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#TGW: The Right To Play

Aug. 24, 2014

By Matt Winkeljohn
The Good Word

Anders Albertson had a so-so walkabout Saturday on the Lakeside course at the Golf Club of Georgia, where the vibe was by the nature of its circumstances less fun than practice.

Seriously, qualifying for the right to play in tournaments for the Yellow Jackets does not qualify as party time.

With three of six rounds down, Albertson stands fourth in the chase for four spots to play in the Carpet Capital Collegiate near Dalton in two weeks. A 73 left him one-under par overall, well behind so far stunning fifth-year senior Drew Czuchry (-15). Freshmen Michael Pisciotta (-5) and James Clark (-3) trail, too.

Head coach Bruce Heppler deemed senior Ollie Schniederjans exempt from this qualifier by virtue of him making it to match play at last week’s U.S. Amateur.

The other eight are going at it.

Anders is a senior. He’s qualified for every tournament in his first three seasons as a Jacket. He won the ACC title in 2013. His career scoring average at Tech is 71.5, third-best in program history. He’s earned All ACC honors three times, something only nine other Jackets have done.

And he’s slogging it out the Heppler way.

So, forgive him if some of his usual buds are not as much his buds for a few days.

“Obviously, it’s more intense [then practice],” Albertson said. “You’re doing the math . . . not everyone is going to make the tournament. It’s a weird dynamic for sure because you came here to play. It’s not quite as friendly, but it’s not unfriendly. Everyone is a little more quiet and focused.”

Welcome back to school.

Albertson has settled into his dorm, and no, he said he doesn’t mind living in a dorm as a senior. Freshmen teammates Jacob Joiner (+2) and Chris Petefish (+4) are his roommates.

Dorms . . . it’s the Heppler way.

There’s less tension back in the Eighth Street Apartments, where the entire team is stockaded.

“That’s the way coach does it,” Heppler said. “It’s great. I think coach wanted to split up the seniors because there are so many freshmen.”

Indeed, with four freshmen to babysit, the onus is on Schniederjans, Albertson and Czuchry.

Or maybe Albertson and Czuchry.

Ollie is exempt from this form of mentoring; his roommate is third-year sophomore Michael Hines (+3).

Czuchry, who played in two fall events for the Jackets in 2011 after transferring from Akron, and then two more in ’12 before redshirting last season, drew Pisciotta, Clark and sophomore Vincent Whaley (+1) as bunk mates.

The eight non-exempt Jackets already have contested a round at East Lake and one each on the Creekside and Lakeside courses at the Golf Club of Georgia.

Still to go, two more at East Lake and another at Lakeside, presumably Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

Anders said he things have, “not been great,” so far, “but we have some time to play well, and it’ll be alright.” 


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