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Tech Golf to Play for National Championship

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – For the first time in program history, Georgia Tech golf will play in the national championship match on Wednesday, after capping a grueling but successful Tuesday at the NCAA Men’s Golf Championship with a 3-2 semifinal victory over Atlantic Coast Conference rival and top-seeded North Carolina.

Georgia Tech will face No. 2-seeded Florida in Wednesday’s national title match, which will begin at 4:35 p.m. ET. Live national-television coverage will begin at 5 p.m. on Golf Channel.

No. 5-seeded Tech advanced to its first-ever national championship match with its second heart-stopping win of the day at Grayhawk Golf Club. After the Tar Heels won the first pairing of the match (Dylan Menante d. Christo Lamprecht, 6&5), the Yellow Jackets roared back to win three of the final four pairings.

Seniors Bartley Forrester and Connor Howe gave Tech the lead by earning points in similar fashion, with both birdieing the par-3 16th hole to close out 4&2 wins over UNC’s Ryan Burnett and Austin Greaser, respectively.

After true freshman Hiroshi Tai battled but fell to North Carolina’s David Ford, 1-up, to even the match at 2-2, it was senior Ross Steelman who clinched the match for the Yellow Jackets by gutting out a thrilling 1-up win over UNC’s Peter Fountain. Steelman made huge, clutch putts for par on 16 and birdie on 17 to maintain a one-hole advantage, then put his birdie attempt within 2 feet on 18, which led Fountain to concede the pairing and the match to the Jackets.

Prior to disposing of North Carolina in the semifinals, Georgia Tech also earned a 3-2 decision in its quarterfinal match versus fourth-seeded Pepperdine earlier on Tuesday. Tai earned the decisive point in that match with a 19-hole, sudden-death victory over Pepperdine fifth-year senior Roberto Nieves.

Before securing a spot in this year’s title match, Georgia Tech’s previous best finish in the NCAA Championship’s match-play format came in 2013, when the Yellow Jackets lost to Alabama in the semifinals. Before the advent of match play in 2009, Tech finished second nationally on four occasions – in 1993, 2000, 2002 and 2005.

Georgia Tech is in search of the sixth national championship in school history. The Yellow Jackets have won four national titles in football (1917, 1928, 1952 and 1990) and one in women’s tennis (2007).

Georgia Tech vs. North Carolina, NCAA Championship Semifinal

Photos by Tim Cowie/Todd Drexler Photography

TECH’S NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY – Georgia Tech has reached the NCAA Championship finals 32 times since 1985 (33 times in program history), which is tied for fifth most in that time period behind Oklahoma State (36), Arizona State (35), Florida (34) and Texas (34), three of whom are in the field in Scottsdale.

The Yellow Jackets have qualified for match play five times since the advent of the stroke-play/match-play format in 2009, previously finishing third in 2010, second in 2011, second in 2013, fifth in 2014. Tech lost in the quarterfinals each time, except for 2013 and this year, when the Jackets reached the semifinals. Tech lost to the eventual champion three times in its four appearances in match play – Augusta State by the score of 3-2 in the quarterfinals in 2010 and 2011 and to Alabama (3-0-2) in 2013.

Tech has been the runner-up in the NCAA Championship four times (1993, 2000, 2002 and 2005, all before the introduction of match play). Only Oklahoma State, which has 18, Texas (6) and Purdue (5) have more. The Yellow Jackets have finished in the top eight of stroke play 16 times.

In the three NCAA Championships played at Grayhawk Golf Club, Tech finished 15th in 2021, tied for 12th in 2022 and tied for fifth this year.


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 28th year under head coach Bruce Heppler, winning 72 tournaments in his tenure. The Yellow Jackets have won 19 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, made 32 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.

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