Schniederjans second after losing playoff
Georgia Tech advanced to match play at the 2014 NCAA Golf Championship for the fourth time in five years, but the Yellow Jackets were eliminated in the quarterfinal round for the third time, losing to Oklahoma State.
Tech placed fifth in the 30-team stroke play event, with Powder Springs junior Ollie Schniederjans losing in a playoff to finish second in the individual competition.
The top eight teams qualified for match play, with Tech losing 4-0-1 to fourth-seeded Oklahoma State.
Georgia, Georgia State and Kennesaw State also competed in the NCAA Championship, played at Prairie Dunes in Hutchinson, Kan. The Bulldogs made a final round run at a spot in match play but came up short, tying for 11th, five strokes behind the two teams that tied for seventh to get the final two berths.
Georgia State finished 22nd, with Kennesaw State 26th in its first ever appearance in the event.
The tournament format was altered due to weather issues that pushed the finish of stroke play qualifying back one day. As a result, a scheduled fourth round to determine the individual champion was abandoned, with the results based on scores at the end of 54-hole stroke play qualifying.
Schniederjans, who enjoyed a sensational junior season for Tech, shot 71-65-68 for a 6-under 204 total. He lost on the third playoff hole when Stanford’s Cameron Wilson made birdie after the first two holes were halved with pars. Schniederjans won five tournaments during his junior season, placing second in both the Regionals and NCAA Championship.
Also playing well for Tech was Duluth senior Seth Reeves, who shot 66-72-68 in his final college tournament to tie for 6th at 206.
The Yellow Jackets shot 277-282-282 for a 1-over 841 total. Stanford shot 827 to finish first, nine ahead of Alabama and LSU at 837. Oklahoma State was fourth at 840, just in front of Tech. UCLA was sixth at 844, followed by SMU and Illinois at 845. South Carolina was ninth, missing by one shot at 846. Houston was 10th at 848, with Georgia and Cal tying for 11th at 850.
Reeves’ 66 and a 69 by Richy Werenski keyed Tech’s opening round effort, with Bo Andrews joining Schniederjans at 71. Schniederjans followed with his 65 the second round, with Reeves and Werenski both shooting 72 and Andrews and Woodstock’s Anders Albertson next at 73.
Schniederjans and Reeves produced clutch final rounds of 68, with Albertson contributing a 72 and Andrews and Werenski both shooting 74.
In its three previous match play appearances, Tech lost in the quarterfinals to eventual champion Augusta State in both 2010 and ’11, and made it to the semifinals last year at Capital City Club’s Crabapple course before losing to Alabama, which also went on to win the NCAA title.
Tech ran into a sizzling hot Oklahoma State team in match play, with all five Cowboys shooting under par to win four close matches and halve the other.
Werenski was all square after 12 holes in the first match out, but lost three of the next four and dropped a 2&1 decision, playing his 17 holes in 1-over. Andrews was 3-down after four holes and got as close as 1-down after 16 holes, but lost 1-up. He shot 1-over 71.
Albertson was 3-down with four holes to play, and won the 15th and 16th holes to give himself a chance, but also lost 1-up despite shooting 68.
Schniederhans also shot 68, but had to settle for a half when his opponent eagled the par-5 seventh hole, the 16th of the match. Schniederjans was 2-down twice on the first nine of the match, but rallied with three birdies in a 5-hole stretch to take a brief lead.
Reeves was 4-under after 17 holes in his match, but did not make it to the 18th as his opponent was 6-under through 17 without a bogey. Reeves carded seven birdies, but also had three bogeys, all of which came on the final nine in a 2&1 loss.
Georgia put itself in a hole with scores of 286 and 287 the first two days and could not recover, moving up the final day with a 3-under 277.
Greyson Sigg, a freshman from Augusta, and Keith Mitchell shot 70 in the opening round, with Michael Cromie contributing a 72. Clarkesville sophomore Lee McCoy shot 74 to match the score of team No. 1 Joey Garber, who came back with a 68, the Bulldogs’ only sub-par score the second day. Sigg, McCoy and Cromie all shot 73.
McCoy and Mitchell both came up big the final day with scores of 67 and 68, but it wasn’t quite enough, as Garber and Cromie added a pair of 71s. Garber tied for 49th individually at 213, with McCoy T55 at 214.
Georgia State finished with an 863 total with scores of 285-290-288. The Panthers got strong showings the first round from Alpharetta’s Tyler Gruca and Locust Grove’s Davin White, who both shot 69, and Lexington freshman Nathan Mallonee, who added a 71. But the team had to count a 76 in that round and a 78 in the second round, as Mallonee struggled in tough weather conditions after his solid start.
White was among the individual leaders after shooting 3-under 67 the second round, with Jonathan Grey contributing a 72 and Gruca a 73.
Both Damon Stephenson and Mallonee rebounded with strong final rounds, shooting 69 and 70 respectively. Grey added a 73, but both White and Gruca dropped back with scores of 76. White finished tied for 42nd at 212.
Kennesaw State shot 294 each of the first two rounds and closed with a 284 for an 872 total. Freshman Terremoana Beaucousin led the Owls with scores of 69-73-67, tying for 19th at 1-under 209.
Other than a second round 71 by Evans’ Austin Vick, none of team’s other four players shot lower than 74 the first two rounds, with Jimmy Beck of Columbus closing with a 70 and Vick adding a final round 72. Kelby Burton of Evans had his best score the first day with a 74, with freshman Chris Guglielmo of Cumming contributing a 75 the final day.