Noah Norton, Andy Ogletree and Tyler Strafaci each carded 1-under-par 69s on Friday, leading No. 3 Georgia Tech to a 2-stroke lead after the opening round of the Olympia Fields Country Club/Fighting Illini Invitational, Friday through Sunday in Olympia Fields, Ill.
TECH LINEUP – The Yellow Jackets played steady golf over the 7,219-yard, par-70 Olympia Fields Country Club on Friday, recording 14 birdies and only two holes higher than a bogey in fashioning a 2-under-par total of 278.
Norton (junior, Chico, Calif.) and Ogletree (senior, Little Rock, Miss.) each posted four birdies in their rounds, while Strafaci (senior, Davie, Fla.) had two with just one bogey. They are all tied for seventh place individually. Luke Schniederjans (senior, Powder Springs, Ga.), who won the Carpet Capital Collegiate two weeks ago, posted the Jackets’ fourth counting scored with a 1-over-par 71 and is tied for 21st.
Tech’s toss-out score was a 72 (+2) by redshirt freshman Ben Smith (Novi, Mich.).
The Jackets led the field in par-4 scoring (even) and pars (64), and are tied for second in birdies (Pepperdine carded 19).
Noah Norton missed the final two rounds of the Carpet Capital Collegiate with back spasms but shot 69 Friday.
TEAM LEADERBOARD – The Yellow Jackets, who led wire-to-wire in winning the Carpet Capital Collegiate two weeks ago, have a 2-stroke lead over 10th-ranked Pepperdine, who shot even-par 280 led by a 68 from Sahith Theegala.
Top-ranked Texas shot 281 (+1) and sits along in third place, followed by Florida State at 282 (+2). No. 14 Texas A&M, No. 16 California and No. 20 Baylor posted scores of 283 (+3) and are tied for fifth place in the 15-team field. Florida (285, +5), North Carolina (286, +6) and host Illinois (287, +7) round out the top 10.
INDIVIDUAL LEADERBOARD – Texas sophomore Pierceson Coody shot a 3-under-par 67 to take the first-round lead, one shot ahead of a group of five players at 68 – Baylor’s Cooper Dossey, Florida State’s Jamie Li, California’s James Song, Pepperdine’s Sahith Theegala and Illinois’ Tommy Kuhl.
Norton, Ogletree and Strafaci are tied for seventh place at 69 with three other players, and another group of eight players shot even-par 70 on Friday.
"We were in a good place the whole day. Luke had a bad break on the 16th, but otherwise a real solid round for him, too. I’m very pleased with everyone and what they’re doing. For 2-over to be our worst score is very positive. This is a hard course, and it’ll be an even more severe test tomorrow with the weather that is being forecast."
Head coach Bruce Heppler
TOURNAMENT INFORMATION – Georgia Tech is competing in this event for the second time, and first since 2006, at the famed Olympia Fields Country Club, which has hosted two U.S. Open Championships and two PGA Championships.
Olympia Fields, hosted by the University of Illinois’ golf program, annually attracts one of the strong fields in college golf, and this year brings in 10 of the nation’s top 25 teams as ranked in the preseason by the Golf Coaches Association of America. The 15-team field includes Alabama (21), Baylor (20), California (16), Florida State (27), Florida (25), Georgia Tech (3), Indiana, UNLV, North Carolina (23), Northwestern, Oklahoma State (4), Pepperdine (10), Texas (1) and Texas A&M (14). The host Illini are ranked 19th.
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.