Panama City, Fla. – Freshman Benjamin Reuter birdied the 17th hole to take a 1-up lead in the No. 4 match and closed it out with a par at the last, providing the clinching point for 11th-ranked Georgia Tech in a 3-1-1 victory over No. 24 Florida State in the semifinals of the 68th Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Golf Championship.
The Yellow Jackets advance to Monday’s championship match against Wake Forest, who defeated North Carolina, 3-1, in the other semifinal. The match begins at 10 a.m. Eastern time and will be live streamed on ACC Network Extra (available via the ESPN app). The teams each have won 18 conference men’s golf titles, tied for the most in ACC history.
The 11th-ranked Yellow Jackets, who finished second in the stroke-play portion of the championship, also got match victories from sophomore Christo Lamprecht, 1-up over Michael Sakane, at No. 1, and senior Connor Howe, 5 and 3 over Patrick McCann at No. 5.
Reuter, playing at the No. 4 position, fell behind by three holes in the first four in his match with Brett Roberts, but rallied just as quickly with wins at holes 5, 6 and 8 and never trailed again. The freshman from Naarden, The Netherlands, took a 2-up lead by winning holes 11 and 12, only to see Roberts square the match with wins at 13 and 15. Roberts conceded Reuter’s short birdie putt at 17, and after Reuter lipped out his birdie attempt at 18, Roberts conceded the ensuing par putt and the match was finished at that point.
Lamprecht trailed by as many as three holes to Sakane (3-down through 7 holes), but the sophomore from George, South Africa battled back to win holes 8, 10 and 13 to square the match. Lamprecht, who tied for third place in stroke play, won the 14th hole with a par and 15 with a birdie to go 2-up, then held on to win at the No. 1 position.
Howe never trailed against McCann in a match that was tied through 10 holes. The senior from Ogden, Utah then birdied three consecutive holes to take control of the contest, won the 14th with a par, then closed out McCann with a birdie at 15.
Ross Steelman’s match against Cole Anderson ended in a tie through 19 holes. In a back-and-forth contest, the Tech junior from Columbia, Mo., drained a 20-foot birdie putt to square the match on 18, then dropped another from about 35 feet to stay alive on the first playoff hole. Bartley Forrester fell 4 and 3 in his match at No. 2 against Frederik Kjettrup.
Monday’s championship match begins at 10 a.m. Eastern time. Seeking the 19thconference championship in program history, the Yellow Jackets have captured 10 of the last 15 championships, most recently winning the 2019 title at the Old North State Club in New London, N.C. It was the 18th in program history, tying Wake Forest for the most in conference annals. Tech finished fifth last year, the first ACC Championship played under the new stroke play/match play format.
HEAD COACH BRUCE HEPPLER SAID – “We showed a lot of great resolve today. Christo’s opponent played about 5- or 6-under-par. Benjamin’s opponent birdied three of the first four holes. They battled and got a couple of great wins. Connor played a great match. Ross makes a couple of huge putts when the match is still hanging in the balance. This was a tremendous experience for all of our guys and they should be proud. We’re excited to be in the championship match.”
TOURNAMENT INFORMATION – The ACC Championship is being conducted the state of Florida for just the second time, and first time since 2001, when it was held at Disney’s Magnolia Course in Lake Buena Vista Fla. It is being held outside the state of North Carolina for just the eighth time in conference history. Since 1995, the tournament has been held at Old North State Club in New London, N.C., 22 times, with Georgia Tech winning the championship 12 times at that venue.
The par-72 Shark’s Tooth Golf Course measures 7,246 yards for the ACC Championship, which is being conducted for the second time under a new stroke play/match play format Friday through Monday. The championship used the traditional 54-hole, stroke-play format from 1980 to 2019 (the championship was not held in 2020 due to COVID-19). All 12 competing teams (Miami, Pittsburgh and Syracuse do not sponsor men’s golf) competed at 54 holes of stroke play, 36 holes Friday and 18 holes Saturday, with the standard low four rounds counting toward the team’s daily score each round. The top four teams after 54 holes were seeded in a match play bracket. Each match is 18 holes and involve all five players from each team, each match worth one point for his team. The format is similar to the way the NCAA Championship has been conducted every year since 2009.
The ACC Championship field includes seven of the top 30 teams in the country, including No. 7 North Carolina, No. 11 Georgia Tech, No. 13 Notre Dame, No. 15 Wake Forest, No. 23 Clemson, No. 24 Florida State and No. 26 NC State.