Scottsdale, Ariz. – Bartley Forrester birdied three of his last four holes to shoot 2-under-par 68 Monday, tying for 15th place at the NCAA Men’s Golf Championship, while Georgia Tech posted a final round of 294 (+14) and tied for 12th place on the team leaderboard.
Forrester, whose birdie putt at 18 Sunday lifted the Yellow Jackets over the cut line to make Monday’s final round, played a steady round of golf from the start Monday. The junior from Gainesville, Ga., had one birdie and two bogeys on the front nine and made five straight pars to start the back. Then he hit excellent approach shots into the greens at 15, 17 and 18, all par-4 holes, leaving himself less than 10 feet from the cup on each, and drained the putts.
His individual finish was the best for a Yellow Jacket at the NCAA Championship since 2014, when Ollie Schniederjans was the runner-up and Seth Reeves tied for sixth at Hutchinson, Kan. After tying for 75th place last year, Forrester’s tie for 15th assures him of All-America status.
As a team, Tech’s four counting players played solidly until the last hole, where they lost six shots to par but still tied for 12th. It was the Yellow Jackets’ highest NCAA finish since 2015, when they finished ninth at Bradenton, Fla. The Jackets finished three spots higher than last year on the same golf course, though their score was two strokes higher.
Tech began the day tied for 14th place, paired with the Ole Miss and Oregon in the final round. The Jackets outplayed both teams, with the Rebels finishing 14th and the Ducks 15th, and wound up in a tie with Georgia at the finish with a score of 1171 (+51).
TECH LINEUP – One of only seven subpar rounds in the field Monday, Forrester’s 68 was the only subpar round of the NCAA Championship for Georgia Tech, completing a 72-hole score of 6-over-par 286.
The Yellow Jackets also counted a pair of 75s Monday from Connor Howe and Christo Lamprecht, and a 76 from Ross Steelman. Lamprecht finished the championship in a tie for 32nd place, 12 spots higher than his 2021 finish, at 289 (+9), while Howe tied for 47th place at 293 (+13). Steelman finished alone in 76th place at 309 (+29).
TEAM LEADERBOARD – Top-seeded Oklahoma, No. 3 Vanderbilt and No. 5 North Carolina finished the team competition in a three-way tie for first place with a 72-hole score of 1134 (+14). Vanderbilt earned the top seed for the match play championship by virtue of having the lowest fifth-player cumulative score, with Oklahoma seeded No. 2 and North Carolina No. 3.
No. 7 Texas (+17). No. 2 Oklahoma State (+21), No. 6 and defending champion Pepperdine (+26), No. 4 Arizona State (+28) and No. 8 Texas Tech (+33) also advanced to the match play championship, which will commence Tuesday morning.
Arkansas (+39), which finished in ninth place, Auburn (+40) and Florida (+40), who tied for 10th, were the closest pursuers.
INDIVIDUAL LEADERBOARD – The individual national champion came down to a four-man playoff between Parker Coody of Texas, Ryan Burnett of North Carolina, Eugenio Lopez-Chacarra of Oklahoma State and Gordon Sargent of Vanderbilt, each of whom finished 72 holes at even-par 280. Sargent, the 54-hole leader, won the national championship with a birdie on the first playoff hole.
They finished one stroke ahead of another group of four players at 1-over-par 281 – Cameron Sisk of Arizona State, William Mouw of Pepperdine, David Ford of North Carolina and Chris Gotterup of Oklahoma.
Mateo Fernandez De Oliveira of Arkansas (+2) and Sam Bennett of Texas A&M (+3) rounded out the top 10 on the leaderboard.
HEAD COACH BRUCE HEPPLER ON BARTLEY FORRESTER – “Bartley was phenomenal today, and it was hard out there. I’m hoping he winds up in the top 15 and is an All-American. That was big-time golf for him today.”
HEPPLER ON TECH’S ROUND – “We’ve got to learn how to finish. Today they played pretty well again all day long, and then we make a triple, a double and a bogey on the last hole. It could’ve been a lot better. That’s what experienced and older guys do. It was a sour finish. For 17 holes we played as well as anybody today. We took a step forward from last year, but we have to be able to stop the run of bad holes.”
BARTLEY FORRESTER ON HIS FINISH – “You’ve just got to stay patient. The wind and where they have the pins and how dry the greens are, you really can’t fire at the pins and be too aggressive. So you just stay within yourself, keep the ball in front of you and hit as many fairways and greens as you can. Eventually you get a few putts to drop. I feel like I’ve been putting good rolls on putts, and eventually they just started going in at the end. In the fourth round here last year I did not play well at all, and to play as solidly as I did here today is really gratifying.”