Georgia Tech Golf Notebook: Strafaci, Norton in U.S. Junior Amateur

Noah Norton reached the finals of the California State Amateur earlier this summer.
July 17, 2017

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THE FLATS - THE FLATS -- Rising sophomore Tyler Strafaci (Davie, Fla.) and incoming freshman Noah Norton (Chico, Calif.) are in the field for the 70th U.S. Junior Amateur, which began Monday at Flint Hills National Golf Club in Andover, Kan.

This is the second appearance for both players in the Junior Amateur. Strafaci reached the round of 32 in match play in the 2015 Junior Am, while Norton made the 64-player match-play bracket last year after winning his sectional qualifier. Strafaci is the oldest player in the field by four days for the event, which accepts competitors 18 years of age and younger for the first time since 1948. The average age of the 156-player field is 16.99 years.

Strafaci won the Valspar Collegiate and tied for 27th in the NCAA Stanford Regional as a freshman at Tech. He is the grandson of Frank Strafaci, who won the 1935 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship and went on to become the FSGA executive director and director of golf at Doral Country Club. Tyler's mother Jill was a senior vice president for the Miami Dolphins for more than 20 years and played golf at the University of Florida from 1976-79. Tyler competed in the 2015 U.S. Junior Amateur (Round of 32) and 2015 U.S. Amateur and he advanced to the quarterfinals in this year's North & South Amateur.

Norton graduated from Pleasant Valley High School in the spring and will attend Tech this fall. He tied for fifth in this year's CIF state championship, and was the 2017 California State Amateur runner-up earlier this summer, losing to P.J. Samiere, 1 up, in the final. Norton placed second in this year's AJGA Thunderbird International Junior and won the 2016 PING Invitational.

FOUR JACKETS ATTEMPT TO QUALIFY FOR U.S. AMATEUR IN GEORGIA

Four current and former Georgia Tech players will attempt to join rising senior Chris Petefish in the 312-player field for the 117th U.S. Amateur in two separate qualifying events being held in the Atlanta area Tuesday and Wednesday.

Tech Hall of Famer Carlton Forrester and rising senior Michael Pisciotta (Alpharetta, Ga.) are attempting to qualify at Piedmont Driving Club in Southwest Atlanta, while rising sophomores Andy Ogletree (Little Rock, Miss.) and Luke Schniederjans (Powder Springs, Ga.) will compete for spots at the Capital City Club's Crabapple Course in Milton, Ga.

Petefish (Danville, Calif.) is the only Jacket to qualify so far, having won the sectional qualifier two weeks ago in Salix, Pa.

A total of 7,149 entries have been accepted for the U.S. Amateur, which will take place Aug. 14-20 at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, Calif. Sixty-four players are fully exempt into the championship and the remaining places in the field will be filled through qualifying at 100 sites across the country and in Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico between July 3-25. Forty-five states will host qualifying, with host state California leading the way with 13 sites.

MORE AMATEUR ACTIVITY

Trans-Mississippi Championship -- Strafaci tied for fifth place, firing a 4-under-par 66 in the final round to finish at 2-under-par 208. His finish gives him an exemption into next year's event. Rising senior James Clark missed the 36-hole cut.

Players Amateur -- Georgia Tech rising sophomores Luke Schniederjans and Andy Ogletree both finished in the top 10 at least week's Players Amateur in Bluffton, S.C. Schniederjans posted his third straight top-10 (2nd at Dogwood, 10th at Northeast Am) by firing a 9-under-par 275, while Ogletree tied for 10th with a 7-under-par total of 277. It was Ogletree's third top-10 as well, having tied for seventh at the Monroe Invitational and ninth at the Dogwood.

Porter Cup -- Chris Petefish, who has a pair of wins and two other top-10 finishes this summer, is Tech's only competitor in the 59th Porter Cup, which begins Wednesday in Lewiston, N.Y. Petefish won the Azalea Amateur back in the spring and grabbed medalist honors at his U.S. Amateur qualifier two weeks ago. He remains the only Jacket at the moment to have qualified for the U.S. Amateur.

RAMBLIN' WRECK CUP SET FOR NOV. 13 AT GOLF CLUB OF GEORGIA

The Ramblin' Wreck Cup, Georgia Tech's annual fund-raising event for the Yellow Jackets' golf program, has been scheduled for Monday, Nov. 13, at The Golf Club of Georgia in Alpharetta, Ga.

The annual event typically attracts several former Tech greats and some current PGA Tour players, as well as all the current members of the Yellow Jackets' nationally-ranked team. Every group has one tour pro or a current or former Tech player. Dinner and a raffle for prizes follow the golf competition. The last two events attracted a record turnout and a record level of donations.

Tech alumni and golf fans interested in participating in the event can get more information by calling head coach Bruce Heppler in the golf office at 404-894-4423 or by e-mailing him at bheppler@athletics.gatech.edu.

ABOUT GEORGIA TECH GOLF
Georgia Tech's golf team is in its 23rd 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.