Georgia Tech Golf Set for ACC Championship
No. 20 Yellow Jackets look for 17th conference title beginning Friday in South Carolina
THE FLATS - Georgia Tech has been made the No. 5 seed and is paired with Florida State and Duke for the opening round of the 64th Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Golf Championship, which begins Friday, April 21, at Musgrove Mill Golf Club in Clinton, S.C. Tech tees off at 9 a.m. Friday from the first hole.
TOURNAMENT INFORMATION – The 64th annual Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Golf Championship will be held Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, April 21-23, over the 6,951-yard, par-72 Arnold Palmer designed course at the Musgrove Mill Golf Club in Clinton, S.C..
The championship will get underway on Friday at 9 a.m., with Florida State, Georgia Tech, and Duke on hole #1, and North Carolina, NC State and Virginia Tech starting on hole #10. Defending champion Clemson, Virginia and Wake Forest tee off at 10 a.m. from hole #1, while Boston College, Louisville, and Notre Dame start at 10 a.m. on hole #10.
ACC Men’s Golf Championship - First Round Pairings
9:00 - 9:48 a.m. = Virginia Tech, NC State, North Carolina (Starting on Hole #10)
9:00 – 9:48 a.m. = Florida State, Georgia Tech, Duke (Starting on Hole #1)
10:00 - 10:48 a.m. = Boston College, Notre Dame, Louisville (Starting on Hole #10)
10:00 a.m. - 10:48 a.m. = Virginia, Clemson, Wake Forest (Starting on Hole #1)
Five ACC teams are ranked in the Golfstat Top 25, with Wake Forest leading the way at No. 9 and followed by No. 15 Clemson, No. 17 Virginia, No. 20 Georgia Tech and No. 21 Duke. Four ACC golfers rank in the Top 25 of the Golfstat individual rankings: No. 4 Will Zalatoris (Wake Forest), No. 14 Cristobal Del Solar (Florida State), No. 15 Jimmy Stanger (Virginia), and No. 22 Doc Redman (Clemson).
2017 marks the second time the ACC Men’s Golf Championship will be held in South Carolina, and first since 1964, when it was held at Forest Lakes Country Club in Columbia, S.C.
Wake Forest leads all schools with 18 league titles and 22 individual champions. Georgia Tech, which has won 14 outright ACC Championships and shared two more, has produced 11 individual medalists. North Carolina is third with 11 titles (10 outright), followed by Clemson with 10 (nine outright).
Pairings and tee times for Saturday and Sunday will be based on team score. The tournament will be carried live on ACC Network Extra beginning at 2 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday, with Mac McDonald and Tony Austin on the call. There is no charge for admission for fans.
TEAM UPDATE – Georgia Tech has risen to No. 20 in the latest Golfstat rankings and No. 19 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Index after the first five spring events, having finished third or second in each of the last four. Tech’s closest brush with victory came at the Valspar Collegiate Invitational against the toughest field it has faced this spring (10 top-50 teams), when the Yellow Jackets rallied on the final day to come within a shot of No. 9 Wake Forest. Tech tied for second with Florida State at the Seminole Intercollegiate the week before and second at the Clemson Invitational two weeks ago.
Previously this spring, Tech tied for seventh place in a 21-team field at the Amer Ari Invitational in Hawai’i and tied for for third among 15 teams at the Puerto Rico Classic. Tech has a 75-31-6 won-loss record cumulatively this year against a schedule rated the 13th-strongest in the country, according to the Golfweek/Sagarin Index (doesn’t include Cypress Point match play event in the fall).
TECH LINEUP – Head coach Bruce Heppler set the Yellow Jackets’ lineup for the post-season going into the Seminole Intercollegiate, going with a core of three freshmen in Andy Ogletree (Little Rock, Miss.), Luke Schniederjans (Powder Springs, Ga.) and Tyler Strafaci (Davie, Fla.) in his starting five, joining senior Vincent Whaley (McKinney, Texas) and junior James Clark (Columbus, Ga.), for the last two events.
Schniederjans and Strafaci have both landed in the winner’s circle this year, Strafaci most recently at the Valspar Collegiate, where he captured a one-shot victory and earned his third top-20 finish this spring. Schniederjans has won twice, including a one-shot win at the Puerto Rico Classic in February, and he tied for third at the Seminole Collegiate. Schniederjans leads the Jackets in stroke average at 71.46 and is ranked 65th in the nation in the Golfweek/Sagarin Index. Strafaci creeped into the top 100 momentarily after winning the Valspar (now No. 123) and has a 72.33 stroke average.
Clark, ranked No. 77, has developed into a solid middle-of-the-lineup player for the Yellow Jackets this spring, finishing eighth, 17th and third in Tech’s last three events and compiling a 71.58 stroke average. He tied for third at Clemson and led for a portion of the final round. Whaley returned to the lineup after a long absence at the Seminole Intercollegiate and tied for 20th place, shot a final-round 70 to help the Jackets’ final-round rally at the Valspar and tied for 11th at Clemson. Ogletree has three top-20 finishes this year and a 72.83 stroke average.
TECH’S ACC CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY – Georgia Tech has two of the last three Atlantic Coast Conference championships, six of the last eight and eight of the last 11.
Three of the last four individual champions also have come from Georgia Tech. Anders Albertson won his second title in 2015, sharing medalist honors with Louisville’s Robin Sciot-Siegrist and Virginia Tech’s Trevor Cone with a score of 11-under-par 205. He also won the championship in 2013 with a record score of 15-under 201. He was the fifth player to win two ACC titles, and the second Tech player to do so, joining David Duval in 1991 and 1993.
Albertson became Tech’s 10th ACC individual champion, joining Bob McDonnell (1985), David Duval (1991, 1993), Mikko Rantanen (1994), Bryce Molder (2000), Cameron Tringale (2006), Chesson Hadley (2010), Paul Haley (2011), Albertson (2013, 2015) and Ollie Schniederjans (2014).
Tech’s 16 ACC men’s golf titles in history ranks second among conference schools behind Wake Forest (18). Tech has won 11 of its conference titles under current head coach Bruce Heppler, nine of those outright (1999, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015) and two shared (2006, 2007). The Yellow Jackets won five championships (1985, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994) under previous head coach Puggy Blackmon.
Ten of Tech’s ACC titles have occurred at the Old North State Club, the first occurring in 1999 by 10 strokes over North Carolina and Duke. Tech won the 2011 crown with a tournament record score of 831 (-33) and by a record 20 strokes. Tech shared the 2006 title with North Carolina, and the 2007 crown with Virginia Tech.
COACH Bruce Heppler SAYS – “No one has really seen the golf course, but we’ve heard it’s narrow, it requires a lot of precision and the greens are small and undulating. People have said if you shoot under par as a team, you’ll have a chance to win the tournament. We expect the greens will be firm and fast, and it will be championship-level golf. We have a good ball-striking team, and if the course is narrow and tight, then that should bode well for us, I think.”
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH GOLF - Georgia Tech’s golf team is in its 22nd 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) and Instagram. For more information on Tech golf, visit Ramblinwreck.com.