Georgia Tech placed four golfers under par for the second straight day, led by Andy Ogletree’s 4-under-par 68 Tuesday, as the 6th-ranked Yellow Jackets posted a 9-under-par 279 and rolled to an eight-stroke victory in the Franklin American Mortgage Collegiate at The Grove Club.
Tech won for the second time in three fall events and posted its 52nd victory in 23 seasons under head coach Bruce Heppler. Earlier, the Jackets won the Carpet Capital Collegiate in a playoff over Alabama and finished second by one stroke to Arizona State in the Maui Jim Invitational during the month of September.
“That’s what they’re capable of every day,” Heppler said. “If you can have four or five guys go out and shoot under par every day, you can do a lot. This was a great demonstration of how you can win when you have five guys playing for each other.”
Ogletree, a sophomore from Little Rock, Miss., shook off two forgettable rounds to go bogey-free with four birdies for his 68 on Tuesday, finishing in a tie for 17th place at 220 (+4). Senior Jacob Joiner (Leesburg, Ga.) continued his solid play with a 2-under-par 70 (six birdies), finishing alone in third place at 212 (-4), his best finish since sinning the Carpet Capital Collegiate in 2015.
Sophomore Tyler Strafaci (Davie, Fla.) matched Joiner with a 70 (one bogey, one birdie, one eagle) Tuesday, while freshman Noah Norton (Chico, Calif.) added a 1-under-par 71. Norton tied for seventh place at 215 (-1), his second straight top-10 finish, while Strafaci tied for 13th place at 219 (+3). Both players have finished 15th or better in every tournament this fall.
Sophomore Luke Schniederjans (Powder Springs, Ga.) didn’t count Tuesday after posting a 74, but nonetheless posted his best finish of the year, a tie for seventh, at 215 (-1). Senior Chris Petefish (Danville, Calif.) shot 72 Tuesday and tied for 20th place competing as an individual.
“I was proud of Jacob today,” Heppler said. “He started out with a couple of bogeys but really played well after that. That’s six good rounds in a row for him. Andy did a great job of putting his first two days behind him and shooting a round that helped his team win. That’s something that’s hard to explain to people, but it’s a lot easier to understand when you do it.”
Georgia Tech began the day one shot behind Mississippi but wasted no time jumping in front, posting five birdies and an eagle in the first four holes. The Jackets also finished strong with nine birdies and an eagle against three bogeys on the back nine, fashioning a 9-under-par 279 for the round. Tech finished 54 holes with a total of 852 (-12), eight shots better than Ole Miss, which was even par (288) for the day and finished at 860 (-4).
Host Middle Tennessee State shot 292 Tuesday and finished in a tie for third at 874 (+10) with charging Kennesaw State, which went 6-under-par (282) for the round. Liberty (881, +17) finished solo fifth, followed by South Florida and the College of Charleston, tied for sixth at 887 (+23).
Braden Thornberry, the defending NCAA champion, shot 70 Tuesday and finished off a one-stroke victory over Liberty’s Mickey DeMorat, who closed with a 68. The Ole Miss junior finished the tournament at 7-under-par 209, while DeMorat posted a 6-under-par 210.
Joiner was alone in third place at 212 (-4), while Michael Sass of the College of Charleston was fourth at 213 (-3). Marcus Byrd of Middle Tennessee State and Beau Briggs of Ole Miss tied for fifth at 214 (-2), while Norton and Schniederjans tied for seventh with two others at 215 (-1).