In Hawaii, Georgia Tech edges ahead at the Amer Ari Invite
Tyler Strafaci (Georgia Tech photo)
Tyler Strafaci (Georgia Tech photo)

Tyler Strafaci shot a 5-under 67 to get to 13 under par and take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Amer Ari Invitational at Waikoloa King's Course on the Kona Coast of Hawaii.

Strafaci led Georgia Tech to the low round of the tournament so far, a 19-under 269, to break a first-round tie with Texas and forge a five-shot lead. Reigning U.S. Amateur champion Andy Ogletree shot a 66, while Noah Northon and Connor Howe added 68s for the Yellowjackets.

Texas shot a second-straight 274 to sit in second, two shots ahead of Arizona State. Cole Hammer, who led the Longhorns on day one with a 65, shot 10 shots higher in round two, but his teammates picked him up, led by Pierceson Coody with a 66.

Scoring was low again on Friday, with three teams -- Georgia Tech, Arizona State, and Pepperdine -- having all four counting rounds in the 60s. 57 players are under par throught two rounds of play.

Oklahoma State's Aman Gupta sits in solo second place individually, two shots behind Strafaci at 11 under par. Sahith Theegala (Pepperdine) and Ludvig Aberg (Texas Tech) are tied for third with Ogletree at 10 under.


No. 3 Georgia Tech and No. 25 Texas each shot 14-under 274 to take the first round lead in the Amer Ari Invitational at Waikoloa King's Course on the Kona Coast of Hawaii.

The Yellowjackets were led by Tyler Strafaci, who had 9 birdies in an 8-under 64 that gives him the solo lead. Reigning U.S. Amateur champion Andy Ogletree added a 68.

The Longhorns have two players in the top four of the individual leaderboard, with Cole Hammer (65) and Travis Vick (65) leading the way.

The field is bunched at the top, with four teams within five shots of the leaders. Arizona State is one shot behind, with a resurgent Oklahoma State two back, and Texas Tech and Auburn four and five shots back, respectively.

Sahith Theegala, who is 2-for-2 this year with wins at the Australian Master of the Amateurs and the Southwestern Invitational, shot a 66 and sits tied for fourth. His Pepperdine team is in seventh but only seven shots back of the leaders.

Scores were low across the board on Thursday, with 27 rounds in the 60s and 50 players under par after round one.

Chun An You of Arizona State, the 2019 AmateurGolf.com Player of the Year, shot a 2-under 70 in the first round.

The tournament continues with the second round on Friday, with the final round on Saturday morning.

1CAWilliam MouwChino, CA80071-68-64=203
2AZMason AndersenChandler, AZ50069-69-65=203
T3MSAndy OgletreeLittle Rock, MS40068-66-70=204
T3NCAman GuptaConcord, NC40065-68-71=204
5TXPierceson CoodyPlano, TX40072-66-67=205

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The Amer Ari Intercollegiate -- hosted by the University of Hawaii-Hilo -- has brought some of the best golfers in the nation to the west side of the Big Island annually since its inception in 1992. From Tiger Woods to Jordan Spieth to Matt Kuchar, the Amer Ari Intercollegiate has hosted a myriad of players through the years who have gone on to professional stardom.

The event was originally played at Hapuna Golf Course at Mauna Kea Resort before moving to the Waikoloa Beach Resort. The Amer Ari returned to Hapuna during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2024, the event was moved to Mauna Lani. The Amer Ari is a 54-hole collegiate men's event with individual and team competitions.

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