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Tech Makes 54-Hole Cut at NCAA Golf

Scottsdale, Ariz. – Bartley Forrester rolled in a 17-foot birdie putt on the 18th green, stopping a back-nine slide and giving Georgia Tech the last-minute cushion it needed to finish 54 holes among the top 15 teams Sunday and advance to the final round of stroke play at the NCAA Men’s Golf Championship.

Coming to the final hole in the second-to-last group, Georgia Tech was in a tie for the final two advancing spots with Ole Miss, which had completed its round earlier in the day, and Texas A&M, one of the Yellow Jackets’ playing partners Sunday afternoon. Forrester, who had bogeyed four of his last six holes, hit a strong drive and approach shot to the 18th green, then calmly sank the putt. His Aggie playing partner, Sam Bennett, bogeyed the hole to leave A&M two shots in arrears in 16th place.

The Jackets’ Christo Lamprecht and the Aggies’ Daniel Rodrigues each bogeyed 18 in the final group, leaving Tech and Ole Miss tied for 14th place as the final two advancing teams.

Thus, Tech will have a 10 a.m. (local) tee time Monday for the final round along with the Rebels and Oregon. The top eight teams on the leaderboard following Monday’s round will advance to the match play championship, which begins Tuesday. The Yellow Jackets, with a 54-hole total of 877 (+37) will begin the round 11 strokes out of eighth place, which is occupied by Arkansas at 866 (+26).

Looking for a better score than either of its first two rounds in order to assure advancement, Tech’s five delivered more, playing the front nine in 3-under-par, at one point rising to eighth place on the leaderboard. But with a stiff breeze kicking up in the afternoon, the Jackets began to slide, losing 10 shots to par on the back nine and all of its margin for error until Forrester’s big birdie at the last.

 

Bartley Forrester's birdie putt at 18

TECH LINEUP – Lamprecht birdied three holes on the front side and held on for an even-par 70 to pace the Yellow Jackets Sunday. The sophomore from George, South Africa is tied for 17th place individually at 214 (+4), eight strokes off the lead after 54 holes.

Connor Howe shot 2-over-par 72 Sunday while Forrester added a 73. Both players are tied for 44th place individually at 218 (+8).

Ben Smith, who stepped in for freshman Benjamin Reuter for Sunday’s round, provided the Yellow Jackets’ fourth counting score with a 75, while Ross Steelman’s 78 was tossed out.

TEAM LEADERBOARD – Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, the top two seeds in the championship, led the charge Sunday by each posting 3-under-par 277 in the morning, and sit 1-2 in the leaderboard after 54 holes. The Sooners are the only team under par at 1-under 839, with the Cowboys four strokes behind at 843 (-3).

Third-seeded Vanderbilt is in third place at 845 (+5), followed by North Carolina at 849 (+9), Pepperdine at 853 (+13), Arizona State at 859 (+19) and Texas at 860 (+20). Arkansas is in eighth place at 866 (+26). The top eight teams following Monday’s final round of stroke play will advance to match play starting Tuesday.

Auburn and Texas Tech are tied for ninth place at 869 (+29), followed by Florida at 871 (+31) and Georgia at 872 (+32). Oregon (876, +36), Ole Miss and Georgia Tech (both at 877, +37) round out the top 15 teams which will continue stroke play Monday.

INDIVIDUAL LEADERBOARD – Vanderbilt’s Gordon Sargent and Oklahoma’s Chris Gotterup each shot 2-under-par 68 Sunday to take the top two spots on the individual leaderboard. Sargent finished 54 holes at 4-under-par 206, with Gotterup one stroke back at 207 (-3).

Eugenio Lopez-Chacarra is in third place at 2-under 208 after carding the day’s low round of 65. He’s followed by Oklahoma’s Patrick Welch at 1-under 209. Only four players are in red figures through 54 holes.

Four players are tied for fifth place four stroke back at even-par 210, including North Carolina teammates David Ford and Ryan Burnett, Parker Coody of Texas and Mateo Fernandez De Oliveira. Cameron Sisk of Arizona State and William Mouw of Pepperdine round out the top 10 tied at 211 (+1).

"Today is one of the first days in a long time I hadn't used my phone. So until Christo grabs it on 17 and the fairway was you want to look at this, I had no idea how we were doing. It looked like we were playing okay. We played so good, and then we make three unforced errors on 17 with three wedges that just should have never come down to the last hole. They played hard. You're standing there on 17 tee, and you’re six over for the day played great and just make three boneheaded mistakes. Luckily for us, Bartley bails us out with a big time three at the last hole. So we're gonna play some more. With the way this place is? You can pull yourself out of an afternoon wave into the morning. You can't ask for much more than that. They did a great job today. And the top eight is maybe one great round away."

Head coach Bruce Heppler

 

"I mean I played so solid the first 11 and a half holes and started leaking oil, a few just bad bogeys and a couple three putts. I could kind of tell from the way people were kind of talking and the atmosphere that it was kind of close and down to the wire. So I just stepped up and hit, really two perfect shots with the drive and second shot. I just told myself to give the putt a chance, because I'd been kind of weak on the speed on a bunch the putts previously. I just got it there and went right in the middle."

Junior golfer Bartley Forrester on his final hole

 

Round 3 Gallery

Photos by Tim Cowie/Todd Drexler Photography

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 29 (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.

  • 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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