Tech golf finishes in top ten nationally

Junior Christo Lamprecht watches a shot during round two of the NCAA Men’s Golf Championship. Lamprecht helped Tech finish 12th at the NCAA Championship. // Photo courtesy of GTAA

Tech’s men’s golf team competed in both the NCAA regional and championship tournaments this May, marking Tech’s 31st appearance in the championship tournament. The NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Committee hosted six tournaments from May 16 to May 18 throughout the country for the regional. The regional qualifiers would go on to compete in Scottsdale at the Grayhawk Golf Club from May 27 to June 1 for the championships.

The regional, which Tech has competed in for 24 years in a row, began on May 16. Tech was seeded second behind Oklahoma State to compete in Columbus at the Ohio State Golf Club. The Columbus tournament saw thirteen teams and ten individuals competing in a 54-hole, stroke-play tournament on a par 72 course.

Tech began round 1 paired with Oklahoma and Arizona in cold weather. Junior Ross Steelman and freshman Benjamin Reuter shot 1-over-par 72 and tied for 14th place. Sophomore Christo Lamprecht clocked two double bogeys in the back nine and shot a 78 for the day. Juniors Bartley Forrester and Connor Howe each shot 2-over-par 73 and tied for 25th place.

The Jackets ended the day tied with No. 6 seed, Ohio state, for the fifth championship-qualifying spot. The top five winning teams and top individual of each regional qualified for the championship tournament. The Jackets were 6-over-par for a total of 290 while No. 1 seed, Oklahoma State, went 4-under-par for 280. Clemson, Duke, Ohio State, San Francisco and Tech went into the second round within four strokes of each other.

The Jackets went into round two with No. 3 Arkansas and No. 11 Kentucky. Steelman shot a 4-under-par 67 with only one bogey and ranked second individually after Tuesday. Lamprecht, Howe and Reuter shot a 3-underpar 68, earning the latter two rankings in the top ten individuals. Tech ended with a 13-underpar 271 in round two.

The final round of regionals paired Tech with Oklahoma and Ohio in a cloudy forecast. While the round began with Oklahoma tying up with Tech, Reuter and Steelman shot birdies to maintain the team’s position. Steelman shot his final round 3-under-par 68 while the other players shot an even-par 71, making Tech tie with Oklahoma State for first place and qualify alongside Arkansas, East Tennessee State and Ohio State.

Tech qualified with the lead in par-5 holes and 48 collective birdies, ranked second in par-3 scoring and third in par-4 scoring. Reuter tied for fourth with 2-under-par 211 (-2) and Howe tied for seventh with 1-under-par 212. Lamprecht tied for 29th with 217 and Bartley Forrester tied for 40th place with 219. Howe and five others tied for 7th with 212 (-1).

The NCAA championship saw thirty teams play a 54-hole tournament with Oklahoma seeded first. Tech was the No. 10 seed going into the NCAA championship and paired with Texas A&M and Stanford for the first two rounds. Arizona State, Florida, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pepperdine, Texas, Texas Tech and Vanderbilt also competed.

Forrester and Lamprecht began the first round shooting 3-over-par 73s, bringing Tech to 23rd place in the championship with an overall 18-over-par 298. Forrester and Lamprecht tied for 42nd place while Steelman and Howe tied for 101st. Texas A&M scored 300 (+20) and Stanford posted 295 (+15).

Tech brought themselves up to 17th place with 9-over-par 289 the next morning for round two. Tech’s partners Texas A&M and Stanford placed 17th and 14th respectively. The top fifteen move onto the final stroke play round of the championship to determine the top eight teams that will move on to match play.

Tech was tied with both A&M and Ole Miss for the advancing place and was once again paired with A&M for round three. Forrester shot a 17-foot birdie putt while his partner senior Sam Bennett bogeyed on the hole. Lamprecht and A&M sophomore Daniel Rodrigues also bogeyed the 18th hole. Tech tied with Ole Miss for 14th place and advanced to the final stroke play tournament on May 30. Forrester had a good round and shot 2-under-par 68, tying 15th at the championship.

The Tech team lost six shots to par and their score of 294(+14) brought them to 12th place, the highest in seven years for the Jackets at the NCAAs. Tech’s final round partners, Ole Miss and Oregon, ranked 14th and 15th respectively.

The championship and Tech’s successful season places Tech men’s golf ranked No. 10 by Golfweek, marking the 19th top ten final ranking since 2000, a remarkable stretch for any golf program. With a great end to the season, many are excited for what comes next for the Jackets.