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ACC takes Top Conference honors at Challenge Cup

KINGSTON SPRINGS, Tenn. – After finishing ninth in stroke play, North Carolina State made a statement Sunday in match play at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Collegiate Challenge Cup with a decisive 4-1 victory over eighth-ranked Texas A&M.

“I feel bad for them (Texas A&M) because they didn’t have a good week, but that gives us a jump,” N.C. State head coach Richard Sykes said. “We had a pretty poor year last year. Our guys were just identifying their games I think and other than the second round here, we played pretty well.”

The Wolfpack, along with the five other ACC schools – Louisville, Virginia, Georgia Tech, Duke and Clemson – won Top Conference honors with a 16.5-13.5 victory over the SEC at the Golf Club of Tennessee Sunday.

N.C. State received victories from junior Carter Page, redshirt sophomore Stanhope Johnson, redshirt senior James Champman and junior David Cooke.

“I thought it was great,” Sykes said. “Since the NCAA went to play match, we haven’t made it. So we haven’t had much experience playing in it except for the few kids that have playing the state tournaments and stuff like that, so it was a lot of fun.”

Also helping the ACC to victory was world and Golfweek preseason No. 1 Ollie Schniederjans. The Georgia Tech senior took down Vanderbilt’s No. 1 player, Hunter Stewart, 3 and 2.

Schniederjans, who made it to the Round of 16 at this year’s U.S. Amateur before being eliminated by eventual champion Gunn Yang, got off to a “good start” against Stewart, going 5 up through six holes.

“It’s a really cool piece of property,” Schniederjans said of the Golf Club of Tennessee. “I love playing in the mountains with some really cool views and some critical tee shots. It was a great test and a very fun course.”

Georgia Tech also received a win from Vince Whaley and a half a point from Drew Czuchry, the Yellow Jackets’ hero from Saturday after his chip-in par to seal the team title.

The ACC clinched Top Conference honors in the 28th match of the day when Clemson’s Carson Young defeated Mississippi’s Noah West, 2 up.

With the victory, it’s the ACC’s first time winning Top Conference honors at the Collegiate Challenge Cup. The SEC won in 2013, 17-8.

• • •

FINAL SCORES

• Georgia (SEC) def. Louisville, 3-2

• South Carolina (SEC) def. Virginia, 3-2

• Vanderbilt (SEC) vs. Georgia Tech, 2-2-1

• Missouri (SEC) vs. Duke, 2-2-1

• North Carolina State (ACC) vs. Texas A&M, 4-1

• Clemson (ACC) def. Mississippi, 3-1-1

TOTAL: ACC 16.5 – SEC 13.5

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