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Tech Golfers Compete at Ben Hogan Collegiate

THE FLATS – Georgia Tech’s golf team, ranked No. 4 in the Golfweek/Sagarin ratings, continues its fall season Monday and Tuesday with the Ben Hogan Collegiate Invitational in Fort Worth, Texas. It is the second of a five-event fall slate that takes the Yellow Jackets to Illinois, Texas and California, with the other two events in the Atlanta area.

Tech finished third in its first fall event two weeks ago at the rain-shortened Olympia Fields Country Club Fighting Illini Invitational, making a strong showing in an event that featured 11 teams that reached last year’s NCAA Championship, and seven that advanced to match play.

After guiding the Yellow Jackets to the program’s 19th Atlantic Coast Conference championship and a runner-up finish at the NCAA Championship, head coach Bruce Heppler has three starters back for his 29th season on The Flats, including seniors Bartley Forrester (Gainesville, Ga.) and Christo Lamprecht (George, South Africa) and sophomore Hiroshi Tai (Singapore), each of whom are ranked among the world’s top 50 amateur players.

Hiroshi Tai, who won twice as a freshman, makes his 2023-24 debut Monday. (photo by Clyde Click)

 

ROSTER OUTLOOK – Lamprecht, a first-team All-American in 2023, won The Amateur Championship and was low amateur at The Open Championship over the summer and has risen to No. 1 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking following his victory at Olympia Fields. Forrester, an All-ACC performer in 2022 with two collegiate victories, is No. 41 in the WAGR, and Tai, who won two tournaments as a freshman, is No. 68.

Competition for spots in the lineup comes from five other returnees in seniors Adam Bratton (Newburgh, Ind.), Aidan Kramer (Oviedo, Fla.) and Andy Mao (Johns Creek, Ga.), as well as junior Benjamin Reuter (Naarden, The Netherlands) and sophomore Aidan Tran (Fresno, Calif.). They have combined to compete in 39 collegiate events in their careers, while Kramer and Mao both have summer amateur victories under the belts.

Heppler added a pair of freshmen to the mix in Kale Fontenot (Lafayette, La.) and Carson Kim (Yorba Linda, Calif.), both of whom ranked among the top 15 junior golfers in the class of 2023 and competed in Tech’s fall opener at Olympia Fields.

TECH LINEUP – All three of Tech’s returning starters – Lamprecht, Forrester and Tai – are in the lineup for the Ben Hogan Collegiate along with Kim and Tran.

Lamprecht set a 36-hole record score of 131 (-9) in winning the individual title by a stroke, his second collegiate tournament victory following last fall’s title at the Inverness Intercollegiate. The 6-foot-8 senior also had three runner-up finishes and a third-place showing last year, and is challenging the Tech career stroke average mark at 70.24 over 101 collegiate stroke-play rounds.

Forrester, a fifth-year senior who won the 2022 Calusa Cup and the 2020 Puerto Rico Classic, has 102 stroke play rounds under his belt and a 71.76 stroke average for his career. Tai is making his 2023 fall debut after a stellar freshman campaign in which he also was the ACC Championship runner-up.

Tran also is making his first start of the fall after competing in five events as a freshman and compiling a 72.93 stroke average, while Kim hopes to improve upon a tough start (80th place) at Olympia Fields.

TOURNAMENT INFORMATION – The Yellow Jackets are competing in the Ben Hogan Collegiate Invitational for the second time after posting a 12th-place finish last fall. Hosted by TCU, the tournament consists of 36 holes on Monday beginning with a shotgun start at 9 a.m. EDT, and a final 18-hole round Tuesday at 9 a.m.

Normally contested at venerable Colonial Country Club, this year’s Hogan event will be staged at Shady Oaks Country Club in Fort Worth, a 6,885-yard, par-70 layout, while Colonial is being renovated.

The Ben Hogan event will include 14 teams that competed in the 2023 NCAA Championship, including five that advanced to match play (Tech, North Carolina, Arizona state, Florida State, Pepperdine). Five teams in the field are among the current Golfweek/Sagarin top-10, and 14 of the 15 are in the top 50.

The complete field includes: North Carolina (1), Georgia Tech (4), Vanderbilt (7), Arizona State (8), Texas (9), Texas Tech (13), Texas A&M (18), Oklahoma (24), Oklahoma State (27), Wake Forest (29), Florida State (30), TCU (34), Oregon (35), Georgia (44) and Pepperdine (52).

 


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 29th year under head coach Bruce Heppler, having won 72 tournaments in his tenure. 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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