Three Jackets Advance to Match Play at U.S. Amateur

Tyler Strafaci posted the Yellow Jackets' best score Tuesday (70) and tied for 35th place in stroke play.
Aug. 15, 2017

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Pacific Palisdes, Calif. - Georgia Tech sophomores Andy Ogletree and Tyler Strafaci and incoming freshman Noah Norton all advanced to match play Tuesday after the conclusion of 36 holes of stroke play at the 117th U.S. Amateur Championship.

Ogletree (Little Rock, Miss.) shot a 2-over-par 72 Tuesday at Bel-Air Country Club to go with his opening 67 Monday at Riviera Country Club and tied for 15th place at 1-under-par 139. Strafaci (Davie, Fla.) coupled his opening 72 Monday at Riviera with an even-par 70 Tuesday at Bel-Air and tied for 35th place at 2-over-par 142. Norton (Chico, Calif.) shot 73 Tuesday at Riviera after a 69 Monday at Bel-Air, also tying for 35th place.

The trio will be chasing a title won five times by Georgia Tech's legendary Bobby Jones (1924 1925, 1927, 1928, 1930), and most recently by Matt Kuchar (1997).

The original 312-player field will be trimmed down to the low 64 players for match play, which begins Wednesday at the famed Riviera Country Club (7,279 yards, par 70). The threesome for Tech marks the most Yellow Jackets in the match play field since 2013, when Bo Andrews, Seth Reeves and Richy Werenski advanced at the Country Club of Brookline.

"Sometimes it's tough playing late, then early in this type of qualifier," said Tech coach Bruce Heppler of Ogletree, for whom Heppler is serving as caddie this week. "Andy had to sit around all morning waiting to play again. It took him awhile to find some rhythm, but he made some good pars. The courses got baked out, so it got pretty hard. He made a couple birdies earlier on the back and then just played solid coming in.

 

 

"I'm excited for Noah and Ty and the opportunity they have to now play matches at a historic golf course. All you want when you arrive at the U.S. Amateur is a starting time on Wednesday, and I'm thrilled that we have three guys who are moving on."

Hayden Wood of Edmond, Okla., and a junior at Oklahoma State, won medalist honors with a 9-under-par total of 131 (64-67), three strokes clear of Norman Xiong of San Diego, Calif., a sophomore at the University of Oregon.

The cutline fell at 4-over-par 144, with 69 players at that score or better. Thirteen players will play off for the eight spots in the bracket early Wednesday morning.

Tech sophomore Luke Schniederjans (Powder Springs, Ga.), who shot 73-72, missed joining that playoff by one stroke. Senior Chris Petefish (Danville, Calif.), who shot 77-71, and senior Jacob Joiner (Leesburg, Ga.), who shot 77-76, also did not advance.

Following the playoff, the round of 64 matches will be played Wednesday. The rounds of 32 and 16 are scheduled for Thursday, with quarterfinal matches Friday, semifinal matches Saturday and the 36-hole championship match on Sunday. All matches will take place at Riviera.

FS1 will provide television coverage through Friday, with the Fox network taking over coverage of the semifinals and finals Saturday and Sunday.

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