@GT_Golf Inches up to 11th in Hawai’i
Whaley fires 68 Friday, tied for 11th individually
Waikoloa Village, Hawai'i - Vincent Whaley shot a 4-under-par 68 Friday and moved into individual contention, while 29th-ranked Georgia Tech shot 289 and is in 11th place after 36 holes at the Amer Ari Invitational, which begins Thursday at the Waikoloa Resort Kings Course.
TEAM LEADERBOARD – Georgia Tech’s 36-hole total of 579 (+3) is 28 strokes off the pace of No. 23 UCLA, which posted a 16-under-par 272 Saturday and finished two rounds at 25-under-par 551. First-round co-leader Southern California, ranked No. 7, shot 13-under 275 Friday but slipped back to second place, two shots back at 23-under-par 553. Oregon State matched UCLA’s Friday round and is in third place at 18-under 558.
Ninth-ranked Arizona State shot the day’s best round (17-under-par 271) and made the day’s biggest move, jumping eight spots to a tie for fourth with Oregon at 15-under-par 561.
Nine of the 19 teams in the field are listed among the nation’s top 50 in this week’s Golfstat rankings.
TECH LINEUP – The Yellow Jackets began their second round on holes 13, 14 and 15 in a shotgun start at the par-72 Kings Course at Waikoloa Village, getting to 7-under-par for the round early before giving back all of their gains in the last eight holes.
Whaley, a junior from McKinney, Texas, who shot 71 Thursday, had a bogey-free round of 68, at one point birdieing three holes in a four-hole stretch mid-way through his round. Sophomore James Clark (Columbus, Ga.) duplicated his opening 73 on Friday, while sophomore Chris Petefish (Danville, Calif.) and junior Michael Hines (Acworth, Ga.) each carded 74s. Sophomore Michael Pisciotta (Alpharetta, Ga.) shot 77.
INDIVIDUAL LEADERBOARD – The golfers are within three strokes of each other entering Saturday’s final round. UCLA teammates Jonathan Garrick (66 Friday) and Cole Madey (65) are tied atop the leaderboard after 36 holes at 9-under-par 135. The foursome of Stanford’s Maverick McNealy, Oregon’s Aaron Wise, Oklahoma State’s Zachary Olsen and Southern Cal’s Rico Hoey are tie for third at 8-under 136.
USC’s Jonah Texeira, first-round leader Conner Kumpula of Oregon State and Zach Foushee of Oregon are tied for seventh at 137 (-7), and Arizona State’s Jared duToit is alone in 10th place at 138 (-6).
Whaley is in a group of seven golfers tied for 11th place at 5-under-par 139.
COACH Bruce Heppler SAYS – “We played the scoring holes early in the round today and played them much better than we did Friday, but didn’t play the heart of the course as well and couldn’t finish off the round the right way. The good news today was we made more birdies. Vince played very well today.”
TOURNAMENT INFORMATION – Georgia Tech is making its 18th appearance in the Amer Ari Invitational, which has been the traditional spring opener for the Yellow Jackets every year since 1999, except for last season. The 54-hole event, which runs through Saturday, is played at the 7,074-yard, par 72 Kings Course at the Waikoloa Resort on the Kona Coast of Hawai’i.