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What Happened to Christo Lamprecht?

Christo Lamprecht of Georgia Tech competes in Round 1 of the 2024 NCAA DI Men's Golf Championship.

Fans, players and even teammates awoke to shocking news this morning in Carlsbad, Calif. – the world’s number one amateur, Christo Lamprecht on the Georgia Tech team, was subbing out from the NCAA Championship due to his back locking up and spasming.

Lamprecht felt the back issues coming on during the last five holes of last night’s round, and after several hours then and again this morning with a trainer, he decided to not compete today.

Fairway to Green spoke with Georgia Tech Head Coach Bruce Heppler about the possible cause.

“Stress is tough,” Heppler said. “It’s been a long spring with a lot on the line and a couple trips to Dallas and Fort Worth to get awards. I just know sometimes stress can certainly exacerbate your back because I’ve experienced it over and over and over again.”

Christo Lamprecht putts for birdie during Round 1 of the NCAA DI Men's Golf Championship.
Christo Lamprecht putts for birdie during Round 1 of the NCAA DI Men’s Golf Championship. Kelly Okun, Fairway to Green.

Lamprecht, who is a 6’8” senior, is realizing that in order to keep playing golf, he’ll have to take extra special care of his back. Heppler said, “This is always going to be an issue, and we work really hard. He doesn’t lift a lot of weights, there’s a lot of core stuff that he does and [Assistant Coach] Devin [Stanton] and the people back at home are really good about it, but this will be something that when there’s that much torque, he’s going to have to pay attention to it every day as long as he wants to play, for sure.”

Despite the flare-up, Lamprecht has a bright future in golf. He is currently ranked 2nd on the PGA Tour University list, and since he is not completing a full tournament this week at the NCAA Championship, he will unfortunately not be able to allocate any points in an attempt to move up to 1st place; the PGA Tour card for the 2024-2025 season is solidly out of reach from this path, though he will earn his Korn Ferry Tour card and will be competing in the U.S. Open in a few weeks. He’s also on the Final Watch List for the Haskins Award, whose recipient will be announced on May 28th at the NCAA Championship.

Heppler believes the PGA Tour University ranking, plus all his other commitments ahead of finishing up his senior year of college, have added a lot of stress to his life and that is now playing out through his back. He shared with Lamprecht that this is the life to expect if he continues down this path because “if you want to be an elite player, that’s what those guys face every day.”

In addition to the loss of securing his PGA Tour membership, Heppler comments that Lamprecht feels bad he can’t help the team in his final collegiate (and potentially amateur) event. “It’s his last one and you want to play good for the guys – I think that’s been as important as his PGA Tour U stuff for him – and to be stuck there not helping them is tough. I think this is really disappointing for him.”

Fortunately, Georgia Tech brought in a veteran individual player to fill the void. Sophomore Aidan Tran has been competing as an individual all season. He had just over one hour this morning to warm up and mentally prepare himself to play. Despite a rough patch on the back nine where many players have struggled this week, he went even on the front and ended with a birdie on Hole #18.

Fairway to Green had a chance to ask him how his day went and how he’ll prepare for the unknown tomorrow.

“I didn’t think I was going to play,” Tran said. “I kind of just woke up and went to breakfast with the guys. I had to get in that [playing] mode real fast. I hope [Lamprecht] gets better real quick, he’s our best player but I tried to do my best out there to help the team.”

Since Tran isn’t sure if he or Lamprecht will be playing tomorrow, he shared, “I’m going to pretend like I’m going to play, and I’ll do everything that I usually do the night before a round – making sure my bag has everything that I need for tomorrow, going to bed early, getting a lot of rest and getting ready and looking at the pin sheets for tomorrow.”

When asked if Lambrecht will be returning to play tomorrow, Heppler replied, “It doesn’t look good, we may try to get him needled tonight and see if that helps at all.” In reference to Tran, he adds, “It’s a great opportunity for him to learn something, and there’s probably a pretty good chance he’ll be going out there again tomorrow.”

“Hopefully we get to play in the morning and those five guys can hang in there,” says Heppler. “Then we can get to where maybe he can come back and play on Monday.”

Disclosure: some of these quotes were edited for clarity purposes.

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