Sep 5, 2013
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech’s golf team, ranked fourth in the nation in pre-season magazine polls with four starters returning from last year’s NCAA semifinalist unit, begins its fall schedule Friday at the Carpet Capital Collegiate at The Farm Golf Club in Rocky Face, Ga.
This 54-hole event has been the Yellow Jackets traditional fall opener since the event moved to the fall season in 1999. Tech, which serves as the host school, has won the event six times, most recently in 2001. The 14-team field includes Clemson, North Carolina and Wake Forest from the Atlantic Coast Conference, No. 12 Auburn, No. 11 Georgia, No. 9 LSU, No. 18 South Carolina and Tennessee from the Southeastern Conference, and sixth-ranked Texas, among others.
The team head coach Bruce Heppler takes to The Farm this weekend has much higher expectations upon it than the one that finished 11th there last September. The Yellow Jackets rebounded from that poor start to share the title of the PING/Golfweek Preview Invitational with No. 1 California and win the United States Collegiate Championship later in the fall.
Tech finished out the spring by placing second in the stroke-play portion of the NCAA Championship and advance to match play for the third time in four years. With four starters back from that team and after six returning members of the team qualified for the U.S. Amateur, the Jackets enter this fall much more confident.
Heppler also has his most experienced team in his 19th year on the Flats. Andrews, Reeves and Werenski, who each made match play at the U.S. Amateur, are all seniors, while Albertson and Schniederjans, who earned All-America honors last spring, are both juniors. These five will compete this weekend.
“There’s no question that, individually and collectively, the success these guys have had since this time last year has been pretty significant,” said Heppler. “So you would hope that their confidence in themselves and each other has grown, and they see themselves in a different light. They should. This group is very top-heavy with guys who have played a lot of golf. Our seniors aren’t guys who are just now getting their chance.”
Albertson, from Woodstock, Ga., led Tech in stroke average last year, had five top-10 finishes, won the ACC Championship and finished the spring as the Yellow Jackets’ highest-ranked player nationally (8th in Golfstat). Schniederjans, with six top-10 finishes last year, tied for eighth at the NCAA Championship and was ranked 15th by Golfstat.
Andrews (Raleigh, N.C.), Reeves (Duluth, Ga.) and Werenski (South Hadley, Mass.), who have combined for 16 top-10 finishes and two victories in their collegiate careers, primed themselves for strong senior years at Tech with excellent amateur tournament performances over the summer. Andrews posted six top-20 finishes, Reeves logged seven top-15 finishes, and Werenski had three top-12 finishes in summer tournaments.
Fall Schedule Notes
Georgia Tech plays in the state of Georgia for three of its four fall tournaments. Tech makes its only trip out of state for the Tar Heel Invitational, a two-day event held Sept. 14-15 at Finley Golf Course at the University of North Carolina, then returns to Georgia for the sixth Brickyard Collegiate, Oct. 4-6, at the Brickyard at Riverside Golf Club in Macon, Ga. The Jackets have played the Brickyard each year since its inception and won it in 2011.
The United States Collegiate Championship (Oct. 18-20) has been the signature event on the Georgia Tech schedule each year since 2006, and is being held for the seventh time at its home club, the Golf Club of Georgia in Alpharetta, Ga. The event annually attracts the strongest field of any fall collegiate event, and the Yellow Jackets have won it twice, including last fall in a thrilling finish over UCLA. This year’s field includes 2013 NCAA Championship contenders Auburn, Kent State, Oklahoma State, Southern California, Texas A&M, UCLA, and Washington, as well as perennial powers Clemson, Duke, East Tennessee State, Iowa, Stanford, Virginia and Wake Forest.
About Georgia Tech Golf
Georgia Tech’s golf team is in its 19th year under head coach Bruce Heppler. The Yellow Jackets have won 14 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, made 26 appearances in the NCAA Championship and been the national runner-up four times.