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Tech Golf Finishes 4th at the Calusa Cup

Naples, Fla. – Sophomore Hiroshi Tai (Singapore) shot an even-par 72 Tuesday to pace Georgia Tech, which had three players finish among the top 20 individuals while finishing in fourth place as a team at the Calusa Cup.

The Yellow Jackets, No. 15 in the Scoreboard collegiate rankings, posted a 6-over-par total of 294 Tuesday, taking over fourth place alone in its final regular-season event of the spring. The Yellow Jackets return to action April 19 in Charlotte, N.C., where they’ll begin defense of their Atlantic Coast Conference championship in 2023.

Senior Bartley Forrester (Gainesville, Ga.) and sophomore Aidan Tran (Fresno, Calif.) finished tied for 12th place individually, while Tai tied for 16th.

Tech played the tournament without its top player, All-American Christo Lamprecht (George, South Africa), who is playing in the Masters this week, an invitation that resulted from winning The Amateur Championship last summer. The senior from George, South Africa is ranked the No. 1 amateur in the world currently. Freshman Carson Kim (Yorba Linda, Calif.), who has started all five spring events before this week, also missed the tournament with an injury.

TECH LINEUP – Tai started out bumpy with a double-bogey and a bogey in his first three holes Tuesday at Calusa Pines Golf Club, but the sophomore made up the deficit with three straight birdies to close his front nine, and finished with two birdies in a row to complete his 72.

Forrester and freshman Kale Fontenot (Lafayette, La.) each carded 1-over-par 73s, while the Jackets also counted a 4-over-par 76 from senior Aidan Kramer (Oviedo, Fla.). Tran did not count Tuesday after signing for a 77.

A different player led the Jackets each day of the event: Tran with a 69 Sunday, Kramer with a 72 Monday and Tai with his 72 Tuesday.

 

Hiroshi Tai birdied five holes Tuesday on the way to a team-low 72. (photo by Ross Obley)

 

TEAM LEADERBOARD – No. 16 Florida had enough of a cushion – 10 strokes after 36 holes – to overcome its worst round of the tournament on Tuesday, a 4-over-par 292, and complete a wire-to-wire victory by six shots over Purdue. The Gators posted a 3-under-par total of 861 for the tournament and was the only team under par at the end. The Boilermakers finished at 3-over-par 867.

Wake Forest finished in third place at 869, followed by Tech at 883 (+19), No. 22 Georgia at 884 (+20), Miami of Ohio at 889 (+25), Iowa at 892 (+28) and Nebraska at 912 (+48).

INDIVIDUAL LEADERBOARD – Wake Forest’s Scotty Kennon (6-under-par 210) came from behind with a final-round 2-under-par 70 to take medalist honors over Georgia’s Ben Van Wyk (5-under-par 211), who also carded a 70, and Florida’s Jack Turner (4-under-par 212), who shot 73.

Brett Podobinski of Miami, the 36-hole leader, dropped to fourth place (3-under-par 213) after a closing 74. Purdue teammates Sam Easterbrook and Herman Sekne tied for fifth place at 1-under 215, followed by the Boilermakers’ Nels Surtani at even-par 216.

Wake Forest’s Marshall Meisel, Purdue’s Kent Hsaio and Iowa’s Noah Kent rounded out the top 10, tying for ninth place at 217 (+1).

 

TOURNAMENT INFORMATION – Georgia Tech has competed in the Calusa Cup three times, winning the event by eight strokes over Florida in 2022, and earning a runner-up finish behind top-ranked Oklahoma in 2021. Bartley Forrester shared medalist honors with the Gators’ Fred Biondi in 2022.

The event features a limited, but strong field with five of the eight teams residing in the top 50 of the Scoreboard NCAA Golf rankings, including Florida (16), Georgia Tech (15), Georgia (22), Iowa, Miami of Ohio, Nebraska, Purdue (30) and Wake Forest (34).

The tournament is contested at Calusa Country Club, which measures 7,320 yards and plays to a par of 72. Each team had five players competing with the low four scores counting toward the team total each day.

 


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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