Panama City Beach, Fla. – Freshman Hiroshi Tai’s 4-under-par 68 and Christo Lamprecht’s 3-under-par 69 led a strong opening-round effort Sunday for Georgia Tech’s 12th-ranked golf team, which is tied for the lead with top-ranked Vanderbilt at 9-under-par 279 after the first 18 holes.
Looking for their first win of 2022-23 against an 11-team field that includes seven teams in the Golfstat top 50, five of those in the top 25, the Yellow Jackets have three players among the top 10 individuals after the opening round. Round 2 commences at 9 a.m. Monday, with the final round of the 54-hole event set to begin at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.
TECH LINEUP – In his first complete stroke-play round of the spring after the Amer Ari Intercollegiate ended abruptly due to high winds in Hawai’i, Tai picked up where he left off from a fall performance that included a pair of tournament victories. His 68 has him in a tie for sixth place, three shots off the pace. The Singapore native, who attended high school in Florida, played a bogey free-round that included three birdies on the front side at Shark’s Tooth Golf Club, and another at the closing 18th.
Lamprecht, a 6-8 junior from South Africa, hovered near the lead most of the round behind six birdies in his first 10 holes, but a pair of bogeys at 15 and 16 dropped him back. He rallied with a birdie-par finish to tie for ninth place.
Seniors Ross Steelman (Columbia, Mo.) and Bartley Forrester (Gainesville, Ga.) each carded a 1-under-par 71 to count for the Yellow Jackets and are tied for 17th place. Fifth-year senior Connor Howe (Ogden, Utah) shot 74 and is tied for 36th.
Sophomore Benjamin Reuter (Naarden, The Netherlands), competing as an individual, matched Tai’s 68 and is tied for sixth place.
Tech made its hay on the par-5 holes at Shark’s Tooth, leading the field at 10-under-par collectively. Reuter was 5-under-par, Steelman and Lamprecht each at 3-under. The Jackets’ 22 birdies on the round also paced the field.
Hiroshi Tai won twice last fall, including Tech’s own Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate. (photo by Todd Drexler)
TEAM LEADERBOARD – Georgia Tech is tied atop the leaderboard with the nation’s No. 1 team, Vanderbilt, which had all five of its players under par, led by Cole Sherwood’s 67. No. 17 Alabama shot 6-under-par 282 and sits in third place, followed by No. 11 Florida State at 4-under-par 284 and NC State at 2-under-par 286. The rest of the field is over par.
INDIVIDUAL LEADERBOARD – The Wolfpack’s Michael LaSasso took the individual lead after the first round with a 7-under-par 65, one stroke ahead of Florida State’s Frederik Kjettrup at 6-under-par 66. Sherwood’s 67 is tied for third with Alabama’s Thomas Ponder and the Seminoles’ Michael Mays.
Tai and Reuter are tied for sixth with FSU’s Brett Roberts another stroke back at 68, and Lamprecht is in a group of five players tied for ninth at 69.
TOURNAMENT INFORMATION – Georgia Tech is in the Watersound Invitational for the third straight year, winning the 2022 tournament by five strokes over Alabama. The tournament follows the traditional collegiate 54-hole, 5-count-4, stroke-play format, with 18 holes each Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. The event is contested at Shark’s Tooth Golf Club, a venue measuring 7,202 yards (par 72) that served as the venue for the ACC Championship last April.
This tournament was held in mid-January in 2021, the Jackets’ first tournament in a packed spring schedule that followed an idle fall brought on by COVID. Tech finished seventh in a limited 10-team field that included all ACC teams.
The 11-team field includes six Atlantic Coast Conference teams in No. 40 Clemson, No. 11 Florida State, No. 12 Georgia Tech, NC State, No. 36 Notre Dame and Virginia Tech, the nation’s top-ranked team in Vanderbilt, No. 16 Oklahoma State, No. 17 Alabama, No. 24 Mississippi State and Air Force.
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.