Tech Riding Momentum into ACC Championship
No. 2 Yellow Jackets have won or shared six conference titles in last eight years
April 24, 2014
THE FLATS - Georgia Tech will be seeking its seventh title in the last nine years this weekend when the No. 2-ranked Yellow Jackets begin play at the 61st annual Atlantic Coast Conference Men's Golf Championship, which will be held Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, April 25-27, over the 7,102-yard, par-72 course at the Old North State Club in New London, N.C.
Boston College, Maryland and Notre Dame begin the championship on Friday teeing off at 8:30 a.m. NC State, North Carolina and Duke are in the next wave at 9:20, followed by Wake Forest, Clemson and Florida State at 10:20 a.m. Virginia Tech, Virginia and Georgia Tech have the morning's final tee time at 11:10 a.m.
Duke enters as the defending champion and will try to repeat against a field that features four teams ranked in the top 25 nationally (Golfweek/Sagarin Index: No. 2 Georgia Tech, No. 9 Virginia, No. 13 Virginia Tech, and No. 25 Florida State. Clemson is No. 29, followed by No. 41 Wake Forest in the top 50.
Georgia Tech's Ollie Schniederjans enters as the highest ranked golfer in the league at No. 3 in the country according to Golfstat. Following Schniederjans, five more ACC golfers rank in the top 50: No. 11 Scott Vincent (Virginia Tech), No. 15 Jack Maguire (Florida State), No. 22 Denny McCarthy (Virginia), No. 23 Seth Reeves (Georgia Tech) and No. 37 Trevor Cone (Virginia Tech).
Tech comes into this week's ACC Championship riding a pair of victories in its last two spring stroke-play events, the Valspar Invitational at Palm City, Fla., in mid-March and the Robert Kepler Invitational in Columbus, Ohio two weeks ago. The Yellow Jackets also captured the inaugural Capital City Club Match Play Championship last Saturday, defeating 26th-ranked Auburn, 4-2, and No. 6 Georgia, 5-1.
Tech won the Valspar Invitational by eight shots over Oklahoma State and a field that included six top 25 teams, and then surged to an 18-stroke win in the Robert Kepler Invitational.
Ollie Schniederjans won or shared medalist honors in both events, posting a 12-under-par 201 at the Valspar and a 3-under 213 on the Ohio State University Scarlet Course in the Robert Kepler Invitational.
In the Capital City Club Match Play Championship, Schniederjans defeated top-ranked Joey Garver of Georgia, 2-up, after halving his match against Georgia. Anders Albertson and Richard Werenski won both of their matches for the Yellow Jackets in the event.
This is the 13th-straight year and 29th time overall that the league championship is being held at the Old North State Club. Wake Forest leads all schools with 18 league titles and 22 individual champions. Georgia Tech, which has won 12 outright ACC Championships and shared two more, has produced nine individual medalists, including Anders Albertson, last year's winner. North Carolina is third with 11 titles (10 outright), followed by Clemson with nine (eight outright).
Saturday and Sunday action will be streamed live by the ACC Digital Network starting at 2 p.m. each day.
Tech's ACC Championship History
Georgia Tech saw its string of four consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference Championship come to an end last spring when it finished fourth at the Old North State Club, and Duke came away with the title. But the Yellow Jackets return this year seeking to win a seventh title in the last nine years and 15th overall.
Anders Albertson won medalist honors last year with a tournament-record score of 201 (-15), breaking the previous mark of 202 set by Wake Forest's Webb Simpson in 2008. He became Tech's ninth ACC individual champion, joining Bob McDonnell (1985), David Duval (1991, 1993), Mikko Rantanen (1994), Bryce Molder (2000), Cameron Tringale (2006), Chesson Hadley (2010) and Paul Haley (2011).
The Yellow Jackets had led each of the previous four ACC Championships wire-to-wire and posted the day's low score in nine of the 12 rounds. Tech led after 36 holes of last year's event, but faded to a 295 on Sunday. Albertson, however, remained steady and shot a 68 in the pouring rain to win the individual title.
Tech's 14 ACC men's golf titles in history ranks second among conference schools behind Wake Forest (18). Tech has won nine of its conference titles under current head coach Bruce Heppler, seven of those outright (1999, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012) and two shared (2006, 2007).
The Yellow Jackets won five championships (1985, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994) under previous head coach Puggy Blackmon.
Eight 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.
Schniederjans Putting Together Monster Year
Georgia Tech's Ollie Schniederjans is having a year that has put him in the company of some of the all-time Yellow Jacket greats.
Last week, the junior from Powder Springs, Ga., was named last week to the United States team for the Palmer Cup, the eighth Tech player to be named to that team, and to the list of 10 semi-finalists for the Ben Hogan Award, which a Tech player has never won.
Schniederjans has won or shared individual titles in four tournaments this year, taking the United States Collegiate Championship and the Valspar Invitational outright, and earning co-medalist honors at the Carpet Capital Collegiate and the Robert Kepler Invitational. David Duval (1992-93), Stewart Cink (1994-95) and Troy Matteson (2001-02) are the only Yellow Jackets ever to win four tournaments in one school year.
Named the "Player of the Mid-Season" by Golf World magazine after the fall schedule in which he won twice and finished in the top five in Tech's other two events, Schniederjans has compiled a 69.90 stroke average, which would be the second best for one year in Tech history if the season ended today.
Ranked No. 2 in the Palmer Cup standings and No. 6 in the World Amateur Rankings, Schniederjans enters the ACC Championship ranked No. 3 in this week's Golfstat head-to-head rankings and No. 4 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Index. He is 37-18-5 versus top-25 players, 66-33-5 against the top 50.
Georgia Tech's lineup for this weekend includes, in the order used in last Saturday's match play event, Ollie Schniederjans, Seth Reeves, Richard Werenski, Bo Andrews, Anders Albertson. That's three seniors and two juniors, quite a contrast from last year's unit at the championship (one junior, two sophomores and two freshmen) or 2012 (one senior, two sophomores, two freshmen).
Schniederjans is currently ranked No. 3 in the Golfstat head-to-head and No. 4 Golfweek/Sagarin Index. Seth Reeves is No. 21 in the Sagarin ratings and No. 22 in the Golfstat rankings. Werenski, Andrews and Albertson all fall between No. 100-150 in the two services.
Georgia Tech enters the weekend ranked No. 2 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Index (behind Alabama) and No. 5 in the Golfstat rankings (behind Alabama, Oklahoma State, Stanford and California).
The Tech five have combined for six victories this year (Schniederjans with four, Reeves with two), 15 top-5 finishes and 18 top-10 finishes.
Tech has finished either first or second in seven of its nine stroke-play events this year. Tech finished seventh at the Amer Ari Invitational in Hawai'i and 12th at the Southern Highlands Collegiate Masters in Las Vegas, both this spring.
Tech's four victories are the most for the program since the Yellow Jackets won seven times in 2001-02. Tech won the ACC Championship that year and recorded the most recent of its four NCAA runner-up finishes.
About Georgia Tech Golf
Georgia Tech's golf team is in its 19th year under head coach Bruce Heppler. The Yellow Jackets have won 14 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, made 26 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.