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Christo Lamprecht’s back injury to likely keep him out at NCAAs

Christo Lamprecht’s back injury to likely keep him out at NCAAs

CARLSBAD, Calif. — Christo Lamprecht was in the final group to finish up Friday night after the opening round of the 2024 NCAA Men’s Golf Championship. The last hour was a grind, even with him signing for a 2-under 70 mark.

Lamprecht, the 6-foot-8 senior at Georgia Tech and top-ranked amateur in the world, had his back flare up. He fought and grinded to the clubhouse. Then he went straight to the training table.

“I didn’t sleep very good with that,” Yellowjackets’ coach Bruce Heppler said.

Come Saturday morning, Lamprecht texted his coach that he wanted to give it a go, but his back was too injured. In came Aidan Tran, who didn’t know until about 80 minutes before his tee time he was in the lineup.

Aidan Tran of Georgia Tech golf at NCAA Championship, Round 2, May 25, 2024, Omni LaCosta Resort and Spa, Carlsbad, Calif. (Todd Drexler/Tim Cowie Photos)

Tran replaced Lamprecht in Georgia Tech’s lineup at the last minute Saturday, carding a 5-over 77 in the second round at Omni La Costa’s North Course. He had three birdies, including his last hole, and the only true blemish on his scorecard was a poor three-hole stretch on Nos. 12-14 that saw him card three straight double bogeys. Otherwise, considering the circumstances, it was a solid call to the bullpen.

“I was at breakfast with the guys and was just sitting there eating,” Tran said. “Coach pulled me aside and he’s like, ‘Did Christo tell you?’ ‘No, he didn’t tell me anything.’”

Tran had to get into a competitive mode real fast. He has traveled with the team to the ACC Championship and NCAA Regionals but didn’t play until Saturday. Georgia Tech’s drop score was 5 over, which Tran and first-round leader Hiroshi Tai both shot.

“This was definitely different for me,” Tran said.

He said there were some first-tee jitters, so he pulled an iron and ended up striping his tee shot down the fairway. He turned in even before the three straight doubles, then he birdied his final hole and signed for 77.

And Tran can go into tomorrow knowing he’s likely going to play. Heppler said “this is not good” in regards to Lamprecht’s back, which he attributes to stress and numerous factors, like fighting for the No. 1 spot in PGA Tour University and the pressure of being the No. 1 player in the World Amateur…


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