The Georgia Tech sophomore and former Etowah High School standout entered the day tied for 20th after a 1-under 69. Though he improved upon the performance in his second round, he still left plenty of shots on the course — leaving spectators to wonder what today might bring, and if the Atlantic Coast Conference champion can add his biggest title yet.
Albertson birdied five of the first eight holes he played Wednesday, before a bogey on No. 9 marked the beginning of his troubles. While he did card one more birdie — on the par-3 15th — Albertson needed a great shot to save him from a bunker on 13, and he missed birdie putts on each of the final two holes.
He finished the round at 67 and is tied for ninth overall at 136.
“I started off pretty hot,” Albertson said. “I was 5-under through eight. Nine is a pretty hard hole. Bogeyed that two days in a row, haven’t figured it out yet. Then, I just didn’t have anything go my way on the back.”
Albertson admits that he could have gone lower.
“I had two putts kind of lip out on the last couple holes,” he said. “I could have gone a little bit lower, but I’m pretty happy with how it went.”
One day after shooting a course-record 61, Arizona State’s Jon Rahm ballooned to 72 on Wednesday and is at 7-under 133, but he still maintained a one-shot lead on Central Florida’s Greg Eason (66) and Arkansas’ Nicolas Echavarria (64). Albertson’s Georgia Tech teammate, Ollie Schniederjans, was one of four players tied for fourth after shooting 68 on Wednesday to improve to 5-under for the tournament.
An individual champion will be crowned after the conclusion of today’s round.
Albertson said his familiarity with the course helped him work out of some bad shots Wednesday, such as when he came off too high from the tee on 16.
“I know what I usually shoot, and I know what I can shoot,” he said. “I know where I can fly it off the tee and where I can’t. Just being familiar is a huge advantage.
“I can’t say that I like missing it where I miss it sometimes, but you kind of have to deal with what you are dealt with.”
Albertson said he misjudged the wind on at least one occasion, and he misread a couple of lies.
“All of that just goes along with being familiar with it,” Albertson said. “You are calm and confident. You know you can do it.”
In addition to its close proximity to his family in Woodstock — which includes laundry service and food delivery, he said — Albertson chose Georgia Tech because he wanted to compete for a national title. Now, standing at the doorway, he knows it could require his best round yet at Crabapple to earn the individual title.
Still, he remains focused
“It’s just another golf tournament right now,” said Albertson, who will tee off shortly after 1 p.m. today with players from California and Texas. “It’s got a nice title to it, but I’ve got to do the same thing I always do.”