Rocky Face, Ga. – Luke Schniederjans completed a wire-to-wire victory with an even-par 72 Sunday, while fellow senior Tyler Strafaci paced Georgia Tech with a final-round, 2-under-par 70 as the No. 3 Yellow Jackets won the Carpet Capital Collegiate at The Farm Golf Club in record fashion.
Tech won the Carpet Capital Collegiate for the 10th time in the tournament’s 31-year history, and captured at least a share of the title for the third straight year, this time by a tournament-record 20 strokes over North Florida, Charlotte and East Tennessee State. It also was the Yellow Jackets’ 60th tournament victory in the tenure of head coach Bruce Heppler, who began his 25th season on The Flats this weekend.
TECH LINEUP – Playing without junior Noah Norton for the second straight day (back spasms), meaning Tech was not able to drop its high individual score, the Yellow Jackets posted a 4-over-par round of 292 and finished the tournament as the only team under par for 54 holes.
Schniederjans, a senior from Powder Springs, Ga., demonstrated his comfort on the 7,180-yard layout at The Farm all weekend, cruising to a five-shot victory with a 9-under-par tournament score of 207. He shot 68-67 the first two rounds to build a seven-stroke margin, and his even-par 72 Sunday protected his lead from hard-charging teammate Strafaci, who crept within two shots at one point but finished with a round of 70 and took second place at 4-under-par 212.
Freshman Andy Mao (Johns Creek, Ga.) posted a top-20 finish in his collegiate debut, tying for 18th place after carding an even-par 72 Sunday for a tournament total of 220 (+4). Redshirt sophomore Ben Smith (Novi, Mich.) tied for 48th place at 229 (+13), while sophomore Connor Howe (Ogden, Utah), competing as an individual, tied for 31st place at 224 (+8).
The Jackets piled up 55 birdies over three days despite the difficulty of the golf course, five more than Florida, which finished the tournament in 10th place.
TEAM LEADERBOARD – Without the services of senior Andy Ogletree, who helped the United States rally to victory Sunday at the Walker Cup in Hoylake, England, and without Norton for all but the opening round, Georgia Tech still was able to win by a tournament-record margin of 20 strokes, mainly on the strength of its two seniors finishing 1-2 in the medal race. The Jackets completed the tournament at 861 (-3).
North Florida, Charlotte and East Tennessee tied for second place at 881 (+17), with the Buccaneers and the 49ers posting the low rounds of the day (even-par 288) on Sunday. No. 21 Alabama and No. 23 South Carolina tied for fourth place at 883 (+19), with No. 17 Clemson and Colorado State tied for seventh at 885 (+21).
Tennessee (893, +29) and Florida (895, +31) rounded out the top 10.
INDIVIDUAL LEADERBOARD – With Luke Schniederjans’ victory Sunday (207, -9), four Carpet Capital Collegiate championship medalist trophies now reside in the Schniederjans family. Luke also won the title as a freshman, and older brother Ollie captured medalist honors in 2013 and 2014. It was Luke’s third career tournament victory, and first since his freshman year, when he won both the Carpet Capital Collegiate and the Puerto Rico Classic.
Tyler Strafaci (212, -4) logged his eighth career top-10 finish and posted his best result since winning the Valspar Collegiate Championship his freshman year.
Only four other players finished 54 holes under par. Clemson’s Kyle Cottam took third with a 2-under-par score of 214, while San Francisco’s Matthew Anderson, South Carolina’s Jamie Wilson and Tennessee’s Rhys Nevin-Wharton tied for fourth at 1-under-par 215.
COACH BRUCE HEPPLER SAYS – “They did a great job and played hard all the way through. The golf course is a real test in college golf, and to be able to come up here and shoot under par is a great credit to them. I’m very happy for Luke. He won here as a freshman and now has come back to win as a senior. Everybody played really well. Connor Howe played well as an individual, and Andy Mao had a lot of birdies, and that bodes well for the future for him to finish in the top 20 of his first event. I think we’ve got a really good team.”
LUKE SCHNIEDERJANS SAYS – “It was really cool to win this again, not too much different from the first one except this time we got the team win. I’m pretty comfortable out here. We played a high school tournament out here three times. I’m comfortable with the lines off the tees, and I can read the greens pretty well. It was nice to have a little bit of a lead and not have to go at the pins.”
TECH’S CARPET CAPITAL COLLEGIATE HISTORY – The Carpet Capital Collegiate is contested at The Farm Golf Club, a 7,180-yard, par 72 layout designed by Tom Fazio near Dalton, Ga. The Yellow Jackets have been the institutional host of this event since its inception in 1989, winning or sharing 10 titles. Georgia Tech has won or shared the title at the Carpet Capital Collegiate 10 times in its 31-year history, including at least a share of the title the last three years. Clemson has won four times, Alabama three. A Yellow Jacket has won medalist honors 10 times, including five since 2013 (Luke Schniederjans in 2016 and 2018, Jacob Joiner in 2015, Ollie Schniederjans in 2013 and 2014). Current PGA Tour pros Stewart Cink, Chesson Hadley, Troy Matteson and Bryce Molder also have claimed victory at The Farm, with Molder taking the title three consecutive times between 1998 and 1999, when the event moved from the spring to the fall schedule.