Tech gets wire-to-wire win at Watersound – Men’s Golf – Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Panama City Beach, Florida – Ross Steelman closed out its final round, 4-under par 68 with an eagle and a birdie and finished second individually, and Georgia Tech overcame a mid-round slump to claim a five-stroke win over Alabama at the Watersound Invitational.
The 17thand-The ranked Yellow Jackets earned their third tournament victory of the 2021-22 college year and first of the spring. Tech outlasted four other teams ranked in the top 25 of Golfstat’s current rankings, nine in the top 50, to win the 68and tournament victory in the 27th year of head coach Bruce Heppler’s tenure on The Flats.
TECHNICAL RANGE – Tech started the day with a six-stroke advantage over Virginia Tech and opened its 4-under round on the first three holes to move to 18 under and lead 10 over the Hokies. But the Jackets plummeted out of the lead, losing nine shots to par between holes 4 and 9.
Steelman, a junior from Columbia, Mo., birdied No. 10 and Connor Howe 11 birdies to stop the slide, and the Jackets got their groove back with four birdies at the par-5 13and. Tech added five more birdies and a home eagle to rebuild their lead.
Steelman’s 68 gave him a 6-under 210 total for the tournament and his fourth top 10 of the year. Bartley Forrester birdied two and bugged none on the back nine to help stabilize the Jackets, and posted a 73 to tie for fourth overall at 212 (-4). It was his third top-10 performance this year and his best finish since winning the Puerto Rico Classic in 2002.
Howe, a junior from Ogden, Utah, and sophomore Christo Lamprecht (George, South Africa) also shot 73 on Tuesday for Tech to give the Jackets a final round score of 287 (-1). Howe tied for 13and place individually at 214 (-2), while Lamprecht tied for 23rd at 217 (+1). First-year student benjamin ruter (Naarden, Netherlands) shot 76 on Tuesday and tied 34and place at 219 (+3).
Tech birdied 19 in Tuesday’s round and led the field with 62 of 54 holes. The Jackets outperformed the rest on the par-3 (+7) and par-5 (-22) holes, and ranked No. 2 on the par-4 (+7).
Ross Steelman shot 68 on Tuesday and finished in second place, his fourth top 10 of the year. (photo by Ross Obley)
TEAM RANKING – The Yellow Jackets, with a 54-hole total of 849 (-15), finished five strokes ahead of The Crimson Tide (854, -10), who posted a 6-under par of 282, the best team score of the day, behind medalist Canon Claycomb.
Notre Dame No. 15 shot 4-under 284 on Tuesday and took third place at 858 (-6), while Virginia Tech fell two spots to fourth at 862 (-2), the only other team to complete 54 holes under par.
No. 26 Clemson finished fifth at even par 864, followed by No. 4 North Carolina (865, +1). No. 6 Arkansas and No. 34 NC State (both at 867 (+3) tied for seventh, while No. 32 Louisville (868, +4) and No. 35 Florida State 873 ( + 9) round out the top 10.
INDIVIDUAL CLASSIFICATION – Alabama’s Canon Claycomb led in the first round and took medal honors after posting a 3-under 69 on Tuesday. The Bowling Green, Ky. junior shot 14-under 202 for the tournament and won by eight strokes.
Tech’s Steelman (210, -6) was a distant second, while FSU’s Frederik Kjetterup (211, -5) took third. Forrester was in a five-man tie for fourth at 212 (-4).
TOURNAMENT INFORMATION – Georgia Tech participated in the Watersound Invitational for the second consecutive year. The tournament followed the traditional college format of 54 holes, 5 times in 4, stroke play, with 18 holes each Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. The event was played at Shark’s Tooth Golf Club, a 7,202-yard (par 72) venue that will also serve as the venue for the ACC Championship in April.
The field included five teams from Golfstat’s top 25 and 10 from the top 50 – No. 33 Alabama, No. 6 Arkansas, Boston College, No. 26 Clemson, No. 53 Duke, No. 35 Florida State, No. 17 Georgia Tech , #32 Louisville, #4 North Carolina, #34 NC State, #15 Notre Dame, #37 Virginia, #62 Virginia Tech, and #12 Wake Forest.
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ABOUT GEORGIA TECH GOLF
Georgia Tech’s golf team is in its 27thand year under head coach Bruce Heppler, winning 67 tournaments during his tenure. The Yellow Jackets have won 18 Atlantic Coast Conference championships, made 29 NCAA championship appearances, and been national runners-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 Golf Tech, visit Ramblinwreck.com.