Three of the state’s Division I college golf teams recently hosted tournaments at courses in the Atlanta area, but none of the three was able to come away with a tournament victory.
In one of the three, however, a Georgia team captured the tournament title, as Georgia Southern ran away with the annual Autotrader Classic hosted by Georgia State at Berkeley Hills in Duluth.
Led by junior Steven Fisk of Stockbridge, the Eagles won by a whopping 24 shots over host Georgia State with a score of 17-under 847. Georgia Southern shot 283 to lead after the opening round and pulled away later that day with a 13-under 275. Georgia State did not break par in any of the three rounds, finishing at 7-over 871. Augusta was seventh at 883.
Fisk completely dominated the rest of the field, posting scores of 66-66-65 for a 19-under 197 total. He won by 12 shots, with the third place finisher 17 shots behind the winner. Georgia State’s Severin Soller, a transfer from Mississippi State, and Augusta State’s Broc Everett tied for fourth at 215, with Augusta freshman Alex Shead of Appling tying for sixth at 217 with Georgia Southern sophomore Brett Barron of Cumming.
Jake Storey and Archer Price contributed to the Eagles’ 13-under total in the second round with scores of 67 and 68 respectively. Gainesville’s Nathan Williams, playing as an individual for Georgia State, also shot 67 in the second round.
The individual victory was the second in two weeks for Fisk, who is ranked among the top 10 golfers in the country by Golfstat. He tied for first in the Fighting Irish Classic at Notre Dame with a 6-under 204 total (66-71-67) to lead the Eagles to a runner-up finish at 12-under 828, four shots behind Notre Dame. Price tied for fourth at 206. Fisk placed sixth in Georgia Southern’s fall opener at Shoal Creek in Birmingham.
Fisk closed out the fall by tying for third in an event in Hawaii, shooting 12-under 60 in the second round and finishing at 18-under 198 after a final round 67. No other Georgia Southern player finished in the top 40 as the Eagles finished well back in the pack.
Augusta won a tournament hosted by Savannah State at Crosswinds GC, shooting 13-under 851 to win by 49 shots over other teams from the MEAC. Shead and Everett shared medalist honors at 5-under 211, with Shead posting scores of 71-70-70, making up five shots on Everett in the final round. Augusta’s three other players placed fourth, fifth and sixth
Kennesaw State tied for second in its home tournament at Pinetree CC, finishing one shot behind Southern Illinois. The Owls posted an 8-over 584 total in the 36-hole event, shooting 292 in both rounds to tie Wisconsin. Mercer tied for sixth at 598.
Jake Fendt, a junior from Cumming, tied for second for the Owls with scores of 71-70—141, four shots behind medalist Peyton Wilhoit of Southern Illinois. Kennesaw’s Wyatt Larkin, a junior from Morganton, was fourth at 71-72—143. Stanton Schorr led Mercer, tying for 15th at 148 after opening with a 71.
Fendt also led Kennesaw to a third place finish in College Grove, Tenn., tying for seventh at 1-under 215. Fendt collected the second of his three top-10 finishes this fall in the Shoal Creek Invitational, tying for seventh.
The Owls gave Alabama a battle in a tournament at Steelwood CC in Loxley, Ala., finishing one shot back in second with a score of 3-over 867. Kennesaw shot 288 to Alabama’s 293 in the final round to make up five shots of a 6-stroke deficit.
Pablo Rodriguez-Tabernero led Kennesaw, tying for second at 4-under 212. Larkin opened with a 69 and shot 70 in the final round to place sixth at 214. Fendt also shot 69 in the opening round and tied for seventh at 217.
After scoring two wins and a runner-up finish in their first three starts of the fall, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets tied for fourth in the Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate, which featured one of the strongest fields in college golf.
Oklahoma State won at 27-under 837, followed by Texas at 840 and Wake Forest at 842. Tech tied UCLA at 18-under 846. The Yellow Jackets posted scores of 284-277-285.
Brothers Jacob Joiner, a senior, and Tyler Joiner, a junior, from Leesburg were low for Tech, tying for seventh at 210. Jacob shot three consecutive scores of 70, while Tyler shot 68-76-66, with his final round score low for the day in the tournament. But Tyler’s scores did not count towards Tech’s team total, as he was competing as individual.
Seniors Chris Petefish and Alpharetta’s Michael Pisciotta also competed as individuals, and posted scores of 66 and 68 in the opening round, giving Tech’s three players who were not part of a team a combined score of 15-under 201 Jacob Joiner’s 70 was low among the Jackets’ five starters.
Sophomore Luke Schniederjans of Powder Springs tied for 12th for Tech with scores of 72-68-71—211, with Andy Ogletree T23 at 212. Tyler Strafaci matched Schniederjans’ second round 68.
Prior to the tournament at GC of Georgia, Georgia Tech won a tournament hosted by Middle Tennessee, rallying from a 10-stroke deficit after the opening round. After shooting 9-over 297, the Jackets came back with scores of 276 and 279 for a 12-under 852 total to win by eight.
Jacob Joiner was third for Tech at 4-under 212 (72-70-70), with Schniederjans and freshman Noah Norton both T7 at 215. Schniederjans shot 67 and Norton 68 in the second round and Ogletree was low for the Yellow Jackets with a final round 68.
Georgia Tech opened the fall by winning the Carpet Capital Collegiate at The Farm in Rocky Face, winning a playoff over Alabama after both teams shot 14-under 850. Ogletree led a strong team effort for the Jackets, tying for seventh at 210. Schniederjans, Strafaci, Norton and Petefish all tied for 15th at 215, with Schniederjans low for Tech in the final round with a 68.
The Yellow Jackets finished just one shot behind Arizona State in Scottsdale at 6-under 858. Strafaci was fourth at 211, Norton T8 at 214 and Schniederjans T16 at 217.
While Georgia Tech is ranked third nationally by Golfstat, Georgia was outside the top 100 coming into its final fall event in Hawaii. The Bulldogs finished next to last in three of their first four tournaments of 2017-18 and were in the middle of the pack in their other start.
Gainesville sophomore Spencer Ralston has been the lone bright spot for the Bulldogs with a pair of top 10s, tying for second at Crooked Stick in Indiana. He tied for 10th in a tournament in Iowa, but was the only Bulldog among the top 50.
With the fall portion of the 2017-18 season almost over, a total of 15 golfers who either play for a college in the state or are Georgia residents playing out of state, are ranked among the top 200 in the country by Golfstat.
Fisk leads the way at No. 9, followed by Michigan senior Kyle Mueller of Athens, who is 23rd with three top tens and a tie for 12th in four starts. Duke sophomore Chandler Eaton of Alpharetta is 40th with a third place showing and a tie for 12th at GC of Georgia. Schniederjans is 47, Jacob Joiner 51 and Fendt 53, with Soller 83 in his first season with Georgia State.
Strafaci (102) and Ralston (104) are just outside the top 100, with Penn St. junior Charles Huntzinger of Duluth, the 2016 Dogwood Invitational winner, 112 and Ogletree 120. Dunwoody’s Marcus Byrd, a junior at Middle Tennessee, is 122, with Norton the fifth Georgia Tech player on the list at 132. Georgia Southern’s Price is 151, and NC State sophomore Benjamin Shipp of Duluth is 187 with a victory in the Golfweek Conference Challenge in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.