Feb. 2, 2018
Waikoloa, Hawai’i – – Freshman Noah Norton and sophomore Luke Schniederjans each shot 5-under-par 67 Friday, leading third-ranked Georgia Tech to a 13-under-par total of 275 and a tie for second place following the second round of the Amer Ari Invitational, taking place at the Waikoloa Beach Resort’s Kings Course.
TECH LINEUP – The Yellow Jackets started their round on the front nine in Friday’s shotgun start, racking up 11 birdies, then added 12 more plus an eagle on the back side on a day when 14 of the 18 teams in the field shot under par.
Norton, a freshman from Chico, Calif., bogeyed the par-5 second hole, but played bogey-free golf with six birdies the rest of the way in his best round of the year to date. He moved into a tie for third place individuals at 8-under-par 136. Schniederjans, a sophomore from Powder Springs, Ga., matched his low round of the year with six birdies and his lone bogey on the par-4 10th hole, and is tied for 19th place at 4-under-par 140. Sophomore (Little Rock, Miss.) added a 3-under-par 69 that included an eagle on the par-5 18th hole.
Senior (Leesburg, Ga,) posted an even-par 72 for Tech’s fourth counting score. , a sophomore from Davie, Fla., who shot 66 Thursday to tie for the first-round lead, did not count for the Yellow Jackets Friday after carding a 73, but is still tied for 12th place individually.
TEAM LEADERBOARD – No. 2 Oklahoma State, with four players breaking 70 Friday, stormed into the lead by posting a 21-under-par round of 267. That was eight strokes better than the next-best round of the day and one shot better in relation to par than Georgia Tech and No. 14 Texas Tech, who each have 36-hole totals of 20-under-par 556. The Cowboys (29-under-poar 547) are nine strokes ahead of the Jackets and Red Raiders heading into Saturday’s final round.
No. 19 Southern California is in solo fourth place at 18-under-par 558, while first-round leader Texas and Oregon are tied for fifth at 562 (-14). The Longhorns shot 5-under 283 Friday, and the Ducks posted a 13-under 275. TCU is in seventh at 13-under 563, followed by No. 8 Auburn at 11-under 565.
INDIVIDUAL LEADERBOARD – Oklahoma State’s Hayden Wood shot 7-under-par 65 Friday, the best round of the tournament, and moved into the individual lead at 10-under-par 134, one shot ahead of Southern Cal’s Justin Suh, who shot 66 and has a 36-hole total of 135 (-9). Tech’s Norton is in a group of six players tied for third at 136 (-8), while Auburn’s Brandon Mancheno is along in ninth place at 137 (-7).
COACH SAYS – “We stalled a little bit today early. We had three bogeys on the par-5 second hole and couldn’t really get much traction for a while, but we played the last six or seven holes really well. I haven’t looked at the statistics for the tournament yet, but I think we’ve also played the par-3 holes pretty well so far. I think it’s good that we were able to post a good score today when our leader from yesterday didn’t count; we have some really good players on this team. Even though we played really well today, we weren’t able to stay with Oklahoma State. They played extremely well. We’ll get back out there again tomorrow and see if we can finish this thing strong.”
TOURNAMENT INFORMATION – Georgia Tech is making its 20th appearance in the Amer Ari Invitational, which has been the traditional spring opener for the Yellow Jackets every year since 1999, with one exception. The 27th annual event, which runs through Saturday, is a 54-hole stroke-play tournament played at the 7,074-yard, par 72 Kings Course at the Waikoloa Beach Resort on the Kona Coast of Hawai’i.
The Yellow Jackets have won this event five times, all between 2000 and 2007, and six Yellow Jackets have won or shared the individual title, including Matt Kuchar (shared title in 2000 and 2001), Carlton Forrester (shared title in 2000), Bryce Molder (shared title in 2001), (2003) and (2007).
The 18-team field boasts four of the nation’s top 10 teams (No. 2 Oklahoma State, No. 3 Georgia Tech, No. 8 Auburn, No. 10 Stanford), seven of the top 25 (No. 14 Texas Tech, No. 16 Texas, No. 19 Southern California) and 10 of the nation’s top 50 in the current rankings. Two of those teams, No. 11 Texas and No. 22 Oregon, faced off in the NCAA Championship match last spring. Five of the top 10 individuals in the nation are on those teams.