Waikoloa, Hawai’i – Andy Ogletree fired a 5-under-par 67, and Noah Norton shot 4-under-par 68 to lead No. 2 Georgia Tech Thursday, and the Yellow Jackets posted an 11-under-par team total of 277 and are tied for fourth place after the opening round of the Amer Ari Intercollegiate at the Waikoloa Resort.
TECH LINEUP – Ogletree and Norton both finished strong, putting together a string of birdies on the same three holes (2,3 and 4) at the end of their rounds on the Kings Course. Ogletree, a junior from Little Rock, Miss., made no bogeys in matching the low round of his career and is tied for seventh place individually. Norton, a sophomore from Chico, Calif., had five birdies and one bogey in his round and is tied for 12th place.
Junior Luke Schniederjans (Powder Springs, Ga.) birdied five of his first six holes in the shotgun start, but played the rest of his round 3-over-par and finished with a 70 (-2), tied for 30th place. Junior Tyler Strafaci (Davie, Fla.) and fifth-year senior James Clark (Columbus, Ga.) each posted an even-par 72.
Freshman Connor Howe (Ogden, Utah), competing as a non-counting individual, also carded a 72.
Luke Schniederjans birdied five of his first six holes Thursday and shot 70.
TEAM LEADERBOARD – Top-ranked Oklahoma State counted four rounds in the 60s, led by individual leader Zach Bachou’s 63, and posted a 21-under-par round of 267 to grab first place after the opening round. Four players broke 70 for No. 29 Texas Tech as well, giving the Red Raiders a 19-under-par 269 Thursday to hold second place.
Oregon is third at 17-under-par 271, followed by the Yellow Jackets and No. 8 Southern California at 277 (-11). No. 16 Auburn and TCU are tied for sixth place at 279 (-9).
Thirteen of the 18 teams in the field broke par on Thursday.
INDIVIDUAL LEADERBOARD – Bachou of Oklahoma State has a two-stroke lead over Oregon’s Ryan Gronlund, who fired a 7-under-par 65. The Cowboys’ Viktor Hovland led a group of three players at 6-under-par 66, while Ogletree is in a five-way tie for seventh place at 67. Norton is one of eight players tied for 12th at 68.
A total of 52 of the 109 competitors in the field broke par Thursday.
COACH BRUCE HEPPLER SAYS – “It was a great day for scoring out here, but we weren’t able to get it done on some of the scoring holes. Noah and Andy finished strong and helped us rally late in the round. I’m looking forward to get out there tomorrow morning and see what we can do.”
TOURNAMENT INFORMATION – Georgia Tech is making its 21st appearance in the Amer Ari Intercollegiate, which has been the traditional spring opener for the Yellow Jackets every year since 1999, with one exception. The 28th annual event, which runs Thursday through Saturday, is a 54-hole, 5-count-4 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), Troy Matteson (2003) and Cameron Tringale (2007).
The 18-team field boasts six of the nation’s top 25 teams (No. 1 Oklahoma State, No. 2 Georgia Tech, No. 8 Southern California, No. 11 Arizona State, No. 14 Texas, No. 16 Auburn), and three other top-50 teams in Texas Tech (No. 29), Stanford (No. 31) and Oregon (No. 45). No. 55 San Jose State, No. 73 Colorado, No. 74 Utah, No. 75 Oregon State and No. 76 UC Davis also are competing.