@GT_Golf to Defend Valspar Title
Ollie Schniederjans returns to 5th-ranked Jackets to defend individual crown
THE FLATS - Georgia Tech's golf team, ranked No. 5 this week in Golfstat and No. 6 in the Golfweek Sagarin Index, returns to the scene of one of its victories last spring to defend its title at the Valspar Collegiate Invitational at the Floridian in Palm City, Fla.
TOURNAMENT INFORMATION - The Valspar Collegiate Invitational is a 54-hole collegiate event, with the low four scores out of five counting each day. The first two rounds will be played Monday with a shotgun start at 9 a.m., followed by the final 18-hole round on Tuesday with a split-tee start at 8:30 a.m. The event is played at the Floridian Golf Club (7,114 yards, par 72) in Palm City, Fla. The 13-team field features eight teams in the current Golfweek/Sagarin top-20, including No. 1 Illinois, No. 2 Florida State, No. 7 South Carolina, No. 10 UCLA, No. 14 LSU, No. 18 South Florida and No. 19 Oklahoma State, as well as the fifth-ranked Yellow Jackets.
TOURNAMENT HISTORY - Georgia Tech's victory in the Valspar Invitational last spring kicked off a four-tournament winning streak for the Yellow Jackets which carried on through the NCAA regional in Raleigh, N.C. Tech negotiated the 54 holes at 15-under-par 837, eight shots clear of Oklahoma State, which would later defeat the Jackets in the quarterfinal round of match play at the NCAA Championship. Ollie Schniederjans won medalist honors by two shots over LSU's Stewart Jolly, earning an exemption into last week's Valspar Championship on the PGA Tour.
TEAM UPDATE - Georgia Tech is ranked No. 5 in this week's Golfstat rankings, No. 6 in the Golfweek/Sagarin ratings and fourth in the GCAA coaches poll. The Yellow Jackets have a second-place finish in their first spring event at Puerto Rico and a fourth-place showing last week in the Seminole Collegiate. Tech played the Seminole without Schniederjans, who was competing at the Valspar Championship, and three of his teammates - Anders Albertson, James Clark and Chris Petefish - all finished in the top 10 individually. Both spring tournaments featured nine teams which were ranked among the top 50 in the nation, against whom the Jackets have a 42-16-1 record this year. Tech's schedule is ranked the 15th-most difficult in the nation according to the Golfweek/Sagarin Index.
TECH LINEUP - Ollie Schniederjans, who remains the world's No. 1 amateur player, re-joins the Yellow Jackets this week after competing last weekend on a sponsor's exemption in the PGA Tour's Valspar Championship, where he shot 71-75 and missed the cut by three strokes. The senior from Powder Springs, Ga., has a win and four other top-10 finishes in six events this year. His lowest finish has been a tie for 11th at the Puerto Rico Classic.
Senior Anders Albertson is returning to form with finished of fourth, 11th and fourth in Tech's last three tournaments. He has broken par in eight of his last nine rounds and averaged an even 69 strokes.
Sophomore Vince Whaley won the team's 54-hole qualifier for this event, followed by freshman Chris Petefish, and they'll join Schniederjans and Albertson in the Tech lineup for the Valspar along with freshman Michael Pisciotta, who won a playoff for the final spot over freshman James Clark, who will compete as an individual.
HEPPLER ON THE TOURNAMENT - "Qualifying for this event was very positive; guys are fighting for spots and being competitive. Our lineup is a little different each time, and the young guys are getting some good tournament experience."
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.