@GT_GOLF Hosting U.S. Collegiate Championship
10th edition of premier event includes seven top-10 teams, five others ranked in top 25
THE FLATS - Facing one of the strongest fields of any collegiate golf tournament -- fall or spring -- Georgia Tech returns to action this weekend to host the 10th United States Collegiate Championship at the Golf Club of Georgia in Alpharetta, Ga.
TOURNAMENT INFORMATION -- The Carpet Capital Collegiate is being played Friday through Sunday at the 7,017-yard, par 72 Lakeside Course at the Golf Club of Georgia, which also serves as the Yellow Jackets' home course. Tech has been the institutional host of this event since its inception in 2006. The Yellow Jackets finished seventh last year while Texas outlasted Virginia for the team title. The Cavaliers' Derek Bard won medalist honors. The field is traditionally one of the strongest in college golf, and 16 of the 17 teams this year are in the current Golfstat top 50. Seven of those are ranked among the top 10, with five others in the top 25.
The field, in alphabetical order with Golfstat ranking -- Auburn (1), Clemson (21), East Tennessee State (50), Florida State (4), Georgia Tech (19), Iowa (43), Kent State (48), LSU (27), Mississippi (71), Oklahoma (9), Oklahoma State (2), Southern California (7), Stanford (8), Texas (13), UCLA (24), Virginia (22), Wake Forest (5)
TECH'S UNITED STATES COLLEGIATE CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY -- Georgia Tech has won the USCC twice in its nine-year history, in 2010 and 2012. Clemson is the only other multiple winner, having captured the inaugural title in 2006 and again in 2009. James White, who set tournament records for 18-hole score (62) and 54-hole score (204), won medalist honors in 2010, while Ollie Schniederjans won it in 2013 for Tech's only individual titles. The Yellow Jackets' seventh-place finish last fall was its lowest in the nine previous events.
TEAM UPDATE -- Georgia Tech is ranked No. 17 in the latest Golfweek/Sagarin Index following a fifth-place finish at the Carpet Capital Collegiate and a seventh-place showing at the DICK'S Sporting Goods Collegiate Challenge Cup. The USCC is the third of four events for the Yellow Jackets in the fall, which concludes with the Kiawah Island Classic in early November.
TECH LINEUP -- Head coach Bruce Heppler will have all seven Yellow Jackets competing this weekend, with Vincent Whaley, James Clark, Jacob Joiner, Chris Petefish and Michael Pisciotta competing toward Tech's team score.
Whaley, a junior from McKinney, Texas, earned a third-place finish last time out at the DICK'S Sporting Goods Challenge and has Tech's low scoring average at 73.00. Clark, a sophomore from Columbus, Ga., tied for 12th at the Carpet Capital Collegiate and opened the DSG event 71-69 before fading to an 81 on the final day. Joiner, a sophomore from Leesburg, Ga., won the Carpet Capital Collegiate, while Petefish, a sophomore from Danville, Calif., has tied for 27th and 28th in Tech's two outings.
Pisciotta, a sophomore from Alpharetta, Ga., is making his 2015-16 debut playing on his home course. Michael Hines, a junior from Acworth, Ga., and Tyler Joiner, a freshman from Leesburg, Ga., are competing as individuals.
COACH Bruce Heppler SAYS -- "We've tried to set a high standard for what a really good golf tournament should be, and I think we've done that over these 10 years. I think the teams that have come here have enjoyed it, from the hospitality we try to provide to the level of the competition, and the golf course is always well-conditioned and challenging. The greens will be as good as any they putt on all year long. One of the focuses has been to have a national event with teams from all over."
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.