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Tech Golf Set to Compete in the Calusa Cup

THE FLATS – Down to its last regular-season event before defending its Atlantic Coast Conference title later this month, Georgia Tech’s golf team heads to Naples, Fla., to compete in the Calusa Cup Sunday through Tuesday at Calusa Pines Golf Club.

The Yellow Jackets, No. 15 in the Scoreboard collegiate rankings and No. 11 in the Bushnell/GCAA coaches poll, are looking for their first tournament win of the 2023-24 academic year at a site where they won two years ago. Tech has a pair of runner-up finishes at the Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate and the Watersound Invitational, as well as a pair of third-place showings at the Olympia Fields/Fighting Illini Invitational and the East Lake Cup. The Jackets have finished fourth, fourth and fifth in their last three events this spring.

Tech will play the Calusa Cup without its top player, senior Christo Lamprecht (George, South Africa), who has an invitation to the Masters Tournament after winning The Amateur Championship last summer. The 6-foot-8 Lamprecht, ranked the No. 1 amateur in the world currently, will compete Sunday in the annual Georgia Cup, a match featuring the champions of the U.S. Amateur and British Amateur, at the Golf Club of Georgia, then travel to Augusta to participate in Masters week activities.

Hiroshi Tai has six top-20 finishes in 2023-24. (photo by Clyde Click)

 

TECH LINEUP – Head coach Bruce Heppler, in his 29th year coaching the Yellow Jackets, has utilized the same starting five for all five spring events but is making an adjustment for the Calusa Cup to accommodate the absence of Lamprecht.

Tech’s lineup will be headed by senior Bartley Forrester (Gainesville, Ga.), who tied for 12th place in Tech’s most recent event, The Goodwin, for his best finish since a tie for eighth at the Amer Ari Intercollegiate to open the spring. He has played No. 2 for the Jackets this spring, followed by sophomore Hiroshi Tai (Singapore), Tech’s second-highest-ranked player at No. 100 in the Scoreboard NCAA Golf rankings. Tai had a run of six straight top-20 finishes for the Jackets until tying for 68th at The Goodwin.

The remainder of the lineup includes freshman Kale Fontenot (Lafayette, La.), ranked No. 124, who has been in the Tech lineup for every spring event, sophomore Aidan Tran (Fresno, Calif.), who has competed in six tournaments this year, and senior Aidan Kramer (Oviedo, Fla.), who has seen action in four. Fontenot won the stroke play title the East Lake Cup in the fall and has a high spring finish of 14th at the Watersound Invitational. Tran has played in four spring events as an individual, a tie for 12th place at the Linger Longer Invitational as his best finish. Kramer earned a top-10 finish in the fall at the Golf Club of Georgia Invitational and has played in one spring event as an individual.

TOURNAMENT INFORMATION – Georgia Tech has competed in the Calusa Cup twice, 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 currently 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. Play begins at 12 p.m. Eastern time Sunday and Monday, with the final round starting at 8 a.m. Tuesday. Each team will have five players competing with the low four scores counting toward the team total each day, and the tournament will be 54 holes, 18 each on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.

 


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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