Salem, S.C. – Ross Steelman and Hiroshi Tai each fired 4-under-par 68s Monday, and Georgia Tech posted a 10-under-par 278 to occupy fifth place after the opening round of the NCAA Salem (S.C.) Regional.
The No. 2-seed Yellow Jackets find themselves on the cutline after 18 holes, one stroke ahead of sixth place and 12 shots behind leader Arkansas, the sixth seed. Eight other teams are within six strokes of Tech entering round two, which begins at 8 a.m. Tuesday. The top five teams in each regional qualifier advance to the NCAA Championship.
The Jackets tee off the 10th hole at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, paired with Georgia Southern and Northern Illinois.
Tech has advanced to the NCAA Championship finals in seven of the past 10 years, including each of the last three, finishing fourth in 2019 (Pullman, Wash.), third in 2021 (Tallahassee, Fla.) and first last year (Columbus, Ohio). Four of the five Tech starters from 2022 are back for this season.
The Yellow Jackets are playing in an NCAA regional for the 25th straight year and for the 32nd time in the 34 years the NCAA has used a regional qualifying format for its championship (the NCAA Championship and regionals were not conducted in 2020 due to COVID-19).
Monday highlights from Hiroshi Tai
TECH LINEUP – Tech, the nation’s 11th-ranked team, counted the 68s from Steelman and Tai, while Christo Lamprecht, Connor Howe and Bartley Forrester each shot 1-under-par 71. The Jackets rallied to shoot 8-under-par on the back nine at The Cliffs at Keowee Falls, making eight birdies on the three par-5 holes and posting no bogeys from the 14th to the 18th holes.
Tai, a freshman from Singapore who was the individual runner-up at the ACC Championship last month, played a bogey-free round Monday, making one birdie on the front nine and three on the back. Steelman, who made the All-ACC team announced last week, overcame two bogeys in his first four holes by birdieing five holes on the front and two more on the back. Both players are tied for 13th place individually.
Lamprecht, Howe and Forrester are tied for 33rd place in the 75-player field.
Monday highlights from Ross Steelman
TEAM LEADERBOARD – Arkansas, the sixth seed, piled up 26 birdies and two eagles at The Cliffs Monday, led by 65s from Segundo Pinto and Wil Gibson, to post a 22-under-par total of 266 Monday and grab a six-shot lead over No. 7-seed New Mexico (272, -16).
North Carolina, the top seed and ranked No. 2 in the nation, is in third place at…
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