Oct. 18, 2012
Alpharetta, Ga. – Georgia Tech, ranked 13th in the nation in this week’s Golfstat rankings, returns to action this weekend when it hosts the annual United States Collegiate Championship at the Golf Club of Georgia, Oct. 19-21. One of the nation’s premier collegiate events, the 54-hole event features 10 of the nation’s top 25 teams in the 15-team field.
Tech will welcome Auburn (ranked 40th), Clemson (28), Duke (15), East Tennessee State, Iowa, Kent State (18), Oklahoma State (22), Stanford (23), Southern California (4), Texas A&M (19), UCLA (8), Virginia, Wake Forest (21) and Washington (3). All but one of the previous six winners are back for this year’s event – Clemson has won twice (2006, 2009), along with USC (2008) and UCLA, the defending champion. The Yellow Jackets captured the crown in 2010 by 28 shots over the Bruins.
First-round tee times begin Friday, Oct. 19 at 8:50 a.m. on the No. 1 tee of the Lakeside Course (7,017 yards, par 72). Three-day tickets are available for a $20 donation to the USCC’s charities and can be reserved by calling 770-664-8644 or purchased at The Golf Club of Georgia. Golfweek magazine is the Official Media Partner of The USCC and is hosting the live webcast of the tournament on Saturday, Oct. 20 and Sunday, Oct. 21 on Golfweek.com.
Last year’s USCC was ranked No. 2 among all collegiate events for the strength of its field.
“If you’re going to get ready to play in a regional or NCAA Championship, you’ve got to play against good teams on tough golf courses,” said Tech coach Bruce Heppler. “The idea behind this event was to create something that if you win it, it means an awful lot. If you look at the five or six winners we’ve head, there were no flukes. We haven’t done the easiest thing in the world to win our own tournament, but if you play well and win, it means an awful lot. If you play well and finish high, it means an awful lot. The bar we have to reach doesn’t change, and we try and find that bar as many times a year as we can.”
Tech has bounced back from an 11th-place finish at the season-opening Carpet Capital Collegiate to share the title at the PING-Golfweek Preview Invitational at the Capital City Club Crabapple in Alpharetta and finish second at last week’s Brickyard Collegiate in Macon.
All nine of Tech’s players will compete in the USCC. The five who will count toward the Yellow Jackets’ team scores each day are sophomores Ollie Schniederjans (Powder Springs, Ga.) and Anders Albertson (Woodstock, Ga.), juniors Seth Reeves (Duluth, Ga.) and Richard Werenski (South Hadley, Mass.) and freshman Michael Hines (Acworth, Ga.).
Schniederjans finished fifth at the Brickyard, and no lower than 22nd in three events this fall, and leads the Yellow Jackets in stroke average at 71.6. Albertson has finished 16th and 14th in the last two events and has a 72.3 avergae over nine rounds. Reeves has been inconsistent, but tied for second at the Preview. Hines is playing his second event as a counting member of the team after tying for 31st at the Preview.
“I think they see themselves in a different light than they saw themselves a couple of weeks ago,” said Heppler. “But there is a tremendous amount of pressure on these guys because of where the tournament is. There will be family and friends there. Golf is about learning to play when there are distractions and pressure. We need to learn how to do that and how to embrace it.”
The 2012 USCC is presented by Atlanta Classic Cars/Mercedes-Benz, Cisco, AmeriFleet and David Oakey Designs. Proceeds from the USCC benefit the Folds of Honor Foundation, which provides scholarships for children and spouses of service persons killed or wounded in action, and the scholarship programs of the GSGA Foundation.