Tech Shares 36-Hole Lead at Valspar Invitational
Schniederjans paces No. 4 Yellow Jackets with 8-under-par score through 36 holes
March 24, 2014
Palm City, Fla. - Ollie Schniederjans fired a pair of 4-under-par 67s on Monday, lifting Georgia Tech into a first-place tie with Oklahoma State after two rounds of the Valspar Collegiate Invitational at Floridian.
The fourth-ranked Yellow Jackets opened the tournament with a 10-under-par score of 274 and were one shot behind the No. 3 Cowboys after 18 holes. Tech followed with a 4-under 280 in the afternoon, falling as many as seven shots behind Oklahoma State (273-281) before rallying down the stretch to even the score after 36 holes.
"We hung in there pretty well today, probably playing 18 holes in some kind of rain or drizzle," said Tech coach Bruce Heppler. "But this is a great event, and the golf course is terrific."
Both teams hold 14-under-par totals of 554 after two rounds, two shots better than LSU (-12). SMU (-11) is in fourth place, followed by No. 9 Illinois (-10). No. 16 UCLA and No. 12 Florida State (-7) are tied for sixth. Seven of the 15 teams in the Valspar Invitational are ranked among the nation's top 25.
The turning point of the second round was the last two holes, including the 493-yard, par-4 18th, on which the Cowboys lost six strokes to Tech. The finishing hole may prove decisive Tuesday with the top five teams within four strokes as the final round begins.
"The 18th played into the wind, and we managed it a little better today," said Heppler. "It is as good a finishing hole as we'll play, and we played a lot of good shots on it today. We'll need to do the same tomorrow."
Schniederjans was steady in both of his rounds Monday, recording five birdies and an eagle to offset one bogey and one double bogey in the morning. The junior from Powder Springs, Ga., played the front nine in 4-under-par in the afternoon and the back nine in all pars to complete 36 holes at 8-under-par 134. He is three shots behind Florida State's Jack Maguire, who shot 65-66 for an 11-under-par total of 131. LSU's Stewart Jolly holds second place at 9-under-par 133.
Seth Reeves and Bo Andrews are the other Jackets under par for 36 holes. Reeves, a senior from Duluth, Ga., shot 3-under-par 68 in the morning and even-par 71 in the afternoon and is tied for 14th place individually at 3-under-par 139. Andrews, a senior from Raleigh, N.C., shot 1-under-par 70 in each round and is tied for 19th place (2-under 140).
Tech is in the final pairing for Tuesday's final round with Oklahoma State and LSU, beginning its round at 9:33 a.m.
VALSPAR COLLEGIATE INVITATIONAL AT FLORIDIAN
Floridian Golf Club, Palm City, Fla.
Georgia Tech 554 (-14), Oklahoma State 554, LSU 556, SMU 557, Illinois 558, UCLA 561, Florida State 561, Tennessee 562, Texas A&M 562, South Florida 565, Houston 566, Kent State 568, Arkansas 569, Florida 571, Lamar 587.
Jack Maguire, Florida State, 131 (-11); Stewart Jolly, LSU, 133; Ollie Schniederjans, Georgia Tech, 134; Andrew Lister, Texas A&M, 135; J.D. Tomlinson, Florida, 135; Chase Koepka, South Florida, 135; Kevin Dougherty, Oklahoma State, 136; Austin Smotherman, SMU, 137; Jonathan Garrick, UCLA, 137