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Jackets Tied for 9th at NCAA Golf Championship

Carlsbad, Calif. – In the wake of a last-minute substitution due to a back injury to All-American Christo Lamprecht, Georgia Tech played solid golf for the first 10 holes of round 2 of the NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship, but couldn’t ran into trouble the back nine at the Omni LaCosta Resort and Spa and dropped into a tie for ninth place after 36 holes.

Lamprecht, the world No. 1 amateur player and the ACC Player of the Year who shot a 2-under-par 70 in the opening round Friday, was unable to play Saturday after back issues flared up prior to the Yellow Jackets’ 8:30 a.m. tee time. Sophomore Aidan Tran (Fresno, Calif.), Tech’s alternate player during this post-season, replaced him the lineup, but was unable to deliver a counting score for the Jackets.

Tech posted a 13-over-par round of 301 Saturday after posting the fourth-best total in the field in Friday’s opening round. After making three birdies at the par-5 10th hole to get to 1-under-par for the round and move up to second place, the Jackets lost 12 strokes to the field between the 12th and 17th holes, the most difficult stretch on the golf course. They are tied with East Tennessee State, one of their playing partners for the first two rounds, at 17-over-par 593, 16 shots off the pace set by Virginia, the No. 7 seed in the championship.

Head coach Bruce Heppler said after the round that it is unlikely Lamprecht would be able to play round 3 barring a significant change in his condition Sunday morning. Round 3 gets underway at 9:40 a.m. EDT Sunday morning, with Tech set to start from the first tee at 7:35 a.m., paired with East Tennessee State and Florida State.

The 30-team field will be cut to the top 15 teams plus nine individuals not on one of those teams at the conclusion of Sunday’s round. Those teams and individuals will play a fourth and final round of stroke play Monday to determine the individual champion and the eight teams that advance to the match play bracket. The 15th-place team after 36 holes is Stanford (+22).

Bartley Forrester round 2 highlights

TECH LINEUP – Senior Bartley Forrester (Gainesville, Ga.) posted the low round for the Yellow Jackets Saturday, a 2-over-par 74, while freshmen Kale Fontenot (Lafayette, La.) and Carson Kim (Yorba Linda, Calif.) each posted a 75.

First-round leader Hiroshi Tai (Singapore), who shot 67 on Friday, was even par through 13 holes before hitting a bogey-triple bogey-bogey stretch from 14-16 and finished with a 77. The sophomore is tied for seventh place individually at even-par 144, and he leads the field in par-5 scoring (-5) and birdies (10).

Tran, who played in six regular-season events, five as an individual, stood even par through 11 holes but posted three consecutive double bogeys on 12-13-14, eventually finishing with a 77.

Forrester is tied for 66th place at 151 (+7), while Fontenot is tied for 99th place at 153 (+9). Kim is tied for 110th at 154 (+10).

THREE JACKETS NAMED GCAA ALL-REGION – Tech did get some good news Saturday when Forrester, Lamprecht and Tai all were named to the All-East Region team by the Golf Coaches Association of America.

 

Bruce Heppler post-round 2 interview

TEAM LEADERBOARD – Virginia (-1), Illinois (-1) and Vanderbilt (-2) posted the best rounds on Saturday and occupy the top three spots on the leaderboard. The Cavaliers (577, +1) lead by three shots over the Fighting Illini (580, +4) and by six the Commodores (583, +7) after 36 holes.

They are followed by Auburn (586, +10) and North Carolina (587, +11). Ohio State, Arizona and Florida State are tied for sixth place at 588 (+12), with Tech and ETSU next at 593 (+17). The rest of the top 15 after 36 holes includes Baylor (+20), Tennessee, Texas and Florida (tied at +21) and Stanford (+22).

INDIVIDUAL LEADERBOARD – Stanford’s Karl Vilips (134, -7) raced to a five-stroke lead in the individual race after 36 holes, posting a 68 Saturday after an opening 68. Virginia’s George Duangmanee and Ohio State’s Adam Wallin share second place at 142 (-2).

The trio of Max Herendeen of Illinois, Jase Summy of Illinois and Jackson Koivun of Auburn are tied for fourth at 143 (-1), while Tech’s Hiroshi Tai is in a group of eight players tied for seventh place at even-par 142.

 

Round 2 Photos by Tim Cowie

TECH’S NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY

Georgia Tech made the 54-hole cut in each of the last three NCAA Championships, and last year advanced to match play where the Yellow Jackets defeated Pepperdine and North Carolina before losing to Florida in the championship match. In stroke play, Tech finished 15th in 2021, 12th in 2022 and second in 2023 in stroke-play competition.

Lamprecht finished 44th, 32nd and 40th in his three trips around Grayhawk, while Forrester placed 75th, 15th and 55th. Tai is the only other Yellow Jacket with NCAA Championship experience, tying for 58th as a freshman last year.

Tech has reached the NCAA Championship finals 32 times since 1985 (33 times in program history), which is the fifth most in that time period behind Oklahoma State (37), Arizona State (35), Florida (35) and Texas (35).

The Yellow Jackets have qualified for match play five times since the advent of the stroke-play/match-play format in 2009, finishing third in stroke play in 2010, second in 2011, second in 2013, fifth in 2014 and tied for fifth in 2023.

Tech has been the runner-up in the NCAA Championship five times (1993, 2000, 2002 and 2005 before the introduction of match play, and again in 2023). Only Oklahoma State, which has 18, and Texas (6) have more.

TOURNAMENT INFORMATION

The top five teams and the top individual not on those teams from each of the six regional sites (30 total teams plus six individuals, 156 competitors in all) advanced to compete at the finals which will be held May 24-29 at Omni La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, Calif. The championships are being hosted by the University of Texas at Austin.

Finals play consists of three days of stroke play on Friday, May 24 through Sunday, May 26 (54 holes), after which the top 15 teams and nine individuals not on an advancing team will be determined. That is followed by a final day of 18 holes of stroke play on Monday, May 27 to determine the top eight teams that will advance to match play as well as the 72-hole individual champion. The team national champion will be determined by a match-play format that will consist of quarterfinals and semifinals conducted on Tuesday, May 28, followed by finals on Wednesday, May 29.

Golf Channel will air live coverage of the NCAA Championship, beginning with Monday’s final round of stroke play and continuing through the entire match play bracket.

TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE

  • Sunday, May 26 – Stroke play round 3, 9:40 a.m. EDT
  • Monday, May 27 – Stroke play round 4, 1 p.m. EDT
  • Tuesday, May 28 – Match play quarterfinals, 9:20 a.m. EDT
  • Tuesday, May 28 – Match play semifinals, 3:45 p.m. EDT
  • Wednesday, May 29 – Championship match, 4:35 p.m. EDT

 


Alexander-Tharpe Fund

The Alexander-Tharpe Fund is the fundraising arm of Georgia Tech athletics, providing scholarship, operations and facilities support for Tech’s 400-plus student-athletes. Be a part of the development of Yellow Jackets that thrive academically at the Institute and 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 29th year under head coach Bruce Heppler, having won 72 tournaments in his tenure. Heppler is the 10th-longest-tenured head coach in Division I men’s golf. The Yellow Jackets have won 19 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, made 33 appearances in the NCAA Championship and been the national runner-up five 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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