Georgia Tech trailed defending national champion Alabama by 10 shots going into the final round of the Puerto Rico Classic, but a stirring rally came up just short despite a 62 by senior Richy Werenski.
The Yellow Jackets shot 20-under 268 the final day to finish at 41-under 823, but Alabama held off the Tech charge with a closing 274 total after scores of 273 and 272 the first two rounds to win by four. Georgia was 3rd in the tournament at 835, 12 shots ahead of 4th place Clemson.
Three Georgia Tech golfers posted top-10 finishes, led by Bo Andrews, who shot in the 60s all three rounds and tied for 3rd at 11-under 205, one behind the co-medalists. Anders Albertson, a junior from Woodstock, tied for 6th at 207 highlighted by a second round 66. Ollie Schniederjans, a junior from Powder Springs, tied for 10th at 208 with scores of 69-69-70.
Seth Reeves, a senior from Duluth, opened with a 69 and shot 68 the final day to tie for 16th at 212. Werenski failed to break par the first two day and tied for 22nd at 213.
Georgia, which was playing the first event of its 2014 schedule, posted scores of 278-281-276. Senior Joey Garber led the Bulldogs, tying for 3rd at 205 with scores of 67-68-70. Freshman Greyson Sigg of Augusta shot 70-69-68 to tie for 8th at 207.
Keith Mitchell tied for 12th for the Bulldogs at 210, including a final round 67. Lee McCoy, a sophomore from Clarkesville, tied for 22nd at 213.
Georgia Tech played its annual season opener in Hawaii, tying 7th with a 27-under total of 837. Oklahoma State won the tournament by 12 shots at 819, led by medalist Jordan Niebrugge, the 2013 U.S. Public Links champion, who will compete in this year’s Masters.
Tech was tied for 15th in the 20-team field after the first round at 286, but rebounded the next day to shoot 270, the low 18-hole total for the tournament. Tech shot 281 the final day to finish two strokes out of a tie for 3rd.
Reeves closed with scores of 66 and 67 to tie for 16th at 207 to lead the Yellow Jackets. Schniederjans shot 69 each of the first two rounds and tied for 30th at 210.
Also tying for 30th was freshman Vince Whaley, making his first start for the Jackets. Whaley shot a team best 65 in the second round. Andrews shot a final round 69, while Albertson posted a 217 total with scores of 72-72-73.
Both Georgia Tech and Georgia play in a tournament March 7-9 in Las Vegas.
Kennesaw State placed 2nd in its season opener in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., finishing 14 shots behind San Diego’s winning total. The Owls were five shots out of the lead after 36 holes, but Sam Diego pulled away in the final round.
The Owls shot 3-under 285 the opening round to trail San Diego by two, and closed with scores of 295 and 294 for an 874 total.
Kennesaw’s Jimmy Beck, a junior from Columbus, shared medalist honors with a San Diego player, posting scores of 71-69-70 for a 6-under 210 total. Freshman Chris Guglielmo of Cumming was next for the Owls, tying for 20th at 223.
Jonathan Klotz, a senior from Columbus, opened with a 69 and tied for 24th at 224. Austin Vick, a junior from Evans, shot 73 in the second round and tied for 31st at 226.
Both Mercer and Georgia Southern opened their Spring schedules in Gainesville, Fla., with Mercer tying for 5th and the Eagles tying for 7th. The Bears shot 868, highlighted by a 278 total the second round that was the low score on the round and the second lowest for the tournament.
Eatonton junior Trey Rule shared medalist honors at 4-under 206, shooting 70-67-69 to lead the Bears. Hans Reimer tied for 8th for Mercer at 213. Emmanuel Kountakis, a freshman from Augusta, shot 69 in the second round.
Scott Wolfes, a junior from St. Simons, led the Eagles, shooting 67 the final round to tie for 6th at 212. Matt Mierzejewski, a junior from Alpharetta, closed with a 68 to finish T14 at 216. The Eagles finished with an 874 total with scores of 292-291-291.
Georgia State placed 4th in its Spring opener in Mobile after being tied for 2nd after 36 holes. The Panthers shot 2-over 866 for the tournament, eight behind Auburn’s winning total.
Damon Stephenson and Jonathan Grey were low for Georgia State, tying for 3rd at 213, three shots behind the medalist. Tyler Gruca, a senior from Alpharetta, tied for 20th at 220. Davin White, a junior from Griffin, and Nathan Mallonee, a freshman from Lexington, both shot 72 in the second round.
The Panthers placed 7th in a tournament in southern California, with Stephenson and Gray tying for 21st and Gruca placing 30th. An opening 71 by Stephenson was the team’s only score lower than 74 on a very difficult course.
Augusta State was 6th in its 2014 opener at Sawgrass CC in Ponte Vedra Beach., Fla. Viktor Edin and Jake Marriott tied for 15th at 217 for the Jaguars, with Cody Shafer, a junior from Evans, contributing a second round 72.
The Augusta State, Georgia State and Kennesaw State women’s teams all opened their 2014 season in the UCF Challenge in Orlando, with Augusta placing 6th at 869, 12 shots behind host Central Florida’s winning total. Georgia State and Kennesaw both finished well off the pace.
Casey Kennedy led the Lady Jaguars, placing 2nd individually at 5-under 211. Freshman Eunice Yi of Evans tied for 22nd for Augusta at 217, with freshman Jessica Haigwood of Roswell T26 at 218.
Augusta State was 2nd in a tournament in Puerto Rico, shooting 881 to beat every team in the field except Arkansas. Kennedy and Josefine Nyqvist both tied for 7th at 217, with Yi T13 at 219. Haigwood’s opening 73 matched the low score of the round for the Lady Jaguars.
Georgia also competed in the tournament, placing 5th at 892. Harang Lee was low for the Lady Bulldogs, tying for 13th at 219. Georgia was 14th out of 17 teams in a tournament in New Orleans, with only one team member finishing better than 65th.