Oct. 23, 2016
Alpharetta, Ga. – Vincent Whaley shot a final-round 69 (-3) Sunday to earn a top-20 finish playing as an individual, but Georgia Tech struggled to a 6-over-par 294 Sunday and finished in 12th place at the Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate at the Golf Club of Georgia.
TECH LINEUP – Under ideal scoring conditions Sunday with afternoon temperatures in the low 70s, clear skies and a light breeze, only Whaley (senior, McKinney, Texas) was able to break par on the Yellow Jackets’ home course. Playing as an individual, he finished in a tie for 19th place at even-par 216, the best among the 10 Tech players who competed.
Tech’s 294 score was composed by trio or 73s from juniors James Clark (Columbus, Ga.) and Michael Pisciotta (Alpharetta, Ga.) and freshman Tyler Strafaci (Davie, Fla.) and a pair of 75s from freshman Luke Schniederjans (Powder Springs, Ga.) and junior Chris Petefish (Danville, Calif.). Among those five, Clark earned the highest finish with a tie for 29th at 218 (+2).
The Yellow Jackets finished at 13-over-par 877.
TEAM LEADERBOARD – The final round began with 11 teams within nine strokes of the lead and finished with the top four teams within one shot.
Seventh-ranked Virginia held a two-stroke lead at 10-under-par when Texas, Southern California and Stanford finished their rounds. But the Cavaliers faltered on their closing holes, dropping three shots alone on the par-5 18th to fall a shot behind the Longhorns. No. 1 player Jimmy Stanger pulled out a birdie on the 18th to save the day and lift Virginia back into a tie with Texas at 8-under-par 856, leaving them co-champions.
It was the first win for Virginia in the 11-year history of the tournament, while Texas added a shared title to its 2014 win.
Twelve teams played under par for the round Sunday, two of them by double digits (Texas -11, Stanford -10).
The 19th-ranked Trojans and No. 13 Stanford finished in a tie for third place at 857 (-7), followed by No. 21 Texas A&M at 858 (-6) and No. 8 Oklahoma, the 36-hole leader, at 859 (-5). Duke, Oklahoma State and Wake Forest also finished under par.
INDIVIDUAL LEADERBOARD – The race for medalist honors became a two-man competition by mid-afternoon between Oklahoma’s Max McGreevey and 36-hole leader Stanger of Virginia. Stanger’s birdie at the last hole lifted him back into a tie with McGreevey at 9-under-par 207, two strokes ahead of Texas’ Doug Ghim, who with a 71 Sunday finished alone in third place at 7-under-par 209.
His teammate, Gavin Hall, shot the round of the weekend, a bogey-free 63, and wound up in a three-way tie for fourth place at 6-under 210 with Stanford’s Brandon Wu and Duke’s Chandler Eaton.
COACH Bruce Heppler SAYS – “We just were not very good today. You can look pretty bad when you play great competition. But we will continue to work and get better. We certainly know where the bar is to compete nationally.”
TOURNAMENT INFORMATION – The 11th annual Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate, formerly called the United States Collegiate Championship, is held at the Golf Club of Georgia, which serves at the Yellow Jackets’ home club. This year for the first time, the tournament has utilized both of the club’s courses, the 7,017-yard, par 72 Lakeside Course and the 7,039-yard, par-72 Creekside Course, for the first two rounds of the event. Each team played one round on each course Friday or Saturday, and all 17 teams played the final round Sunday on the Lakeside Course, where every round of the tournament was played in previous years.
The field is traditionally one of the strongest in college golf, and 14 of the 17 teams this year are in the Golfstat top 50. Six of those are ranked among the top 10, with four others in the top 25. Auburn and Wake Forest returned to defend their 2015 shared title, and all four co-medalists from 2015 returned as well. Bard also won medalist honors alone in 2014 with a tournament-record score of 201 (-15). Twelve of the nation’s current top 25 players, according to Golfstat, are in the field.
The field, in alphabetical order with current Golfstat ranking – Auburn (3), Clemson (16), Duke (26), East Tennessee State (111), Georgia Tech (31), LSU (6), Oklahoma (8), Oklahoma State (2), Southern California (19), Stanford (13), Texas (28), Texas A&M (21), TCU (68), UCLA (33), Villanova (224), Virginia (7), Wake Forest (9).
TECH’S GOLF CLUB OF GEORGIA COLLEGIATE HISTORY – Georgia Tech has won the USCC twice in its 10-year history, in 2010 and 2012. Clemson is the only other multiple winner, having captured the inaugural title in 2006 and again in 2009. James White, who set tournament records for 18-hole score (62) and 54-hole score (204, broken in 2014), won medalist honors in 2010, while Ollie Schniederjans won it in 2013 for Tech’s only individual titles. The Yellow Jackets finished fifth last fall.