Kohala Coast, Hawai’i – Looking to defend its Atlantic Coast Conference championship from last spring and return to the NCAA Championship, Georgia Tech’s 12th-ranked golf team is on the Big Island of Hawai’i for its first spring season event, the Amer Ari Intercollegiate, starting Thursday.
Tech enjoyed a solid fall season, finishing second at the Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate Invitational and third at the Olympia Fields/Fighting Illini Invitational and the East Lake Cup, as well as an eighth-place showing at the Ben Hogan Collegiate Invitational.
Twenty teams will compete over three days (Thursday through Saturday) at the Mauna Lani Resort’s North Course in the 33rd edition of the event, which has attracted an increasingly strong field over the years. Nine of the 20 teams are ranked in the top 25 of the current Scoreboard NCAA Golf Ranking, and 13 teams are listed among the top 50.
After guiding the Yellow Jackets to the program’s 19th Atlantic Coast Conference championship and a runner-up finish at the NCAA Championship last spring, head coach Bruce Heppler has three starters back for his 29th season on The Flats, including seniors Bartley Forrester (Gainesville, Ga.) and Christo Lamprecht (George, South Africa) and sophomore Hiroshi Tai (Singapore), each of whom are ranked among the world’s top 100 amateur players. They have formed the foundation of the Tech lineup throughout the fall.
The tournament will utilize a shotgun start format each day, with competition beginning at 7:30 a.m. local time (12:30 p.m. Eastern time) each day.
Christo Lamprecht, the world’s top-ranked amateur, won two tournaments in the fall. (photo by Mario Terrana)
TECH LINEUP – All three of Tech’s returning starters – Lamprecht, Forrester and Tai – are in the lineup for the Amer Ari Intercollegiate along with freshmen Kale Fontenot (Lafayette, La.) and Carson Kim (Yorba Linda, Calif).
Lamprecht is currently ranked the No. 1 amateur in the world. He is No. 2 in the Scoreboard collegiate rankings, but the No. 1-ranked player, Nick Dunlap, has turned pro. The 6-8 senior won twice in the fall, winning the Olympia Fields/Fighting Illini Invitational and the Ben Hogan Collegiate Invitational while tying for 14th place at the Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate Invitational. He owns a team-best 68.67 stroke average, which is on pace to set a Tech program record.
Forrester, ranked No. 137 in the Scoreboard rankings, posted a top-10 finish at Olympia Fields…