Georgia Tech, Clemson tied at Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate
Hiroshi Tai (Georgia Tech Athletics photo)
With play delayed more than an hour due to frost, Georgia Tech and Clemson did all they could to cut through the biting cold that greeted the teams on Friday morning at the Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate Invitational.
The two ACC rivals are tied atop the leaderboard at 12-under 276 while defending champion Pepperdine (-9), No. 8 Stanford (-8) and No. 11 Alabama (-8) round out the top five in the 14-team field.
A pair of freshmen top the individual leaderboard in Alabama's Nick Dunlap and Georgia Tech's Hiroshi Tai, who both carded 7-under rounds of 65 on the par-72, 7092-yard layout in Alpharetta.
Tai, a native of Singapore who enrolled at Tech in January after serving a two-year military obligation in the Singapore Navy, had four birdies on his outward nine and birdied both par-5s on the back for a tidy 65. He had a 15-foot eagle chance at 18 to take the outright lead, but the putt lipped out and he tapped in for birdie.
Dunlap, who won the 2021 U.S. Junior Amateur, had eight birdies and just one bogey on his card in recording his seventh round in the 60s in his 10 rounds played this season.
Two other highly-touted freshmen, Ben James of Virginia and Caleb Surrat of Tennessee, are also in the individual title chase after posting rounds of 67 and 68 on Friday.
Along with Tai's 65, the 12th-ranked (Golfweek/Sagarin) Yellow Jackets also received strong play from Christo Lamprecht and Bartley Forrester, who each shot 2-under-par 70, while Connor Howe added a 1-under-par 71. Tech had the luxury of tossing out a solid even par round of 72 by Andy Mao.
Clemson had three players shoot in the 60s, led by Zack Gordon's 4-under 68 and rounds of 69s by Jonathan Nielsen and Kian Rose. Gordon is part of a large pack tied for fourth at 4-under.
Thirty-three of the 75 players in the field broke par in Friday’s round, which began with temperatures hovering under 45 degrees and finished at a mild 68 degrees.
ABOUT THE Golf Club of Georgia Collegiate
The United States Collegiate Championship,
hosted by Georgia Tech, annually brings 15 of
the nation's top college teams to The Golf Club
of Georgia for a three-day, 54-hole
that has been called "the Masters of college
golf.” Started in 2006, the USCC offers PGA
Tour-type, championship conditions for the
nation's finest college players, including a
personal caddie for all three rounds. Long
are required and galleries are able to walk in
fairways behind the players, similar to the
Walker Cup. The USCC crowns a Team
and Individual Champion and honors them on
perpetual mahogany, gold and crystal USCC
Trophy, which sits in The Golf Club of Georgia
View Complete Tournament Information