Georgia Tech in 10th Place at Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate
31st-ranked Yellow Jackets improve by 11 shots in Saturday's round, nine strokes off the lead
Alpharetta, Ga. - Georgia Tech got 1-under-par 71s from three players and improved its team score by 11 shots Saturday, moving up to 10th place and within nine shots of the lead after 36 holes at the Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate at the Golf Club of Georgia.
TECH LINEUP -- Freshman Luke Schniederjans (Powder Springs, Ga.) and juniors James Clark (Columbus, Ga.) and Chris Petefish (Danville, Calif.) each shot 1-under-par 71 Saturday in breezy conditions in which winds gusted to 26 miles per hour. Freshman Tyler Strafaci (Davie, Fla.) and junior Michael Pisciotta (Alpharetta, Ga.) each shot 73 as the Yellow Jackets posted a 2-under-par 286, gaining two positions on the leaderboard.
Schniederjans, off to a flying start as a freshman, has broken par in six of eight collegiate rounds this fall and is tied for 29th place individually. Clark, with three birdies and two bogeys on his card Saturday, is tied for 17th place, best among the Jackets along with junior Michael Hines, who shot 69 Saturday competing as an individual.
TEAM LEADERBOARD -- First-round leader Oklahoma shot 291 (+3) Saturday, losing ground to par, but recaptured the lead after Duke collapsed on the back nine. The eighth-ranked Sooners have a 36-hole total of 574 (-2), two strokes ahead of No. 7 Virginia and No. 21 Texas A&M (both at even-par 576). The Cavaliers shot 287 (-1) on Saturday.
Duke scorched the front nine of the Lakeside course Saturday, at one point moving to 9-under-par for the round and 12-under-par for the tournament, eight shots ahead of the field. But the 26th-ranked Blue Devils dropped 10 shots to par on the back nine and fell into a tie for fourth place with No. 9 Wake Forest and No. 19 Southern California at 576 (+2).
The Demon Deacons and the Trojans had the best rounds of the day, 9-under-par 279, advancing eight spots each to move into the three-way tie with Duke. No. 13 Stanford and No. 28 Texas are tied for seventh at 579 (+3), and No. 2 Oklahoma State is alone in ninth place at 580 (+4).
Tech and Auburn are tied for 10th at 582 (+7), nine shots off the pace.
INDIVIDUAL LEADERBOARD -- Virginia's Jimmy Stanger maintained his lead with a 4-under-par 68 Saturday, and finished 36 holes at 9-under-par 135, two strokes ahead of Oklahoma's Max McGreevey (137, -7), who shot 69 Saturday.
Texas' Doug Ghim, with a 67 Saturday, and Duke's Chandler Eaton, who carded a 70, are tied for third place at 6-under-par 138. Southern California's Andrew Levitt posted the day's best round of 66 and moved into solo fifth place at 4-under-par 140.
Four others are tied at 141 (-3), and 16 golfers are under par for 36 holes.
COACH Bruce Heppler SAYS -- "Obviously we had a much better round today. It was good to see all five guys be in the game and competing. We have a tremendous field in this event, and this is the way we need to play every round in order to compete with the best teams in college golf."
TOURNAMENT INFORMATION -- The 11th annual Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate, formerly called the United States Collegiate Championship, concludes Sunday at the Golf Club of Georgia, which serves at the Yellow Jackets' home club. This year for the first time, the tournament has utilized both of the club's courses, the 7,017-yard, par 72 Lakeside Course and the 7,039-yard, par-72 Creekside Course, for the first two rounds of the event. Each team played one round on each course Friday or Saturday, and all 17 teams will play the final round Sunday on the Lakeside Course, where every round of the tournament was played in previous years. Competition begins at 8 a.m. Sunday. Admission is free.
Auburn and Wake Forest were co-champions of last year's tournament, while Virginia's Derek Bard, Stanford's Maverick McNealy, Auburn's Will Long and Wake Forest's Cameron Young tied for medalist honors. The field is traditionally one of the strongest in college golf, and 14 of the 17 teams this year are in the current Golfstat top 50. Six of those are ranked among the top 10, with four others in the top 25. Auburn and Wake Forest are back to defend their 2015 shared title, and all four co-medalists from 2015 are back as well. Bard also won medalist honors alone in 2014 with a tournament-record score of 201 (-15). Twelve of the nation's current top 25 players, according to Golfstat, are in the field.
The field, in alphabetical order with current Golfstat ranking -- Auburn (3), Clemson (16), Duke (26), East Tennessee State (111), Georgia Tech (31), LSU (6), Oklahoma (8), Oklahoma State (2), Southern California (19), Stanford (13), Texas (28), Texas A&M (21), TCU (68), UCLA (33), Villanova (224), Virginia (7), Wake Forest (9).
TECH'S GOLF CLUB OF GEORGIA COLLEGIATE HISTORY -- Georgia Tech has won the USCC twice in its 10-year history, in 2010 and 2012. Clemson is the only other multiple winner, having captured the inaugural title in 2006 and again in 2009. James White, who set tournament records for 18-hole score (62) and 54-hole score (204, broken in 2014), won medalist honors in 2010, while Ollie Schniederjans won it in 2013 for Tech's only individual titles. The Yellow Jackets finished fifth last fall.