Golfers Begin Fall at Carpet Capital Collegiate
Yellow Jackets take young team into traditional fall opener
THE FLATS - Georgia Tech’s golf team, which is replacing three seniors from an Atlantic Coast Conference championship squad that also finished ninth in the NCAA Championship, gets its fall schedule underway this weekend with the 27th Carpet Capital Collegiate at The Farm Golf Club in Rocky Face, Ga.
TOURNAMENT INFORMATION – The Carpet Capital Collegiate is being played Friday through Sunday at The Farm Golf Club, a 7,012-yard, par 72 layout designed by Tom Fazio near Dalton, Ga. The Yellow Jackets have been the institutional host of this event since its inception in 1989, winning seven times. Tech finished second last year to South Carolina after wonning the event in 2013. The field maintains its predominantly ACC (Clemson, Tech, North Carolina) and SEC (Auburn, Alabama, Florida, LSU, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee) flavor, and has six 2014 NCAA Championship teams in the 15-team field.
TECH’S CARPET CAPITAL COLLEGIATE HISTORY – Georgia Tech has won the Carpet Capital Collegiate seven times in its 26-year history, most recently in 2013, the most of any participant. Clemson has won four times, Alabama three. A Yellow Jacket has won medalist honors seven times, including Ollie Schniederjans the past two years. Current PGA Tour pros Stewart Cink, Chesson Hadley, Troy Matteson and Bryce Molder also have claimed victory at The Farm, with Molder taking the title three consecutive times between 1998 and 1999, when the event moved from the spring to the fall schedule.
TEAM UPDATE – Georgia Tech is coming off a ninth-place finish at the 2015 NCAA Championship and a final spring ranking of No. 9 after also winning the Atlantic Coast Conference title. After losing three seniors, including All-Americans Schniederjans and Anders Albertson, Tech enters the fall No. 25 in pre-season rankings by Golfweek magazine and No. 13 by the Golf Coaches Association of America. Tech returns six letterwinners, including the other three members of the Yellow Jackets’ NCAA starting five – Vincent Whaley, Chris Petefish and James Clark.
TECH LINEUP – Whaley, Petefish and Clark finished 1-2-3 in the team’s recently completed 108-hole qualifying tournament, which concluded with a round Monday at The Farm. Whaley, a junior from McKinney, Texas) was Tech’s top finisher at the NCAA Championship (T33) and also was the co-medalist at the Robert Kepler Intercollegiate last spring. Petefish (Danville, Calif.) and Clark (Columbus, Ga.), both sophomores, each had one top-10 finish in the spring and finished 53rd and 54th, respectively, at the NCAA Championship.
Jacob Joiner, a sophomore from Leesburg, Ga., played in five events as a freshman with a high finish of T17 at the Warrior Princeville Makai Invitational, while his younger brother, Tyler, will be making his collegiate debut.
Michael Hines, a red-shirt junior from Acworth, Ga., is in the Carpet Capital field as an individual after finishing sixth in team qualifying. Hines has played in 15 collegiate events with one top-10 coming last year in the Warrior Princeville Makai Invitational.
COACH Bruce Heppler SAYS – “If you can make qualifying meaningful, there’s potential here. Some of them will really run with it. They’re very competitive with each other. Neither wants to lose to the other guy. Maybe that will juice them up. They’re completely different kids. I don’t know that one would listen to the other. They’ve kind of got their own way of doing things.”
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH GOLF
Georgia Tech’s golf team is in its 21st 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). For more information on Tech golf, visit Ramblinwreck.com.