Oct. 9, 2011
Macon, Ga. – After watching much of its 36-hole lead vanish on the front nine Sunday, Georgia Tech rallied to post 12 birdies and two eagles on the back nine and run away with its first title in five tries at the Brickyard Collegiate Golf Championship.
For a while Sunday, it looked like the 21st-ranked Yellow Jackets might let its entire lead get away, dropping seven shots to par on the first nine while runner-up Florida State crept to within five strokes. But sophomore Richard Werenski and Anders Albertson completed a strong back nine for Tech with eagles at the par-5 18th hole and lift the Jackets to a 17-stroke victory.
Tech posted a 5-under-par round of 283 for the day, and finished 54 holes at 16-under-par 848, the only one of the 15 teams to finish below par. The Seminoles, who had medalist Brooks Koepka leading the way at 11-under-par 205 for the weekend, finished at 1-over-par 865. North Florida (+4), No. 22 Georgia (+8) and Virginia Tech (+17) finished 3-4-5.
“I’m gratified to finally get a win here for Alfred Sams, who’s a Tech guy and has done a wonderful job putting on this event,” said head coach Bruce Heppler. “This was a team effort. We had seven guys play very well over the weekend. We had a different guy lead us each day, and we played a terrific back nine today. We had eight top-50 teams here, so we feel very good to win and about how well we played.
“We got so far ahead after yesterday, all we could do was mess up. But I’m glad it happened the way we did. We were challenged today, and we responded.”
It was Tech’s first victory in five tries at the Brickyard after posting finishes of second, third, 13th and fourth in previous years. Dating back to the 2010 Atlantic Coast Conference Championship, the Yellow Jackets have won five events by margins of 13, 27, 19, 20 and 17 strokes.
Sophomore Seth Reeves (Duluth, Ga.) and Albertson, a freshman from Woodstock, Ga., each closed with a 2-under 70 Sunday and completed 54 holes at 7-under-par 209, good for second place, four strokes behind Koepka. It was Reeves’s second top-20 finish here, and his best finish at any event since winning the Grub Mart Collegiate last spring. Werenski, a sophomore from South Hadley, Mass., making his fall debut, led the Jackets Sunday with a 4-under-par 68 and tied for eighth place at 1-under 215.
Each of those players had Tech’s best score of the day during the tournament – Reeves with a 65 Friday, Albertson with a 67 Saturday and Werenski Sunday.
“I got off to a good start this weekend,” said Reeves, who tied for 16th last fall at the Brickyard. “I really like this golf course, and I came in felling very comfortable. I was patient most of the time, and that made for a very good run on the back nine. I saw that we were struggling a little on the front nine today, and I think that helped me a little. I birdied 11 and 12, and that jump started my back nine.”
Sophomore Bo Andrews (Raleigh, N.C.) and freshman Ollie Schniederjans (Powder Springs, Ga.), playing as individuals this weekend, tied for eighth at 1-under 215 after posting scores of 75 and 74, respectively, on Sunday.
Tech returns to action Oct. 23-25 at the sixth United States Collegiate Championship, which it hosts at the Golf Club of Georgia in Alpharetta, Ga.