Atlanta, GA - Georgia Tech hosts the 5th United States Collegiate Championship beginning Sunday, Oct. 24, at the Golf Club of Georgia in Alpharetta, Ga., the Yellow Jackets’ final event of the fall season. The 54-hole event runs through Tuesday, Oct. 26, with tee times beginning at 9 a.m. each day.
Widely recognized as one of the finest events in college golf, with one of the nation’s strongest fields, the USCC has moved to the fall after being held four times during the spring season. It is played on the 7,017-yard, par 72 Lakeside Course. A practice round will be held Saturday, Oct. 23, and the three 18-hole competition rounds are scheduled for Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, beginning at 9 a.m. each day.
From its inception in 2006, this event has attracted a stellar field, with some of the top teams from all around the country. This year, 14 of the 15 teams are among the top 85 in the latest Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings. No. 13-ranked Georgia Tech is the host and will be joined by No. 1 UCLA, No. 12 Washington, No. 14 Texas A&M, the 2009 NCAA champion, and No. 17 California.
Rounding out the field are two-time and defending USCC champion Clemson, USC, Florida State, Kent State, Duke, Wake Forest, East Tennessee State, South Carolina, Georgia State and Virginia, which has won its past two starts.
“The Golf Club of Georgia and its membership are committed to making this a special experience for the players,” said Tech head coach Bruce Heppler. “The competition has always been strong and the golf course is in terrific shape. The event is really special. They’re able to attract very good teams each year, which makes it a real test for everyone.”
Tech’s core group – seniors John-Tyler Griffin, Paul Haley and Kyle Scott, and junior James White – will compete for the 14th-ranked Jackets at the USCC, along with freshman Seth Reeves/Richard Werenski. Reeves/Werenski and junior William Miller will play as individuals.
That foursome has played in all three fall events to date, leading the Yellow Jackets to a third-place finish at the Carpet Capital Collegiate, a seventh-place finish at the top-25 heavy Ping/Golfweek Preview Invitational, and a fourth-place showing at the Brickyard Collegiate two weeks ago.
“We’ve been in the mix in all three events, and we’ve had some trouble getting a fourth score at times, but overall things have gone well,” said Heppler. “We’re excited to have this tournament back, and be able to play at home in front of our friends and fans. It’s our home golf course, and we want to be in the hunt on the last nine Tuesday.”
Griffin has finished 13th or better in all three events and leads the Yellow Jackets with s 72.00 stroke average over nine rounds. The Wilson, N.C., native is Tech’s highest ranked individual (No. 26) in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index.
Scott, who has one top-10 finish and has been 21st or better in all three events, is second on the team with a 72.11 average and ranked 51st nationally in the Golfweek/Sagarin Index. White (No. 109) is third on the team at 73.67 and tied for 8th at the Brickyard, and Haley (No. 131) is fourth at 73.89 with two top-10 finishes.
Werenski, a true freshman from South Hadley, Mass., has played in all three events, one as an individual, and has averaged 74.89 strokes per round. Reeves, who red-shirted last year, tied for 16th place in his collegiate rebut at the Brickyard (even-par 216).
The USCC is unique to the college landscape in that is features caddies for every player, mandatory long pants for participants, and an intimate opportunity for fans to walk behind the players in the fairway, with no gallery ropes.
Previous USCC champions include Clemson (2006, 2009), Georgia (2007) and Southern Cal (2008).
Three-day tickets are available to the public at The Golf Club of Georgia for a $20 donation to the tournament’s charities – the Folds of Honor Foundation, which provides scholarships to the children of U.S. military persons killed in action, and the Georgia State Golf Foundation. Parking is available just minutes from The Golf Club of Georgia, with free shuttles to the Clubhouse. Tournament information can be found on www.TheUSCC.org.
The Lakeside Course, named “Best New Private Course in America” by Golf Digest in 1991, plays to 7,017 yards and a par-72.
The Golf Club of Georgia is a private, member-owned club north of Atlanta featuring two championship Arthur Hills-designed courses, Lakeside and Creekside, which was completed in 1993.
The Golf Club of Georgia also has hosted the Georgia Amateur, the NCAA East Regional Championship and U.S. Open Sectional Qualifying.