Las Vegas, Nev. – Senior Andy Ogletree fired a 4-under-par 68 Tuesday to pace No. 3 Georgia Tech, which posted its best round of the tournament at 4-under-par 284 and finished in 10th place at the Southern Highlands Collegiate. Redshirt freshman Bartley Forrester was the low Yellow Jacket individually, tying for 16th place.
TECH LINEUP – Ogletree (Little Rock, Miss.), the reigning U.S. Amateur champion, put together one of his finest rounds of the year on a difficult golf course, recording six birdies against two bogeys for his 68, and finished the tournament in a tie for 25th place at 220 (+4). Starting on the 10th hole Tuesday, Ogletree birdied three of his first four holes, and opened his back nine with three birdies in six holes.
The Yellow Jackets’ other three counting scores in the final round were even-par 72s from redshirt freshman Bartley Forrester (Gainesville, Ga.), senior Tyler Strafaci (Davie, Fla.) and sophomore Connor Howe (Ogden, Utah). All three players avoided some of the trouble they experienced the first two days and played steady golf. Forrester completed a solid tournament, finishing in a tie for 16th place with an even-par total of 216. Strafaci tied for 30th place at 5-over-par 221. Howe tied for 53rd place, while senior Luke Schniederjans (Powder Springs, Ga.) tied for 58th after a closing 78.
Sophomore Ben Smith (Novi, Mich.), competing as an individual, shot 77 Tuesday and tied for 67th place.
Senior Andy Ogletree led the Jackets on Tuesday with a 4-under-par 68. (photo by Danny Karnik).
TEAM LEADERBOARD – Despite sliding to a 3-over-par 291 Tuesday, No. 23 Southern California completed a wire-to-wire victory, compiling a 54-hole total of 861 (-3) and a two-stroke triumph over No. 8 Texas (863, -1). The Longhorns made a run at the Trojans Tuesday by firing a 4-under-par 284. Fifth-ranked Texas Tech also made a run at USC Tuesday, shooting 7-under-par 281, but the Red Raiders came up short and finished in third place at even-par 864.
No. 26 Florida finished fourth at 870 (+6), while No. 1 Pepperdine and No. 22 UCLA tied for fifth place at 873 (+9). No. 2 Oklahoma (874, +10) was seventh, followed by No. 10 SMU and No. 16 Georgia in a tie for eighth place at 877 (+13).
The Yellow Jackets finished at 878 (+14).
INDIVIDUAL LEADERBOARD – Parker Coody of Texas fired a 5-under-par 67 Tuesday to tie 36-hole leader Yuxin Lin of Southern California for first place at 8-under-par 208, and the Longhorn sophomore won medalist honors in a playoff.
UCLA’s Devon Bling, with a 68 Tuesday, finished third at 209 (-7), followed by Pepperdine’s Sahith Theegala and SMU’s Mac Meissner in a tie for fourth place at 210 (-6). Georgia’s Davis Thompson and Florida’s Ricky Castillo tied for sixth place at 211 (-5).
Thirty players broke par on Tuesday at the Southern Highlands Golf Club, which had given up a total of 30 subpar rounds in the first two days.
"We had a positive day all around. Our goal was to post the low score of the day, and we almost got there. Bartley Forrester had another good event, and I’m really pleased with the way he has come on to help us. Andy Ogletree got back on track and played the way he is capable of today."
Head coach Bruce Heppler
TOURNAMENT INFORMATION – Georgia Tech is making its 17th appearance in the Southern Highlands Collegiate and for the second straight year after a four-year hiatus. The 54-hole event runs through Tuesday and is played at the Southern Highlands Golf Club, a 7,374-yard, par-72 layout. The four low scores for each team are counted each round for the team total, and individual ties will be broken by a sudden-death playoff.
For the second straight year, the individual champion will receive a sponsor’s exemption to the PGA Tour’s Shriners Hospital for Children Open, which will take place Oct. 8-11 at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas.
Seven of the top 10 teams in the nation, according to the Golfstat rankings, are in the 15-team field, including No. 1 Pepperdine, No. 2 Oklahoma, No. 3 Georgia Tech, No. 5 Texas Tech, No. 7 Duke, No. 8 Texas and No. 10 SMU. Also competing are No. 16 Georgia, No. 22 UCLA, No. 26 Florida, No. 28 New Mexico, No. 36 Southern California, No. 65 Central Florida, No. 69 TCU and No. 67 UNLV, the host team.
For the second year in a tow, through a partnership with Golfweek and USA Today Network the Southern Highlands Collegiate will feature exclusive livestream coverage on Tuesday, March 3, from 2-7 p.m. Click here to access the live stream.
Georgia Tech has won the event twice, in 2001 and 2002. Four Yellow Jackets, all of whom have competed on the PGA Tour, have captured medalist honors, beginning in 1992 when Stewart Cink and David Duval shared the title. Troy Matteson won a share of the title in 2002 with Florida’s Camilo Villegas, and Cameron Tringale win the tournament outright in 2009.
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 A-T Fund’s Annual Athletic Scholarship Fund, which directly provides scholarships for Georgia Tech student-athletes, and Athletics Initiative 2020, Georgia Tech athletics’ ongoing $125 million initiative to allow Tech to recruit the nation’s most elite student-athletes, build a better student-athlete once they arrive on The Flats and, ultimately, win! To learn more about supporting the Yellow Jackets, visit atfund.org.
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH GOLF
Georgia Tech’s golf team is in its 25th year under head coach Bruce Heppler, winning 61 tournaments in his tenure. The Yellow Jackets have won 18 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, made 29 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.