Michael Brennan (Wake Forest Athletics photo)
Wake Forest junior Michael Brennan captured the ACC Individual Championship Sunday at Country Club of North Carolina in Pinehurst, N.C. to become the 23rd Demon Deacon to claim the conference's individual title.
Brennan led by as many as four shots on Sunday before he was tracked down by Georgia Tech's Hiroshi Tai, who made an eagle on the par-5 finishing hole to force a playoff.
After both players birdied the first two playoff holes, Brennan and Tai went back to the 18th tee box for the third time. Brennan reached the green in two while Tai's approach found the greenside bunker. Brennan converted his two-putt for birdie while Tai missed his birdie putt to give Brennan the title.
At 9-under 207, Tai was one of four Yellow Jackets to finish in the top-11 on the individual leaderboard. Connor Howe closed with a final-round 6-under-par 66 to tie for third place at 7-under 209, while Christo Lamprecht tied for ninth place at 4-under 212. Ross Steelman earned a share of 11th place at 3-under 213 (-3).
After shooting 26-under 838 for the tournament, the Yellow Jackets earned the top-seed in the four-team match play portion of the championship.
Due to Saturday's rainout, the top four teams returned to the course Sunday afternoon for the semifinal matches. Georgia Tech dispatched Duke, 3-1-1 to earn a date in Monday's championship match against Wake Forest, which downed Virginia, 3-0-2 on the other side of the bracket.
Monday's championship match will get underway at 9:00 a.m. ET.
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• CCNC member Buddy Baker, who won the 1958 U.S. Junior Amateur, played his college golf at Georgia Tech. “I’m happy for them,” he said about his Yellowjackets. “I am glad they played so well. This is a wonderful place with two great golf course and a lot of good home sites. I am glad to show it off.” Baker, in his 80s, regularly shoots his age on either the Dogwood or Cardinal course.
• CCNC superintendent Ron Kelly reported that 1.5 inches of rain fell on the Dogwood Course on Saturday, but it was ‘business as usual’ for his crew to prepare for the resumption of Rd. 3 at 7:30 a.m. Sunday. His staff was on duty as early as 4:30 a.m.
• For the three rounds of stroke play, the scoring averages on the Dogwood Course were: Rd. 1 – 72.18; Rd. 2 – 74.00 – Rd. 3 – 73.08.
• Two par-3 holes were the most difficult for scoring with three rounds – No. 16 was the hardest at 3.33 and No. 8 was 3.30.
• Connor Howe of Georgia Tech led the 60-player field with 16 birdies in 54 holes, followed by teammate Hiroshi Tai with 14.
• Two players shot 6-under-par 66 during stroke play – two shots in the competitive course record held by CCNC member and Duke Blue Devil Kelly Chin, who shot 64 in the first round of stroke play at the 2021 U.S. Junior Amateur. Connor Howe shot his 66 in Rd 3 and 2023 ACC individual champion Michael Brennan of Wake Forest fired his in the first round.
• A total of five players, who competed in the 2021 U.S. Junior Amateur, are playing for teams that advanced to the match-play semifinals: Kelly Chinn (Duke); Ben James (UVa) ; Bryan Lee (UVa); Andrew McLauchlan (Wake Forest); and Luke Sample (Duke).
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ACC Championship Match
Georgia Tech vs. Wake Forest
Monday, April 24
C . Howe (GT) vs. B . Owens (WF), 9:02 a.m.
C . Lamprecht (GT) vs. M . Brennan (WF), 9:12 a.m.
B . Forrester (GT) vs. M . Power (WF), 9:22 a.m.
H . Tai (GT) vs. S . Kennon (WF), 9:32 a.m.
R . Steelman (GT) vs. A . McLauchlan (WF), 9:42 a.m.
Pete Kowalski contributed to this report
ABOUT THE ACC Championship
Men's collegiate championship of the
Atlantic Coast Conference. 54 holes of stroke play
(team and individual competitions) followed by match
View Complete Tournament Information