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Tech Set to Host Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate

THE FLATS – Looking for its first victory of the fall season and its third the history of its annual home event, Georgia Tech’s golf team returns to action this weekend, hosting the 17th Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate Invitational Friday through Sunday at the Golf Club of Georgia in Alpharetta.

Tech comes into its third fall event ranked No. 3 in the Bushnell/Golfweek Coaches Poll and No. 12 in the current Golfweek/Sagarin ratings after finishing third at the Olympia Fields/Fighting Illini Invitational and eighth at the Ben Hogan Collegiate Invitational in its first two events.

Six teams in the 14-team field played in last year’s NCAA Championship, with three (Tech, Pepperdine and Virginia) advancing to match play. Like last fall, all 10 Georgia Tech players are competing in two teams at the Golf Club of Georgia this weekend, with the primary team composed of the top five players, and a B team composed of the rest. The B team also will compete for a team score.

After guiding the Yellow Jackets to the program’s 19th Atlantic Coast Conference championship and a runner-up finish at the NCAA Championship, head coach Bruce Heppler has three starters back for his 29th season on The Flats, including seniors Bartley Forrester (Gainesville, Ga.) and Christo Lamprecht (George, South Africa) and sophomore Hiroshi Tai (Singapore), each of whom are ranked among the world’s top 100 amateur players. All three are in the Jackets’ “A” lineup this weekend as Tai looks to defend his individual title from 2022, and Lamprecht looks to build on a fall in which he has a victory and a runner-up finish.

The tournament will utilize a split-tee format each day, with competition beginning at 9 a.m. Friday and Saturday, 8:30 a.m. for the final round Sunday. Tech’s A team is paired with Tennessee and UCLA for Friday’s opening round, and with Clemson and Pepperdine for Saturday’s second round, beginning each round from the first tee at 9:55 a.m. Pairings for the Sunday’s final round will be set based on the leaderboard through the conclusion of 36 holes.

Christo Lamprecht, the world’s top-ranked amateur, has one tournament victory and one runner-up finish in two fall events. (photo by Mario Terrana)

 

ROSTER OUTLOOK – Lamprecht, a first-team All-American in 2023, won The Amateur Championship and was low amateur at The Open Championship over the summer and has risen to No. 1 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking following his victory at Olympia Fields. Forrester, an All-ACC performer in 2022 with two collegiate victories, is No. 41 in the WAGR, and Tai, who won two tournaments as a freshman, is No. 68.

Competition for spots in the lineup comes from five other returnees in seniors Adam Bratton (Newburgh, Ind.), Aidan Kramer (Oviedo, Fla.) and Andy Mao (Johns Creek, Ga.), as well as junior Benjamin Reuter (Naarden, The Netherlands) and sophomore Aidan Tran (Fresno, Calif.). They have combined to compete in 39 collegiate events in their careers, while Kramer and Mao both have summer amateur victories under the belts.

Heppler added a pair of freshmen to the mix in Kale Fontenot (Lafayette, La.) and Carson Kim (Yorba Linda, Calif.), both of whom ranked among the top 15 junior golfers in the class of 2023 and made the lineup for Tech’s fall opener at Olympia Fields.

TECH LINEUP – All three of Tech’s returning starters – Lamprecht, Forrester and Tai – are in the lineup for the Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate along with Kramer and Tran.

Lamprecht set a 36-hole record score of 131 (-9) in winning the individual title at the Olympia Fields/Fighting Illini Invitational by a stroke, and narrowly missed a second title at the Ben Hogan Collegiate, losing medalist honors in a playoff. The 6-foot-8 senior also had three runner-up finishes and a third-place showing last year, and is challenging the Tech career stroke average mark at 70.16 over 104 collegiate stroke-play rounds.

Forrester, a fifth-year senior who won the 2022 Calusa Cup and the 2020 Puerto Rico Classic, has 105 stroke play rounds under his belt and a 71.77 stroke average for his career. Tai defending his 2022 title at the Golf Club of Georgia, one of two victories in a stellar freshman campaign in which he also was the ACC Championship runner-up.

Kramer is competing in his second event of the fall, 10th of his career, while Tran also is making his second start of the fall after competing in five events as a freshman.

Tech’s “B” team consists of seniors Bratton and Mao, sophomore Rackley, making his collegiate debut, and freshmen Fontenot and Kim.

TOURNAMENT INFORMATION – The Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate, formerly called the United States Collegiate Championship, is contested at the Yellow Jackets’ home club. The tournament will be played exclusively on the 7,092-yard, par 72 Lakeside Course, 18 holes each day Friday through Sunday. Competition begins at 9 a.m. Friday and Saturday, and at 8:30 a.m. Sunday. Admission is free all three days.

Twelve of the 14 teams competing at the Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate played in NCAA regionals last spring, six advancing to the NCAA Championship, and three (Tech, Pepperdine, Virginia) reaching match play. Six teams are currently ranked among the top 25 in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings.

The full field with Golfweek/Sagarin ranking in parentheses) – Charlotte, Clemson, Duke (26), East Tennessee State (11), Georgia Tech (12), Northwestern (41), Pepperdine, Southern California, Tennessee (5), Texas A&M (21), UCLA (32), Virginia (25), Wake Forest (39), Washington (7).

TECH’S GOLF CLUB OF GEORGIA COLLEGIATE HISTORY – Georgia Tech has won the Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate twice in the event’s 17-year history, in 2010 and 2012. Three Tech players have won medalist honors. James White, who set tournament records for 18-hole score (62) and 54-hole score (204, broken in 2014), won in 2010, Ollie Schniederjans won in 2013, and Hiroshi Tai followed in 2022.

Clemson, Oklahoma State, Southern California and Texas also have won twice. The Tigers captured the inaugural title in 2006 and again in 2009, the Longhorns won in 2014 and shared the title with Virginia in 2016, the Cowboys won in 2013 and 2017, and the Trojans in 2008 and 2019. The tournament was not played in the fall of 2020 due to COVID-19, and Pepperdine and Stanford have captured the last two titles.

The Yellow Jackets finished runner-up last fall in this event, and have finished in the top five 12 times in 16 years.

 


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 29th year under head coach Bruce Heppler, having won 72 tournaments in his tenure. The Yellow Jackets have won 19 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, made 33 appearances in the NCAA Championship and been the national runner-up five 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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