Joiner Wins Carpet Capital Collegiate
Yellow Jackets slip down the stretch, finish fifth
Rocky Face, Ga. - Georgia Tech sophomore Jacob Joiner shot an even-par 72 Sunday and held steady over the final seven holes to win his first collegiate championship at the 27th Carpet Capital Collegiate at The Farm Golf Club in Rocky Face, Ga. The Yellow Jackets wound up in fifth place in the team standings.
Playing only the sixth tournament in his collegiate career, Joiner put his name on one of collegiate golf's most venerable trophies alongside Yellow Jacket greats Stewart Cink, Bryce Molder, Troy Matteson, Chesson Hadley and Ollie Schniederjans, all of whom are currently active on the PGA Tour.
The second-year player from Leesburg, Ga., began his run by firing a 6-under-par 66 Friday, following that with a 74 Saturday. He began Sunday's final round in third place, one shot off the lead, and birdied two of his first three holes to get back in the lead, which grew to three shots at the turn. Bogeys at 10 and 11 dropped him back into a three-way tie at the top, but Joiner made birdie and both of the par 5s on the back nine, giving him enough of a cushion to weather a closing bogey. He completed 54 holes in 212 strokes, four shots under par, for a one-stroke victory over Clemson's Stephen Behr and Austin Langdale.
TEAM LEADERBOARD -- Under a brilliantly clear sky with mild temperatures but gusty winds, Auburn shot a 1-under-par 287 Sunday and won the team championship by nine strokes while the rest of the field fell back. The Tigers finished the tournament at 4-over-par 868. Clemson (+6 Sunday) finished second at 877 (+13), followed by South Carolina at 880 (+16), LSU at 883 (+19) and Tech at 885 (+21).
The Yellow Jackets began the day in third place, just four shots behind 36-hole leader Alabama, and were paired in the final groups with Auburn and the Crimson Tide. While Auburn surged, Tech faded on the back nine and shot 303 (+15), and Alabama shot the highest score of the day (317, +29) to finish sixth.
INDIVIDUAL LEADERBOARD -- Joiner shot 4-under-par 212 to edge out Clemson's Stephen Behr (74 Sunday) and Austin Langdale (69) by one shot. LSU's Zach Wright posted the day's low round of 66 to finish tied for fourth at 1-under 215 with Florida's Sam Horsfield.
TECH LINEUP -- Tech's counting scores Sunday included Joiner's 72, a 73 from sophomore James Clark and a 78 from Tyler Joiner. Vincent Whaley and Chris Petefish, who were in the Yellow Jackets' starting lineup for the NCAA Championship last spring, each shot 80. Michael Hines shot 79 competing as an individual.
Clark posted the second top-20 finish of his career, tying for 12th place at 220 (+4). Petefish tied for 27th place at 226 (+10), while Whaley tied for 45th at 229 (+13) and freshman Tyler Joiner tied for 62nd at 235 (+19) in his collegiate debut. Hines tied for 55th at 233 (+17).
COACH Bruce Heppler SAYS -- "I'm thrilled that we played in the last groups the last two days. You can't learn to do it if you don't. Obviously we've got to get our two guys who played in the NCAA Championship to play better than they did today. We had two really good rounds, but that's not enough. They have to learn. Those guys have gone from riding along to being at the front of the bus. Overall, though, for these guys to go through three days of stress like they did was really positive. And to have a guy who didn't play in the NCAAs last year win the tournament bodes well."
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH GOLF
Georgia Tech's golf team is in its 21st year under head coach Bruce Heppler. The Yellow Jackets have won 16 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, made 28 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.