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Kale Fontenot Wins East Lake Cup Individual Title

THE FLATS – Freshman Kale Fontenot fired a 4-under-par 68 Monday to capture the men’s individual championship at the ninth-annual East Lake Cup at the Atlanta Athletic Club. The fifth-ranked Yellow Jackets posted a 2-over-par team total of 290 and earned the No. 3 seed in the four-team bracket for match play which begins Tuesday morning.

Tech gets a rematch in one semifinal match Tuesday with top-ranked North Carolina (285, -3), whom Tech defeated in the NCAA Championship semifinals last May. The Tar Heels finished second in Monday’s stroke-play round at 3-under-par 285. Florida State grabbed the top seed by carding a 5-under-par 283 and will face Florida (292, +4) in the other semifinal match. The winners of Tuesday’s semifinals will play for the championship Wednesday, while the losers face off in a consolation match.

The East Lake Cup features the semifinalists from both the men’s and women’s NCAA championships from last spring – Florida, Georgia Tech, Florida State and North Carolina for the men, and Wake Forest, Southern California, Stanford and Texas A&M for the women. The tournament format features 18 holes of stroke play to determine an individual male and female champion, and to set seedings for team match play. There will then be two rounds of match play to determine a team champion, along with a consolation match to determine third place. Team matches consist of five individual matches, each win counting one point for the team.

Tuesday’s semifinals begin at 10:40 a.m. on the Atlanta Athletic Club’s Highlands course, with the Jackets taking on the Tar Heels, followed by the Seminoles against the Gators. Golf Channel will provide live television coverage from 3-6 p.m.

Fontenot started Monday’s round with back-to-back birdies and added three more before making the turn at 3-under-par. The Lafayette, La., native posted eight pars and a birdie on the back side, the birdie coming at the par-4 16th hole to lift him to the top of the leaderboard. He finished one stroke ahead of North Carolina twin brothers David and Maxwell Ford, who each shot 3-under-par 69s.

Senior Christo Lamprecht (George, South Africa) shot an even-par 70 Monday, while freshman Carson Kim (Yorba Linda, Calif.) carded a 2-over-par 74 and senior Bartley Forrester (Gainesville, Ga.) added a 76 (+4) to complete the Jackets’ team score of 290. Sophomore Hiroshi Tai (Singapore) did not factor after posting an 80.

 

Fontenot carded six birdies in his round of 68 Monday to earn his first collegiate individual title.

THEY SAID IT

“I was just hitting it really well, hitting driver well off the tee and just really staying committed to my lines and my targets. I had Coach with me pretty much the whole day. He’s a pretty good confidence booster, just making sure I’m making the right decisions and everything.” – Kale Fontenot on his round Monday

“I was playing some really good golf when I got here and then midway through the season, a little struggle. It’s been a rollercoaster, but I think today I really found my stride and I think this is how I’ll play the rest of the year, so I’m excited.” – Fontenot on his play this fall

“He’s come in and worked really hard. He’s physically really, really gifted and it’s just a function of starting to believe in yourself. Every time you move from one level to the next, most of them wonder. It’s just kind of convince him to gain some confidence through the process. This is just kind of the icing on the cake. You’ve got to bake the cake through your daily work. Came in early, worked really hard, played some of the courses and qualified for the first event. He kind of showed up ready to go and really committed and really mature from that standpoint. That’s special when you see that.”Head coach Bruce Heppler on Fontenot

“It’s awesome. The intensity is off the charts. I love being part of it. And again, this is a great chance for them to feel like getting into match play at the ACC tournament or if you make a match play at the NCAA tournament, you need to have these experiences. You know, you want to do well, but the opportunity’s pretty special to do that, and again, at a great place like this is awesome.”Heppler on match play

 

CYPRESS POINT CLASSIC RECAP

Out on the West Coast Monday, Georgia Tech dropped a pair of matches in the Cypress Point Classic in Monterrey, Calif., falling, 2-1, in its foursomes (alternate shot) match against Texas, and tied its fourball (best ball) match with Auburn after tying the match, 1.5-1.5.

Tech’s top duo of seniors Andy Mao (Johns Creek, Ga.) and Adam Bratton (Newburgh, Ind.) picked up a win and a tie in their two matches Monday, while the No. 2 team of senior Aidan Kramer (Oviedo, Fla.) and sophomore Aidan Tran (Fresno, Calif.) scored the Jackets’ other full point with a win over Auburn.

Mao and Bratton scored the Yellow Jackets’ lone win against Texas, 4&2, over the Longhorns’ Brian Stark and Christiaan Maas. Kramer and Tran fell, 4&3, to Nathan Petronzio and Keaton Vo, while the No. 3 pairing of sophomore Brady Rackley IV (Atlanta, Ga.) and freshman Colson Brown (North Augusta, S.C.) fell by the same 4&3 score to Jacob Sosa and Tommy Morrison.

Against the Tigers, Kramer and Tran captured a 1-up victory over J.M. Butler and Carson Bacha by winning the 18th hole, while Mao and Bratton Jackson Koivun and Alex Vogelsong ended up halving their match after the Tiger duo won the 16th hole to erase a 1-hole deficit and halved the final two holes. Rackley and Brown suffered a 2&1 defeat to Brendan Valdes and Reed Lotter.

In the other foursomes matches Monday, Arizona State downed Stanford, 2-1, Pepperdine defeated Auburn, 2-1, and Tennessee prevailed over Illinois, 2-1. In fourball, Arizona State topped Tennessee, 2-0-1, and Texas defeated Pepperdine, 2-1.

Teams will play six singles matches on Tuesday. Competition begins at 11 a.m. Eastern time.

Teams will play six singles matches on Tuesday. Competition begins at 11 a.m. Eastern time. The Jackets will play Illinois.

 


Alexander-Tharpe Fund

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 29th year under head coach Bruce Heppler, having won 72 tournaments in his tenure. 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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