The former Etowah High School standout, now a standout sophomore at Georgia Tech, is competing this week in the NCAA championship at Capital City Club’s Crabapple Course, a layout that straddles the line between Fulton and Cherokee counties.
Albertson shot 1-under-par 69 in Tuesday’s opening round — tying him for 20th overall — and the Yellow Jackets (274) were second to Arizona State (270) after 18 holes.
Albertson said it was nice to play such an important tournament close to home, allowing his family can see him play. His parents, Scott and Denita, were at the course Tuesday, as were sisters Britta and Ingrid.
After Albertson bogeyed the ninth hole to finish his round, the first thing he did was greet his younger sisters.
“Being able to have all your friends and family make the trip gives it a homey feel,” Albertson said.
He feels Georgia Tech has an edge as the event’s host.
“We were here last week,” Albertson said. “Standing on the first tee, you feel really confident because you know the course well and you’ve got all your friends there, too. It’s definitely a great advantage.”
In addition to being able to hit the ball further, Albertson said the biggest change in his game since his time at Etowah has been in his course management. That was evident on the front nine, where he birdied the third, fifth and sixth holes.
“I’ve matured,” he said. “It’s a combination of having shorter clubs onto the greens and managing your ball better. Those things go hand in hand to shoot some lower numbers.”
Albertson said he has learned a lot about himself over the past few months, when he has been contending for titles. The all-Atlantic Coast Conference honoree is doing his best to learn from each round.
“I’ve seen what I did well and what I haven’t done very well — kind of learn from the good and the bad,” Albertson said. “I’m writing it down and making sure I’m aware of that.”
Growing up in metro Atlanta, Albertson feels he has seen almost every type of course out there, which give him an advantage when it comes to competition.
“You get to see short courses, long courses, hilly, everything,” he said. “You kind of learn to play everything and then, when you travel everywhere else, it makes it a little easier because you have already done that.”
As for Crabapple, Albertson knows the course well. He knows what shots to play to put himself in the best position. It’s just a matter of execution.
And today will be another day.
“The greens will definitely be a little softer, little smoother,” Albertson said. “There will be some opportunities for scoring.”
Albertson and his teammates tee off this morning, giving him two round in about 24 hours.
“It’s kind of like playing a 36-hole day, but you get a little time off,” he said, “It’s cool to get on a roll, take a break and get a little to eat, a little sleep, and then get back out here.”