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Tech Golf Slips to 5th at Linger Longer

Eatonton, Ga. Hiroshi Tai fired his second straight 4-under-par 68 Monday to move into second place individually, and 14th-ranked Georgia Tech matched its opening round total of 8-under-par 280 but slipped to fifth place after 36 holes at the Linger Longer Invitational.

Tai posted his 10th subpar round out of 11 this spring, and finished 36 holes at 8-under-par 136. While he moved into second place, however, the sophomore from Singapore is seven shots off the lead of Alabama’s Jonathan Griz, who is 15 strokes under par.

Tech played extremely well over the first 15 holes on Monday, getting to 17-under-par for its round at one point and vaulting ahead of everyone except leader Alabama, but disaster struck when the Jackets took a triple-bogey on the par-4 16th hole and three more on the par-3 17th and tumbled all the way back to fifth place. The Crimson Tide lead the field by 16 strokes entering the final round.

The closing round of the 54-hole event starts at 9:48 a.m. Tuesday (tee times pushed back due to freezing temperatures forecast for Monday night). 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 – Tech has played the front nine significantly better than the back both days of this tournament. Monday, the Yellow Jackets played it 11-under-par and continued their charge with eight birdies against one bogey on holes 10-15 before running into trouble.

Tai was 3-under-par on the front with no bogeys, 1-under on the back on the way to his 68. Freshman Kale Fontenot (Lafayatte, La.) matched him with a 68 Monday that included eight birdies, helping overcome his own triple-bogey at 17. He is tied for 11th place individually at 5-under-par 139.

Freshman Carson Kim (Yorba Linda, Calif.) and senior Christo Lamprecht (George, South Africa) also had excellent rounds going before making a triple at 17. Each finished the round at even-par 72. Senior Bartley Forrester (Gainesville, Ga.) shot 2-over-par 74 and did not factor in Tech’s team score.

Kim is tied for 23rd pace at 2-under-par 142 after 36 holes, Forrester and Lamprecht are tied for 41st at 145 (+1).

Senior Aidan Kramer (Oviedo, Fla.) and sophomore Aidan Tran (Fresno, Calif.) each carded even-par 72 rounds Monday competing as individuals. Kramer is tied for 23rd place at 2-under-par 142, while Tran is tied for 38th place at even-par 144.

 

Freshman Kale Fontenot shot 68 Monday and moved into a tie for 11th place. (photo by Ben Adelberg/Back of the Range)

 

TEAM LEADERBOARD – Alabama had four players under par for the second straight day and followed its 21-under-par Sunday with a 16-under-par Monday and finished 36 holes at 37-under-par 539. Virginia (-9), Georgia (-10), UNCG (-10) and Tech (-8) all posted excellent rounds Monday but lost ground on the Crimson Tide, who lead the Cavaliers (555, -21) by 16 strokes.

The Bulldogs are in third place at 557 (-19), followed by the Spartans at 559 (-17) and Tech at 560 (-16). Co-host Kennesaw State sits in a distant sixth place at 577 (+1).

INDIVIDUAL LEADERBOARD – Four Alabama players are among the top six players on the leaderboard, led by Jonathan Griz followed his opening 10-under-par 62 with a 5-under 67 Monday. At 15-under-par 129, he is seven shots clear of Tech’s Hiroshi Tai (136, -8).

The Crimson Tide’s Canon Claycomb, Jones Free and JP Cave are tied with UNCG’s Symon Balbin for fourth place at 137 (-7). Another group of four players, including Virginia’s Bryan Lee, are tied for seventh place at 138 (-6).

Tech’s Kale Fontenot and Mercer’s Tobias Jonson are tied for 11th place at 139 (-5).

 

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.

Photos by Ben Adelberg/Back of the Range

 


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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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