@GT_Golf Tied for 13th at USCC
Jackets struggle in opening round despite optimal weather and course conditions
On a day with weather conditions nearly perfect, a cloudless sky, light breeze and high temperatures in the upper 70s, and greens softened from rains earlier in the week, Tech counted a 73 from All-American Ollie Schniederjans, a 74 from freshman Jacob Joiner and a 77 from freshman Chris Petefish, who was playing his first competitive collegiate round. Senior Anders Albertson carded a 79 and did not count.
"We played poorly today," said head coach Bruce Heppler, whose team failed to record a birdie on the back nine of its home course. "We have three seniors that have to play, and they didn't play. They're going to have to carry the load until these younger guys get better and figure this stuff out. Chris Petefish is playing in his first college tournament, and Jacob Joiner is in his second one. When your three seniors shoot that many over par, [the freshmen] aren't going to cover that up. We're as good as [the seniors] are right now, and they didn't play very well today."
Thus, the Jackets posted an opening 296 (+8), with Kent State (304, +16) the only team to post a higher score Friday. Virginia, ranked 25th, rode a 9-under-par 66 from Denny McCarthy and a 66 from Derek Bard to shoot 272 (-16) and take a six-shot lead over ninth-ranked Texas. The Longhorns shot 278 (-10) behind a 67 from Gavin Hall and a 68 from Scottie Scheffler.
Texas A&M was third at 281 (-7), followed by No. 6 Stanford at 283 (-5). No. 8 Auburn and No. 24 East Tennessee State are tied for fifth at 286 (-2), and No. 5 UCLA also broke par with a 287 total (-1) to hold seventh place.
"This is a little bit different field, so to get back into contention here is a little harder to do than other places we play," added Heppler. "You just have to start climbing the mountain tomorrow morning and see what you can do, figure out how to get some momentum going."
McCarthy's 63, which includes 10 birdies and one bogey, staked him to a three-stroke lead over his teammate Bard, whjo played bogey-free, and Stanford's Maverick McNealy, ranked No. 2 in the nation according to Golfstat. Hall and Washington's Cheng-Tsung Pan are tied for fourth place after shooting 68 (-4).
Tech's counting players will begin round 2 off the 10th tee Saturday at 9:30 a.m. The four individuals will start at No. 10 at 9:20 a.m.
UNITED STATES COLLEGIATE CHAMPIONSHIP Golf Club of Georgia, Alpharetta, Ga. First-round Results
Team Standings 1 Virginia 272 -16 2 Texas 278 -10 3 Texas A&M 281 -7 4 Stanford 283 -5 T5 Auburn 286 -2 T5 East Tennessee St. 286 -2 7 UCLA 287 -1 8 Wake Forest 288 E T9 Oklahoma State 290 +2 T9 Washington 290 +2 11 Iowa 291 +3 12 Clemson 294 +6 T13 LSU 296 +8 T13 Georgia Tech 296 +8 15 Kent State 304 +16
Individual Leaders 1 Denny McCarthy Virginia 63 -9 T2 Derek Bard Virginia 66 -6 T2 Maverick McNealy Stanford 66 -6 T4 Gavin Hall Texas 67 -5 T4 Cheng-Tsung Pan Washington 67 -5 T6 Scottie Scheffler Texas 68 -4 T6 Rhys Pugh East Tennessee St. 68 -4 T6 Will Long Auburn 68 -4 T6 Kristoffer Ventura Oklahoma State 68 -4 T10 Carson Schaake Iowa 69 -3 T10 Jonathan Garrick UCLA 69 -3 T10 Adria Arnaus Texas A&M 69 -3 T13 Kramer Hickok Texas 70 -2 T13 Lorens Chan UCLA 70 -2 T13 Andrew Paysse Texas A&M 70 -2 T13 Andrew Lister Texas A&M 70 -2 T17 Nick McLaughlin Virginia 71 -1 T17 Michael Hines * Georgia Tech 71 -1 T17 James Clark * Georgia Tech 71 -1 T17 Paul McBride Wake Forest 71 -1 T17 Danny Guise Wake Forest 71 -1 T17 Daniel Stringfellow Auburn 71 -1 T17 David Boote Stanford 71 -1
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH GOLF
Georgia Tech's golf team is in its 20th year under head coach Bruce Heppler. The Yellow Jackets have won 15 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, made 27 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.