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Tech Surges to Share Lead at Columbus Regional

Columbus, Ohio – Erasing all of its 10-stroke deficit from round 1, Georgia Tech received a 4-under-par 67 from Ross Steelman and a 3-under-par 68 from Connor Howe, Christo Lamprecht and Benjamin Reuter Tuesday, posting the low round of the day at 13-under-par 271 to tie for the 36-hole lead at the NCAA Columbus Regional golf tournament.

The top five teams on the leaderboard following Wednesday’s final round will advance to the NCAA Championship. Tech’s 13-under-par 271 Tuesday was 10 strokes better than the next-best score (Oklahoma State’s 3-under-par 281) for a 36-hole total of 7-under-par 561. The No. 2-seeded Yellow Jackets and the top-seeded Cowboys are 13 shots ahead of third-place Ohio State and 17 ahead of Arkansas and San Francisco, who are tied for sixth place.

Steelman is in second place individually, while Benjamin Reuter and Connor Howe, each of whom shot 3-under-par 68 Tuesday, are also among the top 10 individuals after 36 holes.

Tech will tee off the first hole for round 3 at 7 a.m. Wednesday, paired with Oklahoma State and Ohio State, looking not only to advance to the NCAA Championship finals, but secure its fifth tournament victory this year and first win in an NCAA regional since 2014.  Cloudy skies with high temperatures in the upper 60s are forecast with showers and a chance of thunderstorms developing as the day goes on. Tee times were moved up a half-hour due to the potential inclement weather.

The Yellow Jackets are playing in an NCAA regional for the 24th straight year and for the 31st time in the 33 years the NCAA has used a regional qualifying format for its championship (the NCAA Championship and regionals were not conducted in 2020 due to COVID-19). Tech has advanced to the finals in six of the nine years, including each of the last two, finishing fourth in 2019 (Pullman, Wash.) and third last spring (Tallahassee, Fla.).

Ross Steelman holds second place alone by one stroke after 36 holes. (photos by Ricky Bassman)

 

TECH LINEUP – Round 2 was played in nearly ideal conditions, with temperatures around 70 degrees with sunny skies and moderate winds. The four counting Yellow Jackets avoided big numbers, piled up 20 birdies in round 2 and continued to play the three par-5 holes better than the rest of the field (14-under-par through 36 holes).

Tech’s 271 raw score was its third-lowest of the year and three strokes shy of its best in an NCAA regional round.

Steelman recorded five birdies on the way to his 67 and a 36-hole total of 139 (-3), his only blemish a bogey at the par-4 15th. The junior from Columbia, Mo., is alone in second place individually and one shot off the lead.

Reuter, a freshman from Naarden, The Netherlands, birdied four holes against one bogey for his 68 Tuesday, tying for third place at 140 (-2). Howe, a junior from Ogden, Utah, also notched four birdies and a bogey Tuesday and is ted for sixth place individually at 141 (-1). Sophomore Christo Lamprecht (George, South Africa) followed up his opening 78 with a 68 (five birdies, two bogeys) Tuesday as the Jackets’ fourth counter, and is tied for 31st place at 146 (+4).

Bartley Forrester (Gainesville, Ga.) followed his opening 73 with a 75 and did not count Tuesday.

Steelman and Reuter are tied for 14th place with their 1-over-par scores. Steelman had three birdies and four bogeys on his card, while Reuter overcame an early double bogey to birdie three of his next four holes. Bartley Forrester and Connor Howe, each carding 2-over-par 73s Monday, are tied for 25th place in the 75-player field.

Christo Lamprecht shot a 78 Monday with a pair of double bogeys to begin the back nine and did not count for the Jackets.

TEAM LEADERBOARD – Four Oklahoma State players either broke or matched par again Tuesday, allowing the Cowboys to post a 3-under-par score of 281 and maintain their lead after 36 holes at 7-under-par 561. They are one stroke ahead of the Yellow Jackets (562, -6), whose 272 score Tuesday allowed them to make up most of a 10-stroke deficit.

Host and No. 6 seed Ohio State (574, +6), No. 4 Clemson (575, +7) and No. 5 seed East Tennessee State (576, +8) are currently in position to advance, occupying third through fifth places, with No. 3 seed Arkansas and No. 10 seed San Francisco (578, +10) tied for sixth place.

INDIVIDUAL LEADERBOARD – Eugenio Lopez-Chacarra of Oklahoma State shot a second-straight 69 Tuesday to maintain the individual lead at 4-under-par 138, one stroke ahead of the Yellow Jackets’ Ross Steelman (139, -3) and two ahead of Tech’s Benjamin Reuter, Wright State’s David Root and Oakland’s Thomas Giroux (140, -2).

Tech’s Connor Howe, the Cowboys’ Aman Gupta and Jonas Baumgartner, and Ohio State’s Jackson Chandler are tied for sixth place at 141 (-1), the only other players under par for 36 holes.

REGIONAL INFORMATION/FORMAT – Eighty-one teams and 45 individuals are competing for spots in the NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship finals in six regional qualifying tournaments. The top five teams and one individual from each regional will advance to the finals (30 teams and six individuals total), which will be conducted May 27-June 1 at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Each regional is a 54-hole, stroke-play event, three of which have 13 teams and 10 individuals, the other three 14 teams and five individuals, competing. Tech is part of a regional field that includes 13 teams and 10 individuals.

The Columbus regional in which Tech will compete includes eight teams that are ranked among the top 50 teams in the nation according to Golfstat. The nation’s No. 2-ranked team, Oklahoma State, is the top seed, followed by Tech (11), Arkansas (14), Clemson (23), East Tennessee State (31), host Ohio State (27), Duke (42), Northwestern (44), Florida Gulf Coast (51), San Francisco (61), Kentucky (65), Wright State (94) and Southern Illinois (152). East Tennessee State (Southern), Southern Illinois (Missouri Valley) and Wright State (Horizon League) are automatic qualifiers after winning their conference tournaments.

The Columbus Regional is being contested on the OSU Golf Club’s Scarlet Course, which measures 7,422 yards and plays to a par of 71.

The top seeds in each regional are top-ranked Oklahoma in Norman, Okla., No. 2 Oklahoma State in Columbus, Ohio, No. 3 Vanderbilt in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., No. 4 Arizona State in Stockton, Calif., No. 5 North Carolina in New Haven, Conn., and No. 6 Pepperdine in Bryan, Texas.

Head coach Bruce Heppler talks after round 2.

Round 2 Gallery

Photos by Ricky Bassman

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 68 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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