March 6, 2014
THE FLATS – The third stop on Georgia Tech’s spring golf schedule should prove to be the most difficult test of the season as the third-ranked Yellow Jackets take on the strongest field and the hardest golf course at the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters in Las Vegas, Nev.
The SHC Masters, played on the 7,510-yard, par-72 Southern Highlands Golf Club, features 12 teams in the current national top 30, five of those in the top 10, including top-ranked Alabama, No. 2 Oklahoma State, No. 4 California and No. 5 Georgia.
The defending NCAA Champion Crimson Tide won 11 tournaments last weekend, including the recent Puerto Rico Classic in which the Yellow Jackets surged on the final day but came up four strokes short. The Cowboys won the other event in which Tech has played, the Amer Ari Invitational in Hawai’i.
In those events, the champions each shot 45-under-par for 54 holes, and the Yellow Jackets collectively broke par by 68 strokes. That is not likely to happen at Southern Highlands, where the winning score last spring was -8 by California, and none of the other 14 teams did better than +5 (Alabama). Tech finished seventh with a score of 890 (+26), and has not finished higher than sixth in this event since it moved to Southern Highlands in 2004.
Reeves (Duluth, Ga.), a two-time winner in the fall, is ranked No. 35, while Albertson (Woodstock, Ga.) is No. 62, in the latest Golfstat rankings for Georgia Tech, which is led by junior Ollie Schniederjans (Powder Springs, Ga.), also a two-time winner in the fall ranked No. 12. Collectively, that group has nine top-5 finishes between them in six team events and a collective stroke average of 70.27 in 60 rounds.
They are joined in the Tech lineup by another pair of seniors in Bo Andrews and Richard Werenski. Andrews (Raleigh, N.C.) played 54 holes with only one bogey at Puerto Rico and posted an 11-under-par score of 205, one shot shy of tying for medalist honors. Werenski (South Hadley, Mass.) fired a 10-under-par 62 on the final day at Puerto Rico and wound up in a tie for 22nd.
Notes: Tech is ranked No. 3 in the Golfstat rankings, which are used bv the NCAA to seed teams for the regionals and national championship, but the Yellow Jackets are No. 2 in the current Golfweek/Sagarin Index … Tech’s average drop score this year is 75.10, second best among teams in the Golfstat top-25 (Oklahoma State’s average drop is 74.79) … Tech has the fifth toughest schedule among the nation’s top 25 teams according to the Golfstat analysis (Washington, UCLA, Stanford and Texas are 1-4), and have the 15th most difficult schedule according to the Sagarin ratings … Tech is 19-5-3 head-to-head vs. the nation’s top 25, 34-9-3 vs. the top 50, and 61-9-3 vs. the top 100 … In the Golfweek/Sagarin ratings, Schniederjans is ranked No. 8, followed by Reeves (23), Albertson (28), Werenski (83) and Andrews (129) … Tech’s lineup in Las Vegas collectively has four wins, 12 top-5 finishes and 15 top-10 finishes in six team events … Schniederjans (69.71 stroke average), Reeves (70.56) and Albertson (70.57) all hold season stroke averages that would rank in Tech’s top five all-time if the season ended today.
About Georgia Tech Golf
Georgia Tech’s golf team is in its 19th year under head coach Bruce Heppler. The Yellow Jackets have won 14 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, made 26 appearances in the NCAA Championship and been the national runner-up four times.