Oct. 17, 2013
THE FLATS – Competing against one of the nation’s strongest fields, Georgia Tech concludes its fall season by defending its title at the eighth annual United States Collegiate Championship Friday through Sunday at The Golf Club of Georgia in Alpharetta.
Tech will take the same lineup it has used in its three earlier tournaments this fall to the 7,017-yard, par 72 Lakeside Course at its home club. The 54-hole event begins at 8:50 a.m. Friday, with all 78 competitors teeing off at the first tee. Play continues with round two Saturday morning and concludes with the final round Sunday. Admission is free for all three days.
Tech is joined in the 15-team USCC field by No. 4 Washington, No. 6 Oklahoma State, No. 7 UCLA and No. 11 Stanford. One of the strongest fields in college golf is rounded out by Texas A&M (16), Kent State (19), Auburn (20), Southern Cal (23), Duke (25), Virginia, Clemson, Iowa, Wake Forest and East Tennessee State.
“When we set this (tournament) up, we didn’t make it easy to win,” said Georgia Tech coach Bruce Heppler. “You go look at the names on that trophy, and there are no fakers over there. The thing that’s most satisfying when you win this tournament, it means a lot more because of who you had to beat to do it.”
After watching four other teams take home the USCC trophy when the tournament was held in the spring, Tech has won the event twice in the past three years since the championship moved to the fall. This year Georgia Tech has a lofty national ranking (No. 2 in Golfstat and Golf World coaches poll, No. 3 in Golfweek) to go with its everyday familiarity of the Lakeside Course, where last year the Yellow Jackets nipped then-defending champion UCLA by one stroke on Ollie Schniederjans’ amazing eagle at the 54th and final hole.
Tech overcame an eight-shot deficit last year in the final round to win, as Schniederjans settled a 220-yard 5-iron shot to within three feet of the hole at the par-5 18th hole, then calmly sank the putt for the victory.
For this year’s USCC individual champion comes an added bonus – a tournament Exemption to compete in June, 2014, in Wichita’s Air Capital Classic Tournament, one of the most prestigious events on the Web.com Tour.
In its most recent competition, Tech finished second at the Brickyard Collegiate in its last outing Oct. 4-6, after winning the Carpet Capital Collegiate and the Tar Heel Intercollegiate in September. Seth Reeves, a senior from Duluth, Ga., took home at least a share of medal honors in the Tar Heel and Brickyard events, while Schniederjans, a junior from Powder Springs, Ga., was co-medalist at the Carpet Capital Collegiate and finished a stroke out of the lead in Tech’s last two events.
Reeves and Schniederjans, who has three top-five finishes this fall, are joined in the Tech lineup this weekend by seniors Bo Andrews and Richard Werenski, who has two top-five finishes this fall, and junior Anders Albertson, who has one.
The USCC is unique among all college golf tournaments, with corporate skyboxes around the 18th green, caddies for each player and mandatory long pants for the competitors. The tournament is also carried through a live webcast for the final two rounds, hosted by award-winning sportscaster Brian Katrek of the PGA Tour Network. Live scoring is provided on Golfstatresults.com.