ROCKY FACE, Ga. — It's been 12 years since Georgia Tech last won the Carpet Capital Collegiate.
That 2001 team included PGA Tour players Matt Kuchar, Bryce Molder, Troy Mattison and decorated amateur Carlton Forester.
"They've had some success," Georgia Tech coach Bruce Heppler said. "Hopefully, the same will be said about these guys in a few years."
The Yellow Jackets combined to shoot a 14-under-par 850 over 54 holes at The Farm Golf Club to capture the prestigious championship on Sunday. They beat runner-up Georgia by six, LSU by 14 shots over the course of three days where experience separated the good teams from the great teams at what's known as the Masters of college golf.
"What you hope for is that there is a rope and you put a knot in it," Heppler said, "so you can climb up a little bit higher."
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, with four freshmen in the lineup, placed 14th at 35 over.
"It was a good weekend for UTC golf because we had so many freshmen get a very big taste of the highest level of collegiate golf," UTC coach Mark Guhne said. "You can't practice this experience."
Georgia Tech junior Ollie Schniederjans credited his experience of playing the fabled course the past two years as part of the reason he shared individual medalist honors with North Carolina's Bailey Patrick. The both shot 9-under 207.
"It's a special week for me," Schniederjans said. "It's a great way to start the season."
He led the tournament from the 16th hole of his first round until the final hole of the last round. Schniederjans finished by scoring a double-bogey on No. 17 and then with a three-putt bogey on the final hole.
He could have left The Farm with a trophy. Instead, he shared it with Patrick for post-tournament pictures after missing a three-foot putt to the low side on the final hole.
"A win is a win, and I'm very happy right now," Bailey said. "I didn't get to high or low and I knew it wasn't over until the end. I know that you don't like to win that way. I had to get my focus back and concentrate on my putt."
Most of the Mocs were gone by the time the final putt fell. A few of them -- including those who didn't make the lineup this week -- headed off to the practice facility. Senior Davis Bunn led the team and tied for 27th at 4 over. Freshmen Stuart Thomas and Wes Gosselin tied for 53rd at 11 over.
"This was probably the biggest learning experience I've had because it was my first tournament and in one of the biggest venues of the year," said freshman Brooks Thomas who shot rounds of 85, 75, and 74. "This was good experience. I'll be better because of it."
But nobody was better than Georgia Tech this weekend.
Contact David Uchiyama at duchiyama@timesfreepress or at 423-757-6484. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/UchiyamaCTFP.
David Uchiyama is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who began his tenure here in May 2001. His primary beats are UTC athletics — specifically men’s basketball and athletic department administration — and golf, which includes coverage from the PGA Tour to youth events. He also covers other high school sports, outdoor adventures, and contributes to other sections of the newspaper when necessary. David grew up in Salinas, Calif., and began working ...
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