Alpharetta, Ga. –Tyler Strafaci fired a 4-under-par 68 to earn a top-10 finish individually, and top-ranked Georgia Tech improved to a 4-under-par team score of 284 Sunday but remained in 10th place at the finish of the Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate Invitational.
It was the lowest finish for the Yellow Jackets its home event since placing 12th in 2016. Tech returns to action and closed out its fall scheduled Oct. 28-29 at the Cypress Point Classic on the Monterrey Peninsula in California.
TECH LINEUP – Strafaci played excellent golf over his final 36 holes on the weekend, shooting 71 Saturday in steady rain, cold and wind, and a bogey-free 68 Sunday to earn himself a fifth-place finish (212, -4), the eighth top-10 finish of his career. The senior from Davie, Fla., logged his highest finish ever at the Golf Club of Georgia, having tied for 19th for his previous best last fall.
Luke Schniederjans, who had struggled the first two rounds, shooting 75-76, matched Strafaci on Sunday with a 68, recording eight birdies in his round and finishing in a tie for 24th place individually (219, +3). Tech’s other three starters, Andy Ogletree, Noah Norton and Connor Howe, each shot 74 on Sunday. Ogletree tied for 35th at 221 (+5), while Norton and Howe tied for 52nd (225, +9).
Redshirt sophomore Ben Smith (Novi, Mich.) was the best of the five Tech players competing individually, firing a 71 Sunday and finishing in a tie for 58th at 227 (+11).
Luke Schniederjans shot 68 Sunday and tied for 24th place.
TEAM LEADERBOARD – Duke, the nation’s 10th-ranked team, posted a 1-under-par 287 Sunday to hold off hard-charging Pepperdine and capture the Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate Invitational for the first time. The Blue Devils finished as the only team under par at 2-under 862, two shots ahead of the ninth-ranked Waves (even-par 864, and placed three individuals in the top 10.
Pepperdine completed a roller-coaster weekend, having shot 12-under-par 276 Friday to take a seven-stroke lead, 19-over-par 307 in the bad-weather conditions Saturday and a 7-under 281 Sunday, the best score in the field for the final round.
No. 16 Texas A&M (865, +1), No. 4 Wake Forest (868, +4), No. 33 UCLA (872, +8) and Stanford (873, +9), finished third through sixth in the stacked field, which included seven top-25 teams.
No. 13 North Carolina, No. 15 Clemson and No. 29 Tennessee tied for seventh place at 874 (+10), with Georgia Tech alone in 10th place at 875 (+11).
INDIVIDUAL LEADERBOARD – UCLA’s Eddy Lai, who shot 68 Sunday, and 36-hole leader William Paysse of Texas A&M, who closed with a 70, shared medalist honors at 7-under-par 209.
Kaito Onishi of Southern California and Mark Power of Wake Forest tied for third place, two strokes back, at 5-under-par 211, with Georgia Tech’s Tyler Strafaci alone in fifth place at 212 (-4). All three players shot 68 on Sunday. Duke’s Even Katz finished sixth at 213 (-3), while the Blue Devils’ Adrien Pendaries and North Carolina’s Ryan Gerard tied for seventh at 214 (-2). Steven DiLisio was the third Duke player in the top 10, tying for ninth with Wake Forest’s Alex Fitzpatrick at 215 (-1).
"We got off to a bad start on the first nine holes, and on this golf course, that’s where you have to get it. We got behind the eight-ball both of the first two days. Today we had a couple of really good rounds and fought our way up the leaderboard, but had a couple bogeys on the last hole. When you’re playing against good teams, every shot counts. It was a pretty disappointing weekend. This was a great field. But we’re at home, and I think we’re better than that. Tyler had a good tournament, and Luke had a good day today, so we just need to get back to work and be more consistent week to week."
Head coach Bruce Heppler
TOURNAMENT INFORMATION – The Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate, formerly called the United States Collegiate Championship, is contested at the Yellow Jackets’ home club. The tournament is played exclusively on the 7,017-yard, par 72 Lakeside Course, 18 holes each day through Sunday.
The event annually attracts one of the strongest fields in college golf, and this year it is as strong as ever with 12 NCAA championship teams from last spring, including defending NCAA Champion Stanford and NCAA match play participants Texas A&M and Wake Forest, entered along with Clemson, Duke, North Carolina, Pepperdine, Southern California and TCU.
The 14-team field includes four of the nation’s top 10 teams, seven of the top 25 and 12 of the top 50 in the most recent Golfweek/Sagarin Index. The complete field with Sagarin ranking – Georgia Tech (1), Clemson (15), Duke (10), East Tennessee State (27), North Carolina (13), Pepperdine (9), Southern California (30), Stanford (34), Tennessee (29), Texas A&M (16), UCLA (33), Wake Forest (4), TCU and Virginia.
TECH’S GOLF CLUB OF GEORGIA COLLEGIATE HISTORY – Georgia Tech has won the USCC twice in its 13-year history, in 2010 and 2012. James White, who set tournament records for 18-hole score (62) and 54-hole score (204, broken in 2014), won medalist honors in 2010, while Ollie Schniederjans won it in 2013 for Tech’s only individual titles. Clemson, Oklahoma State, Southern California and Texas also have won twice. The Tigers having captured the inaugural title in 2006 and again in 2009, the Longhorns winning on 2014 and shared the title with Virginia in 2016, the Cowboys won in 2013 and 2017, and the Trojans in 2008 and last fall.
The Yellow Jackets tied for third place last fall, and have finished out of the top five just three times in 14 years.
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 61 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.