Albertson is co-champion individually, 2nd career ACC title
THE FLATS – Four of Georgia Tech’s five players birdied the second playoff hole on Sunday as the 11th-ranked Yellow Jackets successfully defended their Atlantic Coast Conference championship at the 62nd annual event at the Old North State Club in New London, N.C.
Anders Albertson won co-medalist honors with Louisville’s Robin Sciot-Siegrist and Virginia Tech’s Trevor Cone with an 11-under-par total of 205. It was the second conference title for the Tech senior from Woodstock, Ga., putting him in select company with Clemson’s Charles Warren, who did it most recently in 1997-98, Georgia Tech’s David Duval (1991, 1993), and Wake Forest’s Ronnie Thomas and Scott Hoch.
All three Tech players in the second group of the sudden-death playoff birdied the hole – Schniederjans making his first, then Anders Albertson and Vincent Whaley closing it out by rolling in short birdie putts for the Yellow Jackets. Freshman Chris Petefish also birdied out of the first playoff group, giving the Jackets a 4-under score on the hole while Clemson recorded one birdie and four pars. Each team got one birdie and four pars on the first hole of the playoff.
The title was the sixth in the last seven years for Tech, eighth in the last 10 years, 11th in 20 seasons under head coach Bruce Heppler and the 16th in the history of the program.
Tech and Clemson, bidding for its first conference title since 2004, finished 54 holes tied at 19-under-par 845 after the Yellow Jackets shot 6-under-par 282 Sunday and the Tigers posted a 7-under-par 281. The Yellow Jackets, who began Sunday’s final round with a one-stroke lead over the Tigers, rallied from five shots behind at one point after the Tigers surged ahead, and took a two-shot lead into the final two holes.
With the final group on the 17th tee, however, and Albertson leading by two in the medal race, the Tech senior pulled his tee shot into Badin Lake left of the par-3 hole and double-bogeyed, dropping him into the three-way tie in the medal race and Tech into a tie, first with Florida State, then with Clemson at the end.
The Seminoles dropped out of the tie on the same hole when Jack Maguire bogeyed, and finished one shot out of the playoff. Clemson, meanwhile, got a birdie from Billy Kennerly on the final hole, the same par-5 18th used in the playoff, to pull even with the Jackets.
TEAM LEADERBOARD – Tech and Clemson finished with identical scores of 845 (-19), one shot ahead of the nation’s top-ranked team, Florida State (846, -18). Virginia (853, -11) finished fourth, followed by North Carolina (854, -10) and Virginia Tech (856, -8). They were the only teams to finish 54 holes under par.
The victory gives Tech automatic qualification into the NCAA regionals, which will take place May 14-16 at six different sites. The fields for all six regionals will be announced May 4.
INDIVIDUAL LEADERBOARD – Due to the length of the team playoff, the three individuals did not play off for medalist honors, leaving Albertson, Sciot-Siegrist and Cone sharing the individual ACC championship at 11-under-par 205. Sciot-Siegrist shot 67 Sunday, while Cone turned in a 71. Schniederjans finished alone in fourth place at 9-under-par 207. Henry Do of North Carolina and Jack Maguire of Florida State tied for fifth at 8-under 208.
TECH LINEUP – Albertson and Schniederjans both shot 3-under-par 69 Sunday, while Clark and Petefish each shot even-par 72 to count for the Yellow Jackets. Whaley did not count for the team score after a 74. Albertson, at 11-under-par 205, finished his career with four top-10 finishes in the ACC Championship and 10 of his 12 rounds under 70. Schniederjans finished solo fourth at 9-under-par 207, his third top-10 finish in four ACC Championships, while Petefish tied for 23rd place at even-par 216. Clark tied for 34th place at 222 (+6) and Whaley tied for 36th at 223 (+7).
TECH COACH BRUCE HEPPLER – “The field and the depth this year — I thought the conference was as good as it’s been in a long time. You’ve got the No. 1 team in the country in Florida State, and to come down like it did, we brought three guys that had never played here before. To do that without a lot of experience and to beat the No. 1 team in the country and everybody else here is very satisfying.”
TECH SENIOR ANDERS ALBERTSON – ““I’m very happy and excited for the young guys to finish strong like that, and especially in a playoff. It was a team effort, and we haven’t really played in many playoffs before, and so with two freshmen and a sophomore and the first time for them seeing the golf course, they hung in there great.”
TOURNAMENT INFORMATION – The ACC Championship is a 54-hole collegiate event, with the low four scores out of five counting toward the team score for each round. Georgia Tech played the final round with Florida State and Clemson, teeing off from 9:30-10:10 a.m. from the first tee. The Old North State Club, home to the ACC Tournament every year since 2002, is a par-72 layout measuring 7,102 yards. Nine of the 12 ACC teams are listed in the top 50 of this week’s Golfstat rankings, including Virginia (23), Wake Forest (27), Clemson (36), Virginia Tech (38), Duke (45) and NC State (48).
TOURNAMENT HISTORY – Georgia Tech’s 2015 Atlantic Coast Conference title is the second straight, sixth in the last seven years for Tech, eighth in the last 10 years, 11th in 20 seasons under head coach Bruce Heppler and the 16th in the history of the program.
The last three individual champions also have come from Georgia Tech. Anders Albertson won his second title, sharing medallist honors with Louisville’s Robin Sciot-Siegrist and Virginia Tech’s Trevor Cone with a score of 11-under-par 205. He also won the championship in 2013 with a record score of 15-under 201. He is the fifth player to win two ACC titles, and the second Tech player to do so, joining David Duval in 1991 and 1993.
Albertson became Tech’s 10th ACC individual champion, joining Bob McDonnell (1985), David Duval (1991, 1993), Mikko Rantanen (1994), Bryce Molder (2000), Cameron Tringale (2006), Chesson Hadley (2010), Paul Haley (2011) and Albertson (2013).
Tech’s 16 ACC men’s golf titles in history ranks second among conference schools behind Wake Forest (18). Tech has won 11 of its conference titles under current head coach Bruce Heppler, nine of those outright (1999, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015) and two shared (2006, 2007). The Yellow Jackets won five championships (1985, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994) under previous head coach Puggy Blackmon.
Ten of Tech’s ACC titles have occurred at the Old North State Club, the first occurring in 1999 by 10 strokes over North Carolina and Duke. Tech won the 2011 crown with a tournament record score of 831 (-33) and by a record 20 strokes. Tech shared the 2006 title with North Carolina, and the 2007 crown with Virginia Tech.
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH GOLF
Georgia Tech’s golf team is in its 20th year under head coach Bruce Heppler. The Yellow Jackets have won 15 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, made 27 appearances in the NCAA Championship and been the national runner-up four times. Connect with Georgia Tech Golf on social media by liking their Facebook page, or following on Twitter (@GT_Golf). For more information on Tech golf, visit Ramblinwreck.com.