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Tech to Compete in NCAA Salem (S.C.) Regional

THE FLATS – Georgia Tech’s No. 11-ranked golf team, an automatic qualifier by virtue of winning the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship two weeks ago, has been made the No. 2 at the NCAA Salem (S.C.) Regional, which will be played May 15-17 at The Cliffs at Keowee Falls.

The NCAA announced on Wednesday afternoon all 81 teams and 45 individuals who will competing for spots in the NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship finals, and the fields for each of the six regional qualifying tournaments. The top five teams from each regional will advance to the finals, which will be conducted May 26-31 at Grayhawk Golf Club in Scottsdale, Ariz. Of the 81 teams, 30 were automatic qualifiers by winning their conference championships, and the other 51 earned at-large bids.

The Yellow Jackets are playing in an NCAA regional for the 25th straight year and for the 32nd time in the 34 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.

The Salem, S.C., regional in which Tech will compete has the No. 2-ranked team in college golf, North Carolina, as its top seed, and includes nine teams that are ranked among the top 50 teams in the nation according to Golfstat. In order of seed, the field includes North Carolina (2), Georgia Tech (11), Texas A&M (14), San Diego State (23), Georgia Southern (26), Arkansas (35), Purdue (38), New Mexico (47), Clemson (54), Furman (58), Middle Tennessee State (64), Northern Illinois (127), Long Island (186) and Longwood (201).

Tech (ACC), San Diego State (Mountain West), Northern Illinois (Mid-American), Long Island (Northeast) and Longwood (Big South). Clemson is the host institution.

Tech has played in three tournaments at the NCAA regional venue, competing in the Clemson Invitational at The Cliffs in 2016, 2017 and 2019. The Yellow Jackets posted a 52-under-par total of 812 over 54 holes to score an 11-stroke victory over Duke most recently in 2019. It was Tech’s third-lowest score in relation to par in program history, and the fourth-lowest 54-hole total.

The top seeds in each regional are top-ranked Vanderbilt in Auburn, Ala., No. 2 North Carolina in Salem, No. 3 Illinois in East Lansing, Mich., No. 4 Arizona State in Las Vegas, Nev., No. 5 Texas Tech in Norman, Okla., and No. 6 Pepperdine in Morgan Hill, Calif.

TEAM UPDATE – Tech has been ranked as high as No. 8 this spring in the Golfstat rankings, and currently sit No. 11 after winning the ACC Championship and posting three runner-up finishes in tournament this spring. But the Jackets hold a season-high No. 5 spot in the Golfweek/Sagarin Index, having played the nation’s eighth-toughest schedule with a 29-23-3 mark against the nation’s top 25 teams by that measure.

Statistically, Tech ranks seventh nationally in average individual score, No. 3 in final-round scoring average, No. 11 in par-3 scoring, and No. 12 in par-4 and No. 8 in par-5 scoring.

Four of the five starters who teed it up for Tech in last year’s NCAA Championship are back for this edition, including All-American Christo Lamprecht and fifth-year senior Connor Howe, who are the only Yellow Jackets to be a part of the starting five for every event this year.

Lamprecht (No. 7) and Ross Steelman (No. 17) and are Tech’s top two players in the Golfstat rankings, while Lamprecht rates No. 6 and Steelman No. 9 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Index. Howe is listed among the top 100 in both rankings (No. 50 in Golfstat, No. 55 Golfweek/Sagarin), while Bartley Forrest sneaks in the top 100 at No. 99 in Golfstat, and freshman Hiroshi Tai, who lost a playoff for ACC Championship medalist honors, is No. 91 in the Sagarin ratings.

REGIONAL QUALIFIER FORMAT – Each regional is a 54-hole, stroke-play event with 13 teams and 10 individuals, or 14 teams and five individuals, competing. Tech is part of a regional field that includes 14 teams and five individuals. The top five teams after 54 holes and one individual not on those teams advance from each regional to the NCAA Championship finals, which has a field of 30 teams and six individuals.

Georgia Tech defeated Wake Forest to capture its 19th Atlantic Coast Conference Championship two weeks ago, securing an automatic bid to the NCAA regionals (photo by Andy Mead)

 

"This is an exciting time of year for all of us, and we're anxious to get after it and see how far we can go. I’m excited for this group of guys, coming off an ACC Championship, to go out and compete. Regardless of the venue and the teams we face, we've got to play well for three days to get a chance to advance."

Head coach Bruce Heppler


 

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 28th year under head coach Bruce Heppler, winning 71 tournaments in his tenure. The Yellow Jackets have won 19 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, made 31 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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