June 7, 2015
THE FLATS – Eleven former Georgia Tech golfers are competing at four different sites Monday in an attempt to qualify for the 115th U.S. Open Championship in the hopes of joining three former Yellow Jacket stars already exempt into the field.
Matt Kuchar, currently 29th in FedEx Cup points on the PGA Tour with nearly $1.5 million in earnings this year, is already in the U.S. Open field along with fellow PGA Tour member Cameron Tringale, who is 40th in FedEx Cup points and has accumulated nearly $1.4 million in earnings this year. They earned their spots by advancing to the 2014 Tour Championship and being ranked in the top 60 of the Official World Golf Ranking. Ollie Schniederjans, Tech’s two-time All-American and two-time ACC Player of the Year who graduated in May, received an exemption for winning the 2014 Mark H McCormack medal as the world’s No. 1-ranked amateur.
Five of the former Jackets qualifying on Monday – Anders Albertson, Roberto Castro, Drew Czuchry, John-Tyler Griffin and James White – are in the field at Hawks Ridge Golf Club in Ball Ground, Ga., where 42 players are vying for three qualifying spots and two alternate spots. Albertson earned a spot in this sectional after getting through local qualifying at Chateau Elan on May 11, while Czuchry, Griffin and White made it through the local qualifier at The Golf Club of Georgia. White was the medalist there.
Current PGA Tour pros Stewart Cink, Chesson Hadley and Nicholas Thompson, who all competed in the Memorial on the PGA Tour this weekend in Dublin, Ohio, are attempting to qualify at Brookside Golf and Country Club and The Lakes Golf and Country Club in Columbus, Ohio. Former world No. 1 player David Duval and two-time PGA Tour winner Troy Matteson are in the field at Germantown Country Club in Memphis, Tenn., and Web.com Tour rookie Richard Werenski is qualifying at Springfield (Ohio) Country Club.
In all, nearly 800 golfers are competing in 10 sectional tournaments. Played over 36 holes in one day, sectional qualifying is a test of skill and endurance, with only a handful of available spots at each site – the number of qualifying spots is determined by the quality and quantity of the field at each location.
Anders Albertson just completed a stellar Tech career in which he earned All-ACC honors four times, twice won the ACC individual championship and won the 2012 Byron Nelson Award.. The Woodstock, Ga., native compiled the third-lowest stroke average in program history.
Roberto Castro, is attempting to qualify for his third U.S. Open. His brother, Franco, is competing in this same Ball Ground, Ga., sectional qualifier. Roberto, who earned All-American and All-ACC honors all four years at Georgia Tech, played on the eGolf and Nationwide tours before earning his PGA Tour card in 2012.
Stewart Cink has competed in 19 U.S. Opens and has seven top-25 finishes. He was third in 2001 at Southern Hills Country Club. Cink won the 2009 British Open in a four-hole aggregate playoff with Tom Watson. He is a six-time winner and has earned more than $33 million on Tour.
Drew Czuchry, from Auburn, Ga., completed his Tech career this spring and graduated in May, and advanced from the local qualifier May 12 at The Golf Club of Georgia.
David Duval, the 2001 British Open champion, tied for second in the 2009 U.S. Open and has four top-10 finishes in 16 appearances. Duval, who has won 13 times on the PGA Tour, is now working as a Golf Channel announcer and commentator.
John-Tyler Griffin, who goes by JT, is originally from Wilson, N.C., and now living in St. Simons Island, Ga.. He is currently competing on the eGolf Tour after making the All-ACC team twice during his Tech career (2007-11).
Chesson Hadley, from Raleigh, N.C., is in his second year as a full-time member of the PGA Tour, and won the 2013 Puerto Rico Classic. He was a first-team All-American in 2008 and won the 2010 ACC Championship. He is currently 61st in FedEx Cup points on the PGA Tour.
Troy Matteson, the 2002 NCAA Champion and a two-time, first-team All-American at Tech, has played nine full-time seasons on the PGA Tour and won twice. The Austin, Texas native this year is playing events on both the PGA Tour and Web.com Tour.
Nicholas Thompson of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., is attempting to qualify for his fourth U.S. Open. He tied for 51st in 2012 at The Olympic Club. His sister, Alexis (Lexi), is a LPGA Tour player and his brother, Curtis, competes on the Web.com Tour.
Richard Werenski, a 2014 Tech graduate who goes by Richy, is in his first year on the Web.com Tour, where he has two top-25 finishes in 10 events. He has earned an exemption into the PGA Tour’s Barbasol Championship by winning Golf Channel’s “Big Break The Palm Beaches, FL.”
James White, from Acworth, Ga., was a three-time All-ACC choice and a first-team All-American in 2011. He also won the 2012 Byron Nelson Award. He has played most of his events this year on the SwingThough.com Tour.
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH GOLF
Georgia Tech’s golf team is in its 20th year under head coach Bruce Heppler. The Yellow Jackets have won 16 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, made 28 appearances in the NCAA Championship and been the national runner-up four times. Connect with Georgia Tech Golf on social media by liking their Facebook page, or following on Twitter (@GT_Golf). For more information on Tech golf, visit Ramblinwreck.com.