New London, N.C. – Luke Schniederjans and Noah Norton each fired 4-under-par 68s Sunday as No. 8 Georgia Tech defended its Atlantic Coast Conference Championship in record fashion at the Old North State Club, and captured its 18th all-time conference title in men’s golf.
When the Yellow Jackets won their first ACC Championship in 1985, Wake Forest had already won 18. Tech pulled even with the Demon Deacons on Sunday with 18 championships, won for the 13th time under head coach Bruce Heppler and for the 12th time at the Old North State Club. Heppler’s 13 titles alone would rank second among schools, and he ranks No. 2 among coaches behind Wake’s Jesse Haddock, who coached 15 of the Deacons’ 18 championships.
In the process, Tech broke its own tournament scoring record by posting a 37-under-par total of 827, eclipsing the 33-under-par 831 by the 2011 Jackets’ team.
With the victory, Tech earned the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Championship and will learn its regional tournament assignment on May 1. NCAA regionals are played at six different sites May 13-15.
TECH LINEUP – With a comfortable 17-shot lead to start the final round, Georgia Tech played even-par around the front nine as high winds made scoring difficult. Virginia and No 3 Wake Forest, playing in the groups ahead of the Yellow Jackets, crept within 10 strokes with strong starts. But Tech came home in 7-under-par 281, while its playing partners, No. 9 Duke and No. 29 Florida State closed out with 1-over-par rounds of 289.
Schniederjans, a junior from Powder Springs, Ga., played a steady round with five birdies and one bogey, and finished the championship sixth individually with an 8-under-par total of 208. Norton eagled the first hole to open his round and added five birdies, helping the sophomore from Chico, Calif., overcome a double bogey and a bogey on consecutive holes on the back nine. He finished in a tie for 27th at even-par 216.
Freshman Connor Howe (Ogden, Utah) posted a closing even-par 72 Sunday, tying for 14th place at 4-under-par 212 in his first ACC Championship. Tyler Strafaci (Jr., Davie, Fla.) added a 1-over-par 73 for the Jackets Sunday, as did Andy Ogletree (Jr., Little Rock, Miss.). Ogletree, who began the day with the individual lead, surrendered it with a double-bogey at the sixth hole, but battled to the last hole and finished second by a stroke at 12-under-par 204.
As it did during Thursday’s 36-hole day, Tech commanded the par-5 holes, playing them in 11-under-par. The Jackets finished the tournament 36-under-par on the par 5s, nine shots better than any other team, and piled up 63 birdies, eight more than any other team.
Tech on the Par 5s – Schniederjans (-8), Ogletree (-8), Howe (-7), Strafaci (-7), Norton (-6).
TEAM LEADERBOARD – Georgia Tech’s 37-under-par 827 was 15 strokes clear of second-place Virginia (842, -22), while No. 3 Wake Forest finished third (845, -19). The Cavaliers and Demon Deacons tied for the best team round of the day at 9-under-par 279.
No. 9 Duke and No. 29 Florida State, tied for second to begin the day, finished in a tie for fourth place at 852 (-14). No. 24 NC State (856, -8), No. 19 Clemson (860, -4) and No. 2 Louisville (861, -3) finished the championship under par.
INDIVIDUAL LEADERBOARD – Florida State sophomore John Pak put together rounds of 67-67-69 to capture medalist honors at 13-under-par 203, clinching his one-shot victory over Georgia Tech’s Andy Ogletree (204, -12) after both players birdied the final hole.
Clemson’s Bryson Nimmer shot 68 in the final round to finish solo third at 11-under-par 205, while Virginia’s David Morgan posted a closing 70 to finish fourth at 10-under-par 206. Defending individual champion Thomas Walsh of Virginia shot 68 Sunday to finish fifth at 207 (-9), while Tech’s Luke Schniederjans took sixth place at 208 (-8).
TOURNAMENT INFORMATION – The 66th annual Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Golf Championship has been played at the Old North State Club in New London, N.C., 22 of the last 25 years. Old North State is a 7,102-yard, par 72 layout adjacent to Badin Lake, about 50 miles north of Charlotte, N.C.
The championship is contested over 54 holes, 18 each day. Eight ACC teams are ranked in the Golfstat Top 30, with Wake Forest leading the way at No. 3 followed by No. 8 Georgia Tech, No. 9 Duke, No. 18 Clemson, No. 21 Louisville, No. 23 North Carolina, No. 26 NC State, and No. 29 Florida State.
Twelve of Georgia Tech’s 17 ACC men’s golf championships have been won at the Old North State Club. Tech and Wake Forest have each won 18 league titles, while the Demon Deacons boast the most individual champions with 22. Tech, which has won 16 outright ACC Championships and shared two others, has produced 11 individual medalists since joining the conference in 1979. North Carolina is third with 11 titles (10 outright), followed by Clemson with 10 (nine outright) and Duke with nine.