Aug. 29, 2014
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech’s golf team, which will have a decidedly new look this season with only two starters returning, also has a fresh look in its 2014 fall schedule.
The Yellow Jackets, coming off a fifth-place finish in the NCAA Championship and ranked No. 3 in the pre-season poll by the Golf Coaches Association of America, begin as usual next week with the Carpet Capital Collegiate in Rocky Face, Ga., and host a power-leaden field in the United States Collegiate Championship in October. But head coach Bruce Heppler has added three new events to challenge his young team. Here’s a quick look at each of the five events Tech will play this fall.
Carpet Capital Collegiate (Sept. 5-7, The Farm Golf Club, Rocky Face, Ga.) – Tech has been the institutional host of this event since its inception in 1989, winning seven times. The Yellow Jackets won last year for the first time since 2001, by six strokes over Georgia. The field maintains its predominantly ACC (Clemson, Tech, North Carolina, Wake Forest) and SEC (Auburn, Alabama, Florida, LSU, South Carolina, Tennessee) flavor, and has six 2014 NCAA Championship teams in the 14-team field. Tech senior All-American Ollie Schniederjans returns to defend one of his two fall titles.
Dick’s Sporting Goods Collegiate Challenge Cup (Sept. 19-21, Golf Club of Tennessee, Kingston Springs, Tenn.) – Tech is in the field for the second annual event, a unique multi-day collegiate event that brings six teams each from the ACC and SEC to The Golf Club of Tennessee for a 54-hole team stroke play event, followed by an 18-hole match play conference finale, pitting the teams in each conference against each other to play for “Top Conference” honors. Representing the Atlantic Coast Conference will be Clemson, Duke, Georgia Tech, Louisville, NC State, and Virginia. Georgia, Missouri, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Texas A&M, and Vanderbilt will represent the Southeastern Conference in this year’s event. Tech played in an NCAA regional in this golf course in 2005.
Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate (Oct. 6-7, Old Overton Golf Club, Vestavia Hills, Ala.) – Tech returns to this event, hosted by 2013 national champion and pre-season No. 1 Alabama, for the first time since winning it in 2005, and for the 11th time overall. The 12-team field includes six teams that played in last year’s NCAA Championship.
United States Collegiate Championship (Oct. 17-19, Golf Club of Georgia, Alpharetta, Ga.) – Annually boasting one of the top fields in any collegiate event, Tech has hosted the USCC since 2006 on its home course at the Golf Club of Georgia. The Yellow Jackets have won twice (2010, 2012) and finished second by one shot to Oklahoma State, pre-season No. 1 in the coaches poll, last fall. Schneiderjans won medalist honors last year by four shots. This year’s field features 10 teams that made last spring’s NCAA Championship, including stroke-play champion Stanford, and five teams that advanced to match play.
Warrior Princeville Makai Invitational (Nov. 3-5, Makai Golf Club, Princeville, Hawai’i) – Coach Bruce Heppler added a fifth event to the fall slate which takes place on the Hawai’ian island of Kawai, and it replaces Tech’s traditional spring opener, the Amer Ari Invitational on the Big Island’s Kona coast in February. The tournament is in its third year and last fall attracted teams like Arizona State, Baylor, Louisville, Mississippi State, East Tennessee State, Pepperdine and Cal State-Fullerton, which won the team title.
Instead of the Amer Ari Invitational, Tech’s spring schedule will begin with the Puerto Rico Classic in late February. The Yellow Jackets will defend their titles at the Valspar Invitational at Floridian and the Robert Kepler Invitational in Columbus, Ohio, and have added appearances at the Seminole Intercollegiate in Tallahassee, Fla., and the Mason Rudolph Invitational in Nashville, Tenn. The 2015 ACC Championship remains at the Old North State Club in New London, N.C., and the NCAA Championship is at the Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Fla.
TECH QUALIFYING UPDATE
Red-shirt senior Drew Czuchry has built a commanding lead in Georgia Tech’s 108-hole qualifying tournament which will determine the Yellow Jackets’ season-opening lineup for next week’s Carpet Capital Collegiate in Rocky Face, Ga.
With four spots in the lineup up for grabs, Czuchry, from Auburn, Ga., had a 12-stroke lead (344) over sophomore Michael Hines (356) and Anders Albertson (356) after the fifth round of play Thursday at East Lake Golf Club. Freshmen Jacob Joiner and James Clark were tied for the fourth spot at 357, while freshman Chris Petefish, sophomore Vincent Whaley and freshman Michael Pisciotta all are within six shots of the cut. The final 18-hole round is set for Friday at the Golf Club of Georgia.
The top four finishers will join All-American Ollie Schniederjans in the Tech quintet that travels to the Carpet Capital Collegiate next week. Schniederjans, a senior from Powder Springs, Ga., is exempt from qualifying after reaching match play at the U.S. Amateur.
FOUR JACKETS ADVANCE IN FEDEX CUP PLAYOFFS
Four Georgia Tech alumni – Matt Kuchar, Cameron Tringale, Stewart Cink and Chesson Hadley – advanced from The Barclays, the first stage of the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup playoffs, into this week’s Deustche Bank Championship outside of Boston, Mass.
Tringale finished in a tie for second at The Barclays after briefly sharing the final round lead and jumped to 10th in the FedEx Cup points standings, putting the 2009 Tech graduate in good position to play in the season-ending Tour Championship, Sept. 10-14 at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta.
Kuchar, who tied for fifth place after a closing 67, is fourth in FedEx Cup points and is bidding to come to Atlanta for the second straight year.
Cink, No. 72 after tying for 15th at The Barclays, and Hadley, No. 79 after a 70th-place finish, need good performances this week at the Deutsche Bank Championship in order to be in the top 70 for next week’s BMW Championship in Denver, Colo.
JACKETS ON TOUR
■ Roberto Castro, Troy Matteson and Matt Weibring are in the field for this week’s Hotel Fitness Championship in Fort Wayne, Ind., the first stage in the four-week Web.com Tour Finals. For Castro and Matteson, who finished outside the top 125 in FedEx Cup points this season, the Web.com Tour Finals are their avenue to retain their PGA Tour cards for 2014-15 if they can finish among the top 50 money earners after the four-tournament series. Weibring played full-time on the Web.com Tour this year and finished 32nd in earnings. The top 25 in regular-season earnings receive PGA Tour cards for 2014-15, and an additional 25 receive Tour status through the Web.com Tour finals.
■ Kyle Scott, a 2011 Tech All-American from Johannesburg, South Africa, fired a front nine three under par 33 to catch overnight leader Matt Hughes at the turn and made some clutch pars down the stretch to capture the Hopkins Tour’s Okefenokee Classic presented by Flash Foods. Scott finished at 12-under-par for the tournament after his final round 70. He won $15,000 for the victory.
■ Seth Reeves, a 2014 All-American who graduated in May, is making his professional debut this week at the eGolf Tour River Hills Championship in Lake Wylie, S.C. He opened with a 1-under-par 70 Wednesday and followed with a 73 Thursday, and is tied for 21st place, safely above the cut line. The Duluth, Ga., native is entered two eGolf Tour events in preparation to compete PGA Tour Qualifying School later this fall. Reeves finished his amateur career after reaching match play at the U.S. Amateur earlier in August.
Kyle Scott earned $15,000 for his win at the Okefenokee Classic this week.
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH GOLF
Georgia Tech’s golf team is in its 20th year under head coach Bruce Heppler. The Yellow Jackets have won 15 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, made 27 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 (@GT_Golf). For more information on Tech golf, visit Ramblinwreck.com.