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Tech Golf Competing in Linger Longer Invitational

THE FLATS – Staying close to home for its fourth spring event, Georgia Tech’s 14th-ranked golf team heads to Lake Oconee to compete against a strong regional field in the 18th Linger Longer Invitational Sunday through Tuesday at the Great Waters Course in Eatonton, Ga.

The Yellow Jackets, No. 14 in the Scoreboard collegiate rankings and No. 11 in the Bushnell/GCAA coaches poll, are competing in their fourth time zone this spring after finishing sixth against a stacked national field in the Amer Ari Invitational in Hawai’i, second against a strong Southern field at the Watersound Invitational in Florida and fourth against a strong field of Western teams at the RE Lamkin Invitational in California.

Fourteen teams will compete over three days (Sunday, Monday and Tuesday) at the Great Waters Golf Course at Reynolds Lake Oconee. The teams will play 18 holes each day, with tee times starting at 8:30 a.m. EDT from the first and 10th tees. Five of the competing teams are listed in the top 50 of the current Scoreboard NCAA Golf Rankings, including Tech (14), Virginia (13) and defending champion Alabama (16) in the top 25.

Tech has three starters back from a team that won the program’s 19th Atlantic Coast Conference championship and posted a runner-up finish at the NCAA Championship last spring, including seniors Bartley Forrester (Gainesville, Ga.) and Christo Lamprecht (George, South Africa) and sophomore Hiroshi Tai (Singapore). They have formed the core of the Tech lineup this spring along with freshmen Kale Fontenot (Lafayette, La.) and Carson Kim (Yorba Linda, Calif.).

Hiroshi Tai has finished in the top 10 in each of Tech’s last two tournaments. (photo by Ross Obley)

 

TECH LINEUP – Head coach Bruce Heppler, in his 29th year coaching the Yellow Jackets, has utilized the same starting five for all three spring events and will do so again for the Linger Longer Invitational.

Lamprecht is currently ranked the No. 1 amateur in the world, No. 2 in the PGA Tour University rankings, and No. 4 in the Scoreboard collegiate rankings. The 6-8 senior won twice in the fall, winning the Olympia Fields/Fighting Illini Invitational and the Ben Hogan Collegiate Invitational, and missed a third victory by one stroke at the Watersound Invitational a month ago. He owns a team-best 68.72 stroke average, which is on pace to set a Tech program record.

Forrester, ranked No. 175 in the Scoreboard rankings, led the Yellow Jackets Amer Ari Intercollegiate, tying for eighth place with a 15-under-par total of 201, the second-lowest 54-hole score of his career. He posted a top-10 finish at Olympia Fields and two top-20s in the fall. Tai, ranked No. 83, has a pair of top-10 finishes this spring, a tie for seventh at the Watersound Invitational and a tie for eighth at the RE Lamkin Invitational.

Fontenot is No. 85 in the Scoreboard rankings after tying for 14th place at Watersound and 23rd in the Lamkin Invitational. Kim tied for 33rd at the Lamkin for his highest finish this spring.

Sophomore Aidan Tran (Fresno, Calif.), who has competed in four events this year, and senior Aidan Kramer (Oviedo, Fla.), with three events under his belt, will compete as individuals in the Linger Longer Invitational.

TOURNAMENT INFORMATION –The Yellow Jackets have finished second (2023 and 2021) and fourth (2013) in its three previous appearances at the Linger Longer Invitational. Alabama won last year’s event by eight strokes over Tech, and the Crimson Tide have won six time in the 17-year history of the event. This year’s tournament returns to Great Waters, which measures 7,436 yards and plays to a par of 72.

The format is 54 holes, 18 each day beginning at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time from both the first and 10th tees, with the low four individual scores of five each day counting toward the team total.

The 14-team field includes Alabama (16), Augusta, Charlotte, Clemson, Georgia (27), Georgia Tech (14), Georgia State, UNC Greensboro (47), Jacksonville, Kennesaw State, Louisiana Tech, Mercer, Virginia (13) and Wofford.

 


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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