Jackets Surge Ahead by 16 at NCAA Raleigh Regional
Schniederjans leads medal race, all five Jackets are in the top 11
May 16, 2014
Raleigh, N.C. - Led by Anders Albertson's 4-under-par 67, four Georgia Tech players broke 70 during the second round of play, and the top-seeded Yellow Jackets bolted to a 16-stroke lead over Washington after 36 holes at the NCAA Raleigh Regional.
Tech, ranked fifth in the nation according to Golfstat, shot a 12-under-par 272 in the afternoon for a 36-hole total of 540 (-28). The Jackets opened Friday's play four strokes ahead of No. 8 Washington but extended its lead with a strong back nine and put themselves in position to earn their sixth tournament victory of the year.
Bo Andrews and Ollie Schniederjans each shot 3-under-par 68 in the second round, while Seth Reeves added a 2-under 69 as the Yellow Jackets accumulated 11 birdies and just one bogey on the back nine of the 7,213-yard, par-71 Lonnie Poole Golf Course.
"Following up a good round is hard to do sometimes," said Tech coach Bruce Heppler. "It took a little longer to get going in the second round, and the wind was completely different. Some of the holes on the front played harder, and the holes on the back didn't play as hard. But everybody knew the score and the way we played the back was really encouraging."
On the re-start of the first round, which was suspended Thursday afternoon due to heavy rains in the area, Tech picked up six strokes on Washington in the 12 holes it took the teams to finish, and posted a 16-under-par 268 while the Huskies fell back to a 6-under 278. Andrews and fellow senior Richard Werenski, the fourth and fifth players in the Tech lineup, paced Tech in that opening round with a 67 and a 66, respectively, while Schniederjans finished off a 68 and Reeves a 69.
"I think everybody struggled but us (on the re-start)," Heppler said. "We had four birdies and two bogeys and the teams we played with struggled a little. The holes were hard. It's been 36 really good holes for us."
The Huskies enter Saturday's final round 16 shots behind at 556 (-12), while Kentucky stands third at 560 (-8). The fourth- through ninth-place teams - No. 20 Texas A&M (-3), No. 17 Florida State (-1), Big Ten champion Minnesota (+5), Wake Forest (+5) and South Alabama (+6) - are within nine strokes of one another in a race to be one of the top five teams that advance to the NCAA Championship finals, May 23-28, at Prairie Dunes Golf Club in Hutchinson, Kan.
Schniederjans, the ACC Player of the Year and Ben Hogan Award finalist, birdied four holes on the back side Friday afternoon, including 13, 14 and 15 in succession, and vaulted himself into the individual lead at 8-under-par 134. Bidding for his sixth tournament victory of the year, the junior from Powder Springs, Ga., has a one-shot lead over Andrews, Kentucky's Stephen Powers and Washington's Jonathan Sanders.
Reeves' pair of 69s has him alone in seventh place at 4-under 138, while Albertson (73-67) is tied for ninth place at 2-under-par 140. Werenski (66-75) is tied for 11th place at 1-under 141.
Andrews, a senior playing in his hometown of Raleigh, has looked at home in firing rounds of 67 and 68 for his 7-under-par 135 total. He played bogey free in the opening round, then after bogeying the third hole of the second round, posted four more birdies without a bogey in his final 15 holes of the afternoon round.
"He looked really relaxed today," said Heppler. "From my vantage point, from his walk, he looked like he knew what he was doing and he was really comfortable. He got in a groove and played phenomenal the entire day. Anders played like we need him to. He's a good player, and as I told him before the tournament, we have to toss out a score every day. You hope it's a 67 or a 68, but it's a team deal, and these five guys are into that. Richy got us a score in the first round and not in the second, but that's fine. He shot 5-under in the first round, and that's a huge round for us."
Saturday's final round will begin at 7:30 a.m. Tech will be paired with Washington and Kentucky and tee off beginning at 8:40 a.m.