The four conference champions – Georgia Tech, Georgia State, Georgia Southern and Mercer – will compete in the NCAA Regionals, which will be played at six sites May 15-17. Georgia and Kennesaw State will also receive invitations, with all six teams looking to qualify for the NCAA Championship, which is scheduled for May 23-28 in Kansas.
Jackets to victory
Georgia Tech won the ACC tournament in North Carolina, finishing with a 25-under 839 total, six shots better than runner-up Florida State.
After an even par score the first day, the Yellow Jackets shot 10-under the second round and closed with a 15-under 273. Tech led by only two strokes after 36 holes. It was the team’s 15th ACC title and 10th under coach Bruce Heppler.
Tech’s Ollie Schniederjans, a junior from Powder Springs, became the first player in team history to win five tournaments in a season, taking medalist honors by five strokes with scores of 65-70-69—204. Schniederjans’ opening 65 was his career low and was particularly impressive, coming in difficult weather conditions. Schniederjans closed out the season with victories in Tech’s last three tournaments.
Anders Albertson, a junior from Woodstock, tied for 2nd at 209, closing with scores of 68-65 the last two days. The 65 was also his career best. Seth Reeves, a senior from Duluth, carded back-to-back 69s the last two days and tied for 7th at 212.
Panthers win by 1
with 2 late birdies
Georgia State narrowly won the Sun Belt Conference championship, played in Saucier, Miss. The Panthers posted a 1-under 863 total to edge South Alabama by one shot and Texas-Arlington by two.
The Panthers trailed by as many as six shots on the back nine, but rallied with strong finishes by several players. Juniors Damon Stephenson and Griffin’s Davin White both birdied the 18th hole the final day to provide Georgia State with its winning margin.
Stephenson led the Panthers, tying for 2nd at 5-under 211 with scores of 70-72-69. He finished three shots behind the medalist. Sophomore Jonathan Grey tied for 5th for the Panthers at 71-70-72—213.
White closed with a 71 to tie for 14th at 220, with Alpharetta senior Tyler Gruce T19 at 221. Freshman Nathan Mallonee of Lexington contributed a 72 in the second round.
The Panthers played consistently in the tournament, shooting 288-288-287. It was the team’s third straight win and fourth on the season, and gave the Panthers their seventh conference championship and first in the Sun Belt.
Martin, Evans key
victory for Eagles
Georgia Southern also won its conference tournament by one shot, but did it in a slightly difference manner than Georgia State. The Eagles had the lead late in the Southern Conference Championship in Pinehurst, N.C., but struggled on the 18th and barely hung on for the win.
The Eagles shot 9-over 873 at National Golf Club, highlighted by a 4-under 284 in the second round. Georgia Southern shot 293 the final day to finish one ahead of Chattanooga. The Eagles trailed by four shots after 36 holes.
Charlie Martin, a junior from LaGrange, was low for the Eagles, finishing 4th at 216. Martin shot 70-71 the final two days, carding nine birdies in the third round. Will Evans, a senior from McDonough, opened with scores of 71-72 and tied for 6th at 218.
Scott Wolfes, a junior from St. Simons, struggled in the first and third rounds, but shot a tournament-low 66 the second day to lead the Eagles’ effort. He tied for 9th at 219.
Hayden Anderson shot a pair of 73s, including the final round, and tied for 21st at 224. He helped provide the team’s margin of victory with a hole-in-one on the ninth hole in the final round, his second ace of the season.
Henry Mabbett, a sophomore from Griffin, contributed with a final round 74.
It was the fourth and final Southern Conference title for the Eagles, who are leaving the conference at the end of this season.
Bears claim first
Mercer will be playing in an NCAA Regional for the first time ever after taking the Atlantic Sun Championship at The Legends at Chateau Elan.
The Bears shot 10-over 874 to finish six strokes ahead of runner-up Kennesaw State. Mercer played steadily with scores of 290-291-293, taking the lead after 36 holes over Kennesaw, which shot 288-295-297.
Mercer was led by Trey Rule, a junior from Eatonton, who earned medalist honors with scores of 71-73-71—215. Senior James Beale tied for 2nd at 218, with freshman Sean Smothers tying for 9th at 221 including a final round 72. Junior Hans Reimers was T13 at 224, with freshman Emmanuel Kountakis of Augusta contributing with a 71 the first day.
Kennesaw State was led by junior Austin Vick of Evans, who tied for 2nd at 218 with scores of 73-71-74. Also tying for 2nd at 218 and shooting 69 the first day was freshman Terremoana Beaucousin.
Jimmy Beck, a junior from Columbus, tied for 11th at 222, shooting 71 the first day. Kelby Burton, a junior from Evans, tied for 13th at 224, with freshman Chris Guglielmo of Cumming T19 at 228.
Tide takes SEC;
Georgia placed 4th in the SEC Championship at Sea Island Golf Club on St. Simons Island. Alabama won the tournament with a 34-under score of 806, 16 shots ahead of LSU. Auburn wasthird at 829 with Georgia next at 833.
The Bulldogs were only five shots behind Alabama after an opening round score of 277, but shot 4-over 284 in the second round while the Crimson Tide took control with a 14-under 266 highlighted by Bobby Wyatt’s 61. Wyatt shot 18-under 192 to take medalist honors by seven strokes.
Georgia closed with a 272, its best score of the tournament, but could not move up in the standings. Senior Michael Cromie led the Bulldogs, tying for 11th at 207 (68-71-68). Senior Keith Mitchell closed with a 64 to tie for 21st at 210 along with fellow senior Joey Garber and Augusta freshman Greyson Sigg. Lee McCoy, a sophomore from Clarkesville, was T32 at 212.
Prior to the conference championships, Georgia Tech was ranked 2nd nationally by Golfweek and 5th by GolfStat, Georgia was 3rd and 6th. Mercer (31 and 28), Kennesaw (38 and 36), Georgia Southern (46 and 44) and Georgia State (45 and 46) were all among the top 50 in the rankings.