THE FLATS – Georgia Tech completed the 2017 spring season ranked No. 21 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Index and No. 22 in the Golfstat rankings, finishing the year among the nation’s top 25 teams for the 17th time in the last 18 years.
Tech rose as high as No. 20 and No. 19 in the respective ratings after the first five spring events, having finished second in three straight events leading into the ACC Championship, in which the Yellow Jackets tied for seventh place. The Jackets finished sixth in the NCAA Stanford Regional.
Tech’s closest brush with victory came at the Valspar Collegiate Invitational against the toughest field it faced this spring (10 top-50 teams), when the Yellow Jackets rallied on the final day to come within a shot of No. 9 Wake Forest. Tech tied for second with Florida State at the Seminole Intercollegiate the week before and second at the Clemson Invitational immediately before the ACC Championship.
Tech also tied for seventh place in a 21-team field at the Amer Ari Invitational in Hawai’i and tied for third among 15 teams at the Puerto Rico Classic. The Jackets’ best finish in the fall was a fifth-place showing at the Carpet Capital Collegiate.
The Yellow Jackets captured three individual titles, all by freshmen. Luke Schniederjans (Powder Springs, Ga.), younger brother of three-time All-American Ollie Schniederjans, won the Carpet Capital Collegiate in the fall and added medalist honors at the Puerto Rico Classic in the spring. Tyler Strafaci (Davie, Fla.) came on strong in the spring and won the Valspar Collegiate.
Tech posted a 86-42-7 won-loss record cumulatively over the year against a schedule rated the 14th-strongest in the country, according to the Golfweek/Sagarin Index, and never finished below a team ranked outside the top 50.
CLARK, SCHNIEDERJANS EARN GCAA ALL-REGION HONORS
James Clark, a rising senior from Columbus, Ga., and Schniederjans were named to the All-East Region team announced by the Golf Coaches Association of America. Both players also made the All-Atlantic Coast Conference team announced in early May.
Schniederjans (No. 89) and Clark (No. 99) both finished the spring ranked in the top 100 of the Golfweek/Sagarin Index. Clark enjoyed the best season of his career, finishing second on the team with a career-low 71.93 stroke average and the Jackets’ top head-to-head winning percentage (.707), as well as four top-20 finishes. Schniederjans topped the team with a 71.87 stroke average, won two tournaments and posted three other top-20 finishes.
THREE TOP-10 FINISHES FOR JACKETS AT MONROE INVITATIONAL
The 2017 summer amateur season began in earnest last weekend with the Monroe Invitational Championship at the Monroe Golf Club in Pittsford, N.Y., an event that dates back to 1937 and attracts most of the nation’s top amateur golfers. Five current and incoming Tech players were in the field, and rising senior Chris Petefish (Danville, Calif.) tied for second place and came in one shot off the lead after closing with rounds of 67-67 to finish at 1-under-par 275 (par at Monroe Golf Club is 69).
Petefish recorded a win (Azalea Invitational) and a tie for seventh (Terra Cotta Invitational) before this weekend’s performance.
Rising sophomores Tyler Strafaci (Davie, Fla.) and Andy Ogletree (Little Rock, Ark.) tied for seventh place at 1-over-par 277. Strafaci opened with rounds of 65-69 and led for the first three days, while Ogletree fired a 62 in the final round to make a big leap up the leaderboard.
Rising senior James Clark (Columbus, Ga.) tied for 40th place, while incoming freshman Noah Norton (Chico, Calif.) tied for 51st.
Luke Schniederjans (Powder Springs, Ga.), Tech’s other rising sophomore, makes his first summer start this week at the Sunnehanna Amateur, which begins Wednesday in Johnston, Pa. He’ll join Petefish in the field.