Georgia Tech #ProJackets Golf Report

Richy Werenski qualified for the U.S. Open on Monday, then tied for fourth last weekend at the FedEx St. Jude Classic.

THE FLATS – Six current and former Yellow Jackets get set to tackle Shinnecock Hills Golf Club for the 118th U.S. Open … Cink and Werenski earn their highest finishes of the year at the FedEx St. Jude Classic … Albertson ties for 11th on the Web.com Tour … This and more in this week’s edition of the Georgia Tech #ProJackets Report.

When six former and current Georgia Tech players begin competition at the 118th U.S. Open Championship Thursday at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y., the Institute’s golf program will boast its best representation in the history of the national championship. Only Arizona State, with seven entrants, including one current team member, has more players in the field. Georgia, LSU, Stanford and Texas each have four.

Veteran PGA Tour professionals Roberto Castro, Chesson Hadley and Matt Kuchar join with second-year pros Ollie Schniederjans and Richy Werenski and current junior-to-be Tyler Strafaci at the venerable link-style course on New York’s Long Island, which last hosted the Open in 2004 and is the site for the fifth time.

HOW THEY GOT IN

Hadley and Kuchar were exempt into the field based on their inclusion in the top 60 of the Official World Golf Ranking on May 21 – Kuchar was No. 23, Hadley No. 60. It gave the 30-year-old Hadley an opportunity to compete in the U.S. Open for the first time, while Kuchar, 39, is competing in his 16th U.S. Open, tied for second most among Yellow Jackets.

The remainder of the Tech contingent made their way in through the qualifying system. As Tour pros, Castro, Schniederjans and Werenski were exempt from local qualifying, but earned their spots in sectional qualifiers that took place June 4. Castro won a 2-for-1 playoff to earn the final spot at Ansley Golf Club’s Settindown course in Roswell, Ga., while Schniederjans tied for 10th to take one of 14 spots available in Columbus, Ohio.

Werenski finished second to grab one of three spots available at The Bear’s Club in Jupiter, Fla., where Strafaci survived a 6-for-1 playoff for the final spot there, just an hour from his hometown of Davie, Fla. Strafaci also had to survive local qualifying, which he did by tying for second place on May 7 at Plantation, Fla.

TECH CONTINGENT AT-A-GLANCE

Castro, Schniederjans and Werenski will play the first two rounds of the 118th U.S. Open championship together Thursday and Friday, which is almost certainly the first time three Georgia Tech players have been paired together. The Yellow Jacket trio will tee off Thursday at 12:52 p.m. in the first round followed by a 7:07 a.m. tee time for round two.

Chesson Hadley is paired with American Brendan Steele and British amateur Harry Ellis for the first two rounds, teeing off at 7:07 a.m. Thursday and 12:52 p.m. Friday. Matt Kuchar will play the first two rounds with American Bryson Dechambeau and England’s Matthew Fitzpatrick, teeing off at 8:13 a.m. Thursday and 1:58 p.m. Friday. Tyler Strafaci has been paired with American pro Mickey DeMorat and Scotland’s Calum Hill, teeing off at 8:57 p.m. Thursday and 2:42 p.m. (the last group) on Friday.

 

Robert Castro (age 32, fifth U.S. Open)
Advanced from sectional qualifier at Ansley Golf Club-Settindown Creek, Roswell, Ga. (t3, won playoff) … Six-year PGA Tour veteran (more than $6.5 million in career earnings) playing the 2018 season on the Web.com Tour, where he ranks 13th in earnings … Four-time All-American and Byron Nelson Award winner at Tech.

Chesson Hadley (age 30, first U.S. Open)
Exemption category – top 60 in Official World Golf Ranking as of May 21, 2018 … Worked his way back to the PGA Tour this year by winning the 2017 money title on the Web.com Tour … Ranks 16th in FedEx Cup points with six top-10 finishes this year … One career PGA Tour victory and 13 top-10 finishes … Three-time All-American and 2010 ACC Champion at Tech.

Matt Kuchar (age 39, 16th U.S. Open)
Exemption category – qualified for 2017 Tour Championship, top 60 in Official World Golf Ranking as of May 21, 2018 … Played regularly on the PGA Tour since 2001, winning seven times and compiling more than $43 million in career earnings … Three-time All-American and two-time national player of the year at Tech.

Ollie Schniederjans (age 24, second U.S. Open)
Advanced from sectional qualifier at Columbus, Ohio … In his second full season on the PGA Tour, earning his Tour card after finishing in the top 25 on the Web.com Tour in 2016 … Finished 60th in FedEx Cup points in 2017, currently ranked 75th … Has five career top-10 finishes … Three-time All-American and two-time ACC Player of the Year at Tech.

Tyler Strafaci (age 19, first U.S. Open)
Advanced from sectional qualifier at The Bear’s Club in Jupiter, Fla. (t3, won playoff); advanced from local qualifier at Lago Mar Country Club in Plantation, Fla. … All-ACC performer as a sophomore at Georgia Tech this year … Played in the PGA Tour Valspar Championship this spring … Grandfather, Frank, tied for ninth in 1937 U.S. Open at Oakland Hills Country Club, also played in 1946 (mc), 1947 (t67).

Richy Werenski (age 26, first U.S. Open)
Advanced from sectional qualifier at The Bear’s Club in Jupiter, Fla. (finished 2nd) … Second-year PGA Tour pro who finished No. 106 in FedEx Cup points as a rookie in 2017, currently ranked No. 143 … Three career top-10 finishes … Won the Golf Channel’s Big Break in 2015, earning him an exemption into the Barbasol Championship, his first PGA Tour start.

TECH’S RICH U.S. OPEN HISTORY

Before placing a record six players in the U.S. Open this year, Tech had as many as five players in the field once – 1999 at Pinehurst Resort and Country Club with PGA Tour pros Stewart Cink, David Duval and Larry Mize playing with Tech undergraduates Matt Kuchar and David Duval. In 13 U.S. Opens, Tech was represented by four competitors, and on six of those occasions one of them competed as an amateur.

At least one Yellow Jacket has competed in the U.S. Open every year since 1985. Since Larry Mize played in the first of his 18 Opens in 1981, only twice has there not been a Yellow Jacket in the field (1983 and 1984). In the 53 U.S. Open Championships held since 1966, when Bunky Henry competed in the first of his five U.S. Opens, at least one Yellow Jacket has competed in 41 of them.

Stewart Cink, who came up short of qualifying this year by a stroke, has played in 20 U.S. Open championships, tying for third in 2001 at Southern Hills for his best finish. David Duval, who still competes in an occasional basis and is an analyst for Golf Channel, played in 16 Opens, tying for second place in 1999 at Pinehurst for his best career finish.

Georgia Tech’s chronological history in the U.S. Open

LAST WEEK

PGA Tour: Through 54 holes, Stewart Cink and Richy Werenski were both 10-under-par and three shots off the lead at the FedEx St. Jude Classic. Paired together for the final round, neither player was able to challenge Dustin Johnson, who shot 66 to secure a six-stroke victory. Cink shot 72 in the final round, Werenski a 71, to secure their highest finishes of 2018. By tying for fourth place (272, -8), both players moved inside the all-important top-125 in the FedEx Cup standings, Cink at No. 100 and Werenski at No. 115. They must stay there in order to keep their PGA Tour cards for 2018-19.

Web.com Tour: Like Cink and Werenski, Anders Albertson was in position to challenge for a victory after 54 holes last weekend at the Rust-Oleum Championship, but finished with a 2-under-par 70 Sunday to tie for 11th place, four shots off the lead for his second-highest finish this year. Albertson improved to No. 43 in earnings this season on the Web.com Tour, but must be in the top 25 at the end of the regular season to earn a PGA Tour card for 2018-19. Roberto Castro was the only other Tech player to make the cut, tying for 22nd place to maintain his position at No. 13 in 2018 earnings.

UPCOMING EVENTS

PGA Tour: U.S. Open • June 14-17, 2018 • Shinnecock Hills Golf Club • Southampton, N.Y. • Purse: $12,000,000 • FedExCup Points: 600
Web.com Tour: Wichita Open • June 21-24, 2018 • Crestview Country Club • Wichita, Kan. • Purse: $625,000
PGA Tour Champions: American Family Insurance Championship • June 22-24, 2018 • University Ridge Golf Club • Madison, Wis. • Purse: $2,000,000
Mackenzie Tour:GolfBC Championship • June 14-17, 2018 • Gallagher’s Canyon Golf and Country Club • Kelowna, British Columbia • Purse: $200,000
PGA Tour China:Kunming Championship • June 14-17, 2018 • Yulongwan Golf Club • Kunming, China • Purse: ???
Adams Pro Tour:Prairie Band Topeka Championship • June 13-16, 2018 • Firekeeper Golf Club • Mayetta, Kan. • Purse: $122,000

 PLAYERLAST WEEKSEASON STATS
Anders Albertson
Woodstock, Ga.
Turned pro: 2015
Career earnings: $232,854
Years at Georgia Tech: 2011-15
High School: Etowah
Status: Web.com Tour
Last Week
T-8
71-66-68-69—274 (-10)
Money rank
49
Earnings
$42,344
Bo Andrews
Raleigh, N.C.
Turned pro: 2014
Career earnings: n/a
Years at Georgia Tech: 2010-14
High School: Fike
Status: no status
Last Week
n/a
n/a
Money rank
n/a
Earnings
n/a
Roberto Castro
Alpharetta, Ga.
Turned pro: 2007
Career earnings: $7,232,187 (PGA + Web)
Years at Georgia Tech: 2003-07
High School: Milton
Status: Web.com Tour
Last Week
T-8
68-68-70-68—274 (-10)
FedEx Cup Rank
11
Earnings
$122,812
STEWART CINK
Duluth, Ga.
Turned pro: 1995
Career earnings: $35,850,784
Years at Georgia Tech: 1991-95
High School: Bradshaw (Florence, Ala.)
Status: PGA Tour
Last Week
missed cut
75-72—147 (+5)
FedEx Cup Rank
122
Earnings
$443,479
Drew Czuchry
Auburn, Ga.
Turned pro: 2015
Career earnings: n/a
Years at Georgia Tech: 2010-14
High School: home schooled
Status: MacKenzie Tour qualifying
Last Week
did not play
n/a
Money rank
n/a
Earnings
n/a
DAVID DUVAL
Denver, Colo.
Turned pro: 1993
Career earnings: $19,196,243
Years at Georgia Tech: 1989-93
High School: Jacksonville (Fla.) Episcopal
Status: no status
Last Week
did not play
n/a
FedEx Cup Rank
n/a
Earnings
n/a
J.T. Griffin
Wilson, N.C.
Turned pro: 2011
Career earnings: $52,151
Years at Georgia Tech: 2007-11
High School: Fike
Status: Web.com (conditional)
Last Week
missed cut
72-75—147 (+5)
Money rank
n/a
Earnings
n/a
Chesson Hadley
Raleigh, N.C.
Turned pro: 2010
Career earnings: $5,827,972
Years at Georgia Tech: 2006-10
High School: North Raleigh Christian Academy
Status: PGA Tour
Last Week
T-11
66-69-75-67—277 (-11)
Money Rank
17
Earnings
$2,402,927
Shun Yat Hak
Hong Kong, China
Turned pro: 2013
Career earnings: ¥251,305
Years at Georgia Tech: 2012-13
High School: Lake Mary (Fla.) Prep
Status: PGA Tour China
Last Week
T-51
74-74-77—225 (+9)
Money rank
13
Earnings
¥119,925
Paul Haley
Dallas, Texas
Turned pro: 2011
Career earnings: $348,201
Years at Georgia Tech: 2007-11
High School: Highland Park
Status: Adams Pro Tour
Last Week
n/a
n/a
Money Rank
67
Earnings
$2,995
MATT KUCHAR
Sea Island, Ga.
Turned pro: 2000
Career earnings: $43,137,791
Years at Georgia Tech: 1997-2000
High School: Seminole (Lake Mary, Fla.)
Status: PGA Tour
Last Week
T-17
66-71-71-70—278 (-10)
FedEx Cup Rank
61
Earnings
$1,149,911
Troy Matteson
Austin, Texas
Turned pro: 2003
Career earnings: $10,111,266 (PGA+Web)
Years at Georgia Tech: 2000-03
High School: L.C. Anderson
Status: no status
Last Week
did not play
n/a
FedEx/Money Rank
206
Earnings
$39,000
LARRY MIZE
Columbus, Ga.
Turned pro: 1980
Career earnings: $12,546,389 (PGA + Champions)
Years at Georgia Tech: 1975-79
High School: unknown
Status: PGA Tour Champions
Last Week
did not play
n/a
Schwab Cup Rank
72
Earnings
$49,068
Seth Reeves
Duluth, Ga.
Turned pro: 2014
Career earnings: $116,649
Years at Georgia Tech: 2010-14
High School: Peachtree Ridge
Status: Web.com Tour
Last week
T-32
68-71-68-72—279 (-5)
Money rank
71
Earnings
$25,664
Ollie Schniederjans
Powder Springs, Ga.
Turned pro: 2015
Career earnings: $3,152,784
Years at Georgia Tech: 2011-15
High School: Harrison
Status: PGA Tour
Last Week
MDF
68-71-79—218 (+2)
FedEx Cup rank
65
Earnings
$1,009,213
Nicholas Thompson
Coral Springs, Fla.
Turned pro: 2005
Career earnings (PGA + Web.com): $6,537,666 (PGA + Web)
Years at Georgia Tech: 2001-05
High School: Stoneman Douglas
Status: Web.com Tour
Last Week
did not play
n/a
FedEx Cup rank
65
Earnings
$1,009,213
Cameron Tringale
Laguna Niguel, Calif.
Turned pro: 2009
Career earnings: $9,856,598
Years at Georgia Tech: 2005-09
High School: Mission Viejo
Status: PGA Tour
Last Week
did not play
n/a
FedEx Cup Rank
176
Earnings
$165,459
Richy Werenski
South Hadley, Mass.
Turned pro: 2014
Career earnings: $1,286,146
Years at Georgia Tech: 2011-14
High School: Heritage Academy (Hilton Head, S.C.)
Status: PGA Tour
Last Week
T-23
70-71-68-70—279 (-9)
FedEx Cup rank
131
Earnings
$389,059
Vincent Whaley
Fayetteville, Ga.
Turned pro: 2017
Career earnings: n/a
Years at Georgia Tech: 2013-17
High School: McKinney Boyd
Status: Adams Pro Tour
Last Week
T-19
71-70-70-67—278 (-10)
Money Rank
30
Earnings
$6,857

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