Florida Downs @GT_GOLF in DSG Challenge
Clark wins, Joiner and Whaley halve for Yellow Jackets
Kingston Springs, Tenn. - James Clark defeated Florida's Ryan Celano, and Georgia Tech halved two other matches but lost to Florida, 2-1-2, Sunday in the match play portion of the DICK'S Sporting Goods Collegiate Challenge Cup.
Clark, a sophomore from Columbus, Ga., led from the start in his match with Celano, making birdie on the par-3 10th to open their match and extending his lead to four holes through the seventh hole of the match. Celano rallied, trimming Clark's lead to just one hole with five to play, but the Tech sophomore won the next two holes with pars and closed out the match with a half at No. 7.
Sophomore Jacob Joiner never led against Gordon Neale, but rallied from a two-hole deficit on the back nine to earn a half point for the Jackets. Junior Vincent Whaley played Sam Horsfield nearly even for their entire match to earn another half for Tech.
A double-bogey at the opening 10th put Michael Hines in catch-up mode the entire match against the Gators' top player, Ryan Orr, but the Tech junior stayed close before succumbing on the 17th hole for a 2 & 1 loss. Jorge Garcia defeated Tech sophomore Chris Petefish, 4 & 3.
CONFERENCE CHALLENGE -- The Atlantic Coast Conference defended their conference title from a year ago, defeating the Southeastern Conference 15.5-14.5 in individual matches on Sunday at the Golf Club of Tennessee. Duke defeated Kentucky, 3-2, while top-ranked Florida State took down Georgia, 3-1-1, and Louisville got by Alabama, 3-2. The SEC won the other two matches, with Vanderbilt defeating Virginia and Tennessee downing Clemson by 3-2 scores. Vanderbilt won the stroke-play part of the tournament in a playoff over Virginia on Saturday.
COACH Bruce Heppler SAYS -- "This is been a good opportunity to learn about ourselves. Right now, we make too many unforced errors, but we'll keep moving on and see what happens. Vince had a great weekend."
TOURNAMENT INFORMATION -- The DICK'S Sporting Good Collegiate Challenge Cup includes a 54-hole stroke-play tournament Friday and Saturday, followed by an 18-hole match-play finale, set for Sunday, which pits the Atlantic Coast Conference teams against Southeastern Conference teams in the field to determine "Top Conference" honors. The 12-team field includes Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Louisville and Virginia from the ACC, and Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Vanderbilt from the SEC. Ten of the 12 teams are listed in this week's Golfweek/Sagarin Index top 50. The tournament is contested at the Golf Club of Tennessee in Franklin Springs, Tenn., outside of Nashville.
TECH'S TOURNAMENT HISTORY -- In their first appearance in the event, the Yellow Jackets won the stroke-play portion last fall when senior Drew Czuchry holed a chip from the fringe of the 18th green. The stroke gave Tech a one-shot win over Vanderbilt and a 16-under-par tournament score of 848. Ollie Schniederjans (-8) finished third individually, while Czuchry (-4) tied for ninth, and Anders Albertson (-2) finished 13th. Tech and Vanderbilt tied their Sunday match, 2-2-1. James Clark (T23) and Vincent Whaley (T29) rounded out Tech's starting five for the DICK'S Sporting Goods Challenge last fall and are back in the lineup for this weekend.
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.