Tech Earns No. 2 Seed for Match Play at NCAA Championship
Yellow Jackets open match play championship vs. 7th seed UNLV at 11:30 a.m. Friday
May 30, 2013
Milton, Ga. - Seth Reeves posted his third straight subpar round Thursday with a 68, and Georgia Tech completed 54 holes of stroke play in second place at the NCAA Division I Men's Golf Championship. The Yellow Jackets advance to the match play portion of the championship for the third time in the last four years.
Tech, with a 10-under-par tournament total of 830, is the No. 2 seed and faces No. 7 UNLV (842, +2) at 11:30 a.m. Friday at the Capital City Club Crabapple Course. Top-ranked California (824, -16) started extremely strong for the second straight day and finished first by six shots over Tech, earning the top seed for match play against No. 8 Arizona State (842, +2) at 10 a.m. Friday.
Alabama (833, -7) finished third and will face No. 6 seed New Mexico (842, +2) at 12:15 p.m., while Texas (833, -7) finished fourth and takes on No. 5 seed Illinois (835, -5) at 10:45 a.m.
The winner of the Tech-UNLV match advances to face the winner of Alabama-New Mexico at 10:45 a.m. Saturday, preceded at 10 a.m. by the Cal-Arizona State winner vs. the Texas-Illinois winner in Saturday's semifinals. The championship match will be played at 10 a.m. Sunday.
Arizona State, New Mexico, Texas A&M and UNLV tied for sixth place at the end of the round Thursday, forcing a playoff to eliminate one of those teams to complete the match play draw. The Aggies were knocked out with an aggregate score of 1-over-par on the five playoff holes used. The other three teams played them in even par to make the match play field for Friday.
"Now is the fun part. It's an entirely different experience (match play)," said Tech coach Bruce Heppler. "The whole thing changes now. You have a putt to win a hole, lose a hole."
Ollie Schniederjans shot even-par 70 Thursday for Tech, while freshman Shun Yat Hak carded a 71 and Anders Albertson and Bo Andrews each shot 73. California reached 20-under-par at one point Thursday and gave back four shots on the back nine, but the Yellow Jackets were never able to gain any momentum to take advantage. The Bears posted a 5-under-par round of 275 for the day, while the Yellow Jackets finished at 282 (+2).
"We didn't start well today. I guess we got within three or four on the back, but they're good," Heppler said of the Bears. "I had a front row seat to watch the guy who won the tournament (medalist Max Homa, who shot 66 Thursday), and he played awesome. But they've got a match tomorrow and so do we, and that's all we can ask for."
Schniederjans finished in a tie for eighth place at 5-under-par 205, earning automatic All-America honors in the process. He was five strokes shy of Homa, who finished at 9-under 201 and won by three strokes over a group of six players. Reeves, one of five players in the field to break par in each round on the 7,319-yard, par 70 Crabapple Course, tied for 13th place at 4-under 206. Albertson tied for 26th at 209 (-1), Hak tied for 32nd at 210 (E).
In the four years the NCAA has used the match play format to decide its men's Division I champion, Georgia Tech has qualified for match play twice - in 2010 at the Honors Course in Ooltewah, Tenn., and in 2011 at Karsten Creek in Stillwater, Okla. The Yellow Jackets finished third and second, respectively, in the stroke play portion of those championships. Tech tied for 10th in 2009 at Inverness in Toledo, Ohio, and did not advance to the championship last year.
Each time previously, the Yellow Jackets lost in the quarterfinals to eventual national champion Augusta State by the identical scores of 3-2.
2013 NCAA MEN'S DIVISION I MEN'S GOLF CHAMPIONSHIP Match Play Championship Schedule