THE FLATS - Georgia Tech’s golf team, a young team led by three sophomores and a freshman, finished the fall season ranked in the top five of all three collegiate golf rankings – No. 3 by Golfstat, No. 4 in the Golf Coaches Association poll, and No. 5 in the Golfweek/Sagarin ratings.
The Yellow Jackets won twice and earned a second- and a fourth-place finish in its four fall events. The Yellow Jackets won the Carpet Capital Collegiate in a playoff over Alabama, current No. 1 by Golfstat, to open the fall schedule. After finishing second by one stroke to 34th-ranked Arizona State in the Maui Jim Invitational, Tech came back to win the Franklin American Mortgage Collegiate by eight strokes over No. 42 Mississippi. The Jackets finished fourth at their own Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate, against a field stacked with 13 top-50 teams, behind Golfweek No. 1 Oklahoma State, No. 19 Texas and No. 12 Wake Forest and ahead of five other top-25 teams.
“I would not have been disappointed with that (at the beginning of the fall),” said head coach Bruce Heppler, whose Yellow Jacket teams have won 51 times over 22-plus years. “This is still a young team, and they’re still finding their way. We have some depth. There’s a lot to do between now and Feb. 3 (when the Jackets return to action in Hawai’i). Our freshmen need to get stronger, so a lot can be accomplished between now and the end of the year.”
According to Golfstat, Georgia Tech has the seventh-lowest average drop score (75.19), and the Yellow Jackets are 11-3-2 vs. top 25 teams and 23-4-2 vs. the top 50, according to the Golfweek/Sagarin Index.
Individually, all five of Georgia Tech’s starters are ranked in the top 90 of the Golfweek/Sagarin Index, led by senior Jacob Joiner at No. 41. Sophomore Luke Schniederjans is No. 37 in Golfstat, and only freshman Noah Norton, No. 81 in Golfweek/Sagarin, is outside the top 100 in Golfstat (No. 125). They have combined for seven top-10 finishes, and all have stroke averages of 72.08 or better.
● Jacob Joiner (Sr., Leesburg, Ga.) – No. 41 Golfweek/Sagarin, No. 40 in Golfstat, two top-10 finishes, 71.33 stroke average
● Luke Schniederjans (So., Powder Springs, Ga.) – No. 48 Golfweek/Sagarin, No. 37 Golfstat, four top-20 finishes, one top-10, 71.50 stroke average
● Tyler Strafaci (So., Davie, Fla.) – No. 70 Golfweek/Sagarin, No. 90 Golfstat, three top-20 finishes, one top-10, 71.83 stroke average
● Noah Norton (Fr., Chico, Calif.) – No. 81 Golfweek/Sagarin, No. 125 Golfstat, three top-20 finishes, two top-10, 72.00 stroke average
● Andy Ogletree (So., Little Rock, Miss.) – No. 86 Golfweek/Sagarin, No. 98 Golfstat, two top-20 finishes, one top-10, 72.08 stroke average
Senior Chris Petefish (Danville, Calif.), who started twice and played twice as an individual, posted a pair of top-20 finishes, and junior Tyler Joiner (Leesburg, Ga.) tied for seventh in his only event at the Golf Club of Georgia.
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH GOLF
Georgia Tech’s golf team is in its 23rd under head coach Bruce Heppler, winning 51 tournaments in his tenure. 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.