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Tech in 23rd Place at NCAA Golf Championship

Scottsdale, Ariz. – Christo Lamprecht and Bartley Forrester each shot 3-over-par 73s Friday to pace 10th-seeded Georgia Tech, which posted an 18-over-par total of 298, and the Yellow Jackets stand in 23rd place after the opening round of the NCAA Men’s Golf Championship.

Playing in the afternoon wave when greens dried out and breezes were stronger, Tech managed to card just six birdies among its five players, but played the final three holes collectively 1-under-par to remain within four strokes of 15th place. No. 3 seed Vanderbilt, which played in the afternoon, posted a 2-over-par 282 score to take the first-round lead, while morning wave teams Oregon and Auburn are tied for second at 285 (+5). The Jackets will get a chance to even things up Saturday morning with early tee times for round 2.

Tech’s playing partners Friday afternoon – No. 11 seed Texas A&M and No. 12 seed Stanford, posted scores of 300 (+20) and 295 (+15), respectively. The Cardinal are tied for 16th place, and the Aggies are tied for 24th.

Tech tees off at 7:27 a.m. local time Saturday morning for round 2, starting on the 10th hole, again paired with the Aggies and the Cardinal. Tee times and pairings for the remaining rounds of stroke play will be determined by team position on the leaderboard. The thirty teams will play 54 holes Friday through Sunday, with the field cut to 15 for the final round of stroke play Monday, after which the individual champion will be crowned. The top eight teams after 72 holes will advance to a match play bracket to determine the team champion on Wednesday.

Bartley Forrester played steady golf Friday and led the Yellow Jackets with a 73.

TECH LINEUP – Lamprecht, Tech’s top finisher in last year’s NCAA Championship, birdied holes 4 and 5 to get to 1-under-par, but played his last 13 holes 4-over par to finish with a 73. Forrester scattered three bogeys with 15 pars for his 73. Both players are tied for 42nd place individually.

Tech counted a pair of 6-over-par 76s from Ross Steelman and Connor Howe, tied for 101st place in the 156-player field, while freshman Benjamin Reuter shot 78 (+8) and did not count for the Yellow Jackets Friday. Steelman recorded four bogeys and a double-bogey in his first six holes, then settled in to par 12 straight to finish his round. Howe ended a string of three straight bogeys with a birdie at the par-3 16th and parred in from there.

TEAM LEADERBOARD – The Commodores, who teed off late Friday morning, teamed up for a 2-over 282, three strokes ahead of second-place Oregon and Auburn. Gordon Sargent, Cole Sherwood and William Moll each shot an even-70 and sit two strokes behind the leaders in individual play.

Oregon (+5), Auburn (+5), Kansas (+6) and Arizona (+6) authored some gritty performances in the morning wave that would hold throughout the afternoon to keep each school within the top-5.

All four teams from last year’s semifinal – defending-champion Pepperdine, runner-up Oklahoma, Arizona State and Oklahoma State – are back this year and each situated within the top-15.

INDIVIDUAL LEADERBOARD – Kansas’ Harry Hillier and Auburn’s Brendan Valdes turned in scorecards of 2-under 68, which currently leads the field of 156 golfers after the first 18. Only five other players broke par on Friday, and eight others matched par on the par-70 Grayhawk Raptor course.

"We made some bad bogeys, and made only [six] birdies all day. It got really firm and fast. The scores indicated in the afternoon with the good teams that it played really hard, and we didn’t play very well. Bart played phenomenal golf, just got in the wrong spot a couple of times. Christo was not as good as he can be around the greens. But we played the last four holes even to kind of save the day. We’ve got to get up and play a really good round in the morning. Until you’re done with (36 holes), you really don’t know where you stand. The last two hours today, you could hardly keep a ball on the green, couldn’t get the ball close enough to the hole to make birdies. But the last four holes today kept us in the game."

Head coach Bruce Heppler

 

Round 1 Gallery

Photos by Tim Cowie

TECH’S NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY – Georgia Tech has reached the NCAA Championship finals 30 times since 1985 (31 times in program history), which is tied for fifth most in that time period behind Oklahoma State (36), Arizona State (34), Florida (33) and Texas (33), each of whom are in the field in Scottsdale. Tech has posted nine top-8 finishes in the last 15 tries.

The Yellow Jackets have qualified for match play four times since the advent of the stroke-play/match-play format in 2009, finishing third in 2010, second in 2011, second in 2013, fifth in 2014. Coincidentally, Tech last advanced to match play (2014) the same year it last captured a regional title.

Tech lost to the eventual champion three times in its four appearances in match play – Augusta State by the score of 3-2 in the quarterfinals in 2010 and 2011 and to Alabama (3-0-2) in 2013.

Tech has been the runner-up in the NCAA Championship four times (1993, 2000, 2002 and 2005, all before the introduction of match play). Only Oklahoma State, which has 18, Texas (6) and Purdue (5) have more.

Three Tech players have won national collegiate championships. Troy Matteson did it most recently in 2002 at Ohio State. Watts Gunn (1927) and Charlie Yates (1934) won national collegiate titles under a match play format before the NCAA took sponsorship of the championship in 1939.

CHAMPIONSHIP INFORMATION/FORMAT – Finals play consists of three days of stroke play on Friday, May 27 thru Sunday, May 31 (54 holes), after which the top 15 teams and nine individuals not on an advancing team will be determined. That is followed by a final day of 18 holes of stroke play on Monday, May 30 to determine the top eight teams that will advance to match play as well as the 72-hole individual champion. The team national champion will be determined by a match-play format that will consist of quarterfinals and semifinals conducted on Tuesday, May 31, followed by finals on Wednesday, June 1.

The entire championship is conducted on the Raptor course at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz., which measures 7,289 yards and plays to a par of 70. This is the second of three straight years that the Grayhawk will host the NCAA Championship.

  • Saturday, May 28 – Second round of stroke play competition (Tech begins at 10:27 a.m. ET)
  • Sunday, May 29 – Third round of stroke play competition (tee times based on 36-hole scores)
  • Monday, May 30 – Final round of stroke play competition (tee times based on 54-hole scores)
  • Tuesday, May 31 – Quarterfinals and semifinals of team match play
  • Wednesday, June 1 – Championship match to determine team champion

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 27th year under head coach Bruce Heppler, winning 70 tournaments in his tenure. The Yellow Jackets have won 18 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, made 29 appearances in the NCAA Championship and been the national runner-up four 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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