Scottsdale, Ariz. – Christo Lamprecht and Ben Smith fired 7-under-par rounds of 63 Saturday, and 17th-ranked Georgia Tech tied a team record for low 18-hole round (262) to take a four-shot lead after 36 holes at the Maui Jim Intercollegiate.
Lamprecht and first-round leader Ross Steelman stand 1-T2 on the individual leaderboard with Ben Smith tied for sixth place as the Yellow Jackets aim to win their first tournament of the 2021-22 season and hand head coach Bruce Heppler victory No. 66 in his 27-year Tech career.
All five Tech starters posted subpar rounds Saturday as the Yellow Jackets turned in a team total of 262, tying a team record set in the 2005 Waikoloa Intercollegiate.
TECH LINEUP – Lamprecht and Smith each carded eight birdies and one bogey en route to their career-low rounds Saturday. Lamprecht, a sophomore from George, South Africa, took over the individual lead at 12-under-par 128, while Smith, a senior from Novi, Mich., is in a tie for sixth place at 10-under-par 130.
Steelman, the first-round leader with a 62, followed with a 3-under-par 70 Saturday and is in a four-way tie for second place. The junior from Columbia, Mo., birdied six holes in his round. Junior Connor Howe (Ogden, Utah) and freshman Benjamin Reuter (Naarden, The Netherlands) each shot 69 Saturday.
Tech actually has four players among the top 15 individuals, including junior Bartley Forrester (Gainesville, Ga.), who followed his opening 64 with an even-par 70 on Saturday, and is in a two-way tie for 11th place at 6-under-par 134. Forrester is competing as an individual and doesn’t count toward the Yellow Jackets’ team score. Sophomore Aidan Kramer (Oviedo, Fla.), also competing as an individual, shot 2-under 68 Saturday.
TEAM LEADERBOARD – Tech, with a 34-under-par total of 526, and Clemson at 30-under-par 530, are head and shoulders ahead of the rest of the field after 36 holes. The Tigers posted a 16-under-par round of 264 Saturday, bettered only by the Yellow Jackets’ 18-under-par 262 on a day when 13 of the 14 teams broke par.
Louisville, Auburn and Washington are tied for third place at 15-under-par 545, followed by San Diego State at 14-under-par 546. California and Arizona are tied for seventh at 8-under-par 552, followed by Oregon at 7-under 553 and Utah at 6-under 554.
INDIVIDUAL LEADERBOARD – Tech’s Christo Lamprecht took over the individual lead after 36 holes, following his opening 65 with a 63 to post a two-round total of 128 (-12). He is one stroke ahead of four players tied at 11-under-par 129, including the Yellow Jackets’ Ross Steelman, the first-round leader who shot 67 on Saturday. That group also includes Arizona’s Sam Sommerhauser, Clemson’s Kyle Cottam and Arizona State’s David Puig.
Tech’s Ben Smith is in a three-way tie for sixth at 10-under-par 130 with Auburn’s J.M. Butler and Clemson’s Jacob Bridgman, who fired one of two 62s that were posted on Saturday, the low round of the day.
Taehoon Song (131, -9) and R.J. Manke (132, -8) of Washington hold ninth and 10thplace individually. Manke also shot 62 on Saturday.
HEAD COACH BRUCE HEPPLER SAID – “We had another good round today, and it came close to being really special. Like I said yesterday, I think we can throw five or six guys out there who can post a low number, and we almost had a third one today. It’s going to be a good battle tomorrow and probably will come down to the last couple of holes.”
TOURNAMENT INFORMATION – The Yellow Jackets competed in the Maui Jim Intercollegiate for the fourth time, having won the tournament in 2018 following finishes of sixth and second the two years prior. Georgia State hosted the 14-team event, which is 54 holes over three days, concluding Sunday, at Mirabel Golf Club, a 7,081-yard, par-70 layout in Scottsdale, Ariz., in the same vicinity as Grayhawk Golf Club, site of the NCAA Championship last spring and in each of the next two years.
The tournament utilizes a split-tee format for all three rounds, finishing with the final round 10 a.m. ET Sunday.
Participating teams include Georgia State, Arizona, Augusta, Clemson, Auburn, Alabama, Cal, Colorado State, Denver, Georgia Tech, Louisville, New Mexico, Oregon, San Diego State, Utah, and Washington. Four of the 16 teams competed in the NCAA Championship last year, while another eight competed in NCAA Regional play. Auburn, Clemson, Georgia Tech and Wake Forest are ranked in the Bushnell/Golfweek Preseason Coaches top 25.
The Alexander-Tharpe Fund is the fundraising arm of Georgia Tech athletics, providing scholarship, operations and facilities support for Georgia Tech’s 400-plus student-athletes. Be a part of developing Georgia Tech’s Everyday Champions and helping the Yellow Jackets compete for championships at the highest levels of college athletics by supporting the Annual Athletic Scholarship Fund, which directly provides scholarships for Georgia Tech student-athletes. To learn more about supporting the Yellow Jackets, visit atfund.org.
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH GOLF
Georgia Tech’s golf team is in its 27th year under head coach Bruce Heppler, winning 65 tournaments in his tenure. The Yellow Jackets have won 18 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, made 29 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 (@GTGolf) and Instagram. For more information on Tech golf, visit Ramblinwreck.com.