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Tech Golf in 4th Place at Linger Longer Invitational

Eatonton, Ga. Hiroshi Tai continued his strong play this spring, pacing Georgia Tech Sunday with a 4-under-par 68, and the 14th-ranked Yellow Jackets posted an 8-under-par 280 and sit in fourth place after the opening round of the Linger Longer Invitational.

Tai, a sophomore from Singapore, posted his ninth subpar round out of 10 this spring and is tied for fourth place individually after the first round. The Jackets, who started Sunday’s round on the 10th hole, shook off a slow start on its opening nine and played the front nine 10-under-par to move up the leaderboard into fourth place. Both Tech and Tai are well back of the lead, however, after No. 16 Alabama shot 21-under-par 267 as a team, led by a 10-under-par 62 from Jonathan Griz at the Great Waters Golf Course at Reynolds Lake Oconee.

Fourteen teams are competing over 54 holes at Great Waters, with round 2 beginning at 8:30 a.m. EDT Monday and the final round scheduled for the same time Tuesday. Five of the competing teams are listed in the top 50 of the current Scoreboard NCAA Golf Rankings, including Tech (14), Virginia (13) and defending champion Alabama (16) in the top 25.

TECH LINEUP – Four Yellow Jackets broke par at Great Waters Sunday, with freshman Carson Kim (Yorba Linda, Calif.) posting a 2-under-par 70, while senior Bartley Forrester (Gainesville, Ga.) and freshman Kale Fontenot (Lafayette, La.) each turned in a 1-under-par 71. Kim is tied for 17th place, while Forrester and Fontenot are tied for 29th.

Like Tech, Tai made most of his hay on the front nine, recording four of his six birdies with no bogeys en route to his 68. The sophomore already has two top-10 finishes this spring and is a collective 35-under-par across 10 rounds.

Forrester finished under par despite a quadruple-bogey 8 on the par-4 16th, recording five birdies and 12 pars on the other 17 holes. Kim was steady, playing each side 1-under-par, while Fontenot went 2-under-par on the second nine holes.

All-American Christo Lamprecht (George, South Africa) posted his highest round of the spring, a 1-over-par 73, and did not count for the Jackets.

Senior Aidan Kramer (Oviedo, Fla.) shot 2-under-par 70, the second-best score among the 11 individuals competing, and is in the tie for 17th place, while sophomore Aidan Tran (Fresno, Calif.) came in at even-par 72, tied for 39th.

 

Hiroshi Tai has broken par in nine of 10 spring rounds. (photo by Clyde Click)

 

TEAM LEADERBOARD – Alabama benefitted from four players breaking 70, led by the 62 from Griz, to post its 21-under-par 267. Bidding to win this event for the seventh time, the Crimson tied lead by nine shots over No. 13 Virginia, which shot 12-under-par 276.

No. 27 Georgia got a birdie on its last hole Sunday to nudge ahead of the Yellow Jackets into third place at 9-under-par 279. Behind Tech are Clemson and UNC Greensboro, tied for fifth place at 7-under-par 281 and Jacksonville at 4-under-par 284. Georgia State ad Charlotte were the only other teams to play under par Sunday, both at 1-under 287.

INDIVIDUAL LEADERBOARD – Griz played a clean round with eight birdies and an eagle Sunday, but he leads by just two over Clemson’s Jonathan Nielsen, who shot 8-under-par 64, and three over his Crimson Tide teammate JP Cave, who carded a 7-under-par.

Tech’s Tai and Virginia’s Bryan Lee are tied for fourth at 4-under-par 68. Eleven players, including Alabama’s Thomas Ponder and Jones Free, are tied for sixth place at 3-under-par 69.

 

TOURNAMENT INFORMATION –The Yellow Jackets have finished second (2023 and 2021) and fourth (2013) in its three previous appearances at the Linger Longer Invitational. Alabama won last year’s event by eight strokes over Tech, and the Crimson Tide have won six of the previous 17 tournaments. This year’s tournament returns to Great Waters, which measures 7,436 yards and plays to a par of 72.

The format is 54 holes, 18 each day beginning at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time from both the first and 10th tees, with the low four individual scores of five each day counting toward the team total.

The 14-team field includes Alabama (16), Augusta, Charlotte, Clemson, Georgia (27), Georgia Tech (14), Georgia State, UNC Greensboro (47), Jacksonville, Kennesaw State, Louisiana Tech, Mercer, Virginia (13) and Wofford.

Round 1 at Linger Longer Invitational

Photos by Clyde Click

 


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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