Georgia Tech's ACC-winning squad (Mike Stamus/Georgia Tech Athletics)
Despite a weather-interrupted schedule, which ultimately amounted to a day off in the middle of the championship, Georgia Tech claimed its 18th ACC team title on Saturday. The Yellow Jackets finished three rounds at Old North State Club in New London, N.C., at 37 under par, which was 15 better than runner-up Virginia and 17 better than Wake Forest in third.
The number 18 carries some significance in the conference, considering that when Georgia Tech won its first league title in 1985, a long-running Wake Forest program already had 18 ACC crowns. Now Georgia Tech, under head coach Bruce Heppler has pulled even. Heppler has been around for 13 of those titles.
“I’ve never slept on a lead for two nights in a row,” Heppler said. “And it was such a big one, I’m sure they were a little unnerved this morning because it’s a long time to wait. We didn’t get off to a great start, but they continued to play hard and played really well on the back nine to get it done.”
Georgia Tech had a 17-shot lead to start the final round. The field played 36 holes on Thursday April 18, anticipating that weather would wipe Friday’s second round. Teams returned Saturday to finish, and the Yellow Jackets played the final round in 7 under. That was second only to 9-under efforts by Virginia and Wake Forest.
and Noah Norton
each fired rounds of 4-under 68 for Georgia Tech on Saturday. Andy Ogletree
was the low Yellow Jacket, though, despite a final-round 73. He was solo second at 12 under for the week.
The league title went to Florida State sophomore John Pak
, who has now won four times this season. Pak, whose 13-under total left him one ahead of Ogletree, is only the second Florida State player to be an ACC champion, following Jonas Blixt in 2007.
“He plays to win and he attacks all day long,” Florida State head coach Trey Jones. “He’s not timid or cautious at all. There wasn’t any ‘Can I miss it right? Can I miss it left?’ He’s on a run right now where he’s playing good every tournament that he’s in.”
Information from Georgia Tech Athletics and FSU Athletics used in this report
ABOUT THE ACC Championship
54 hole men's collegiate championship of the
Atlantic Coast Conference. Team (best four scores out
of five players each round) and individual competitions.
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