June 17, 2015
THE FLATS – Four Georgia Tech alumni, including seven-time PGA tour winner Matt Kuchar and recent graduate Ollie Schniederjans, are in the field that will tee off Thursday at the 115th U.S. Open Championship at Chambers Bay in University Place, Wash.
All-American and 2007 graduate Roberto Castro also is in the field after getting through sectional qualifying last week at Hawks Ridge Golf Club in Ball Ground, Ga. Kuchar and PGA Tour pro Cameron Tringale are exempt for having advanced to last year’s season-ending Tour Championship, and Kuchar is additionally exempt by his position among the top 60 players in the Official World Golf Ranking.
Schniederjans received an exemption to play not only in the U.S. Open but the Open Championship next month at St. Andrews, Scotland after winning the 2014 Mark H McCormack Medal as the world’s No. 1-ranked amateur. He will remain an amateur through the Open Championship.
The May, 2015 graduate is playing with a pair of major champions for the first two rounds of the U.S. Open: Lee Janzen, who won the U.S. Open in 1993 and 1998, and Darren Clarke, who won the 2011 Open Championship. Kuchar also has a major champion in his threesome for the first two rounds in 2010 U.S. Open champion Graeme McDowell.
Fox and Fox Sports 1 will provide television coverage throughout the weekend. Fox Sports 1 will televise live from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday, with Fox taking over from 5-8 p.m. Fox will televise live from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Sunday.
Since Bobby Jones won the last of his four U.S. Open titles in 1930, Stewart Cink has come the closest among Tech alumni to winning one, finishing third, one stroke out of a playoff between Retief Goosen and Mark Brooks, in 2001 at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Okla. Kuchar’s best finish was a tie for 12th last year at Pinehurst, N.C.
The last U.S. Open winner to come through sectional qualifying was Lucas Glover in 2009 at Bethpage State Park, and the last amateur to win was John Goodman in 1933.
Here are the tee times for Georgia Tech alumni for the first two rounds:
Cameron Tringale, Mission Viejo, Calif.; George McNeill, Fort Myers, Fla.; Masahiro Kawamura, Japan – 8:06 a.m. (1) Thursday, 2:06 p.m. (10) Friday
Matt Kuchar, St. Simons Island, Ga.; Hideki Matsuyama, Japan; Graeme McDowell, Northern Ireland – 8:06 a.m. (10) Thursday, 2:06 p.m. (1) Friday
Roberto Castro, Atlanta, Ga.; Jason Palmer, England; Andres Romero, Argentina – 1 p.m. (1) Thursday, 7 a.m. (10) Friday
Ollie Schniederjans, Powder Springs, Ga.; Lee Janzen, Orlando, Fla.; Darren Clarke, Northern Ireland – 1:55 p.m. (1) Thursday, 7:55 a.m. (10) Friday
Here’s a look at the Yellow Jackets competing this weekend:
– Qualified for his third U.S. Open by 64-68 at Hawks Ridge Golf Club in Ball Ground, Ga., edging his brother, Franco, by one stroke for the third and final spot; has six professional victories, five on the eGolf Tour; born in Houston to Peruvian mother and Puerto Rican father; nephew of former LPGA Tour golfer Jenny Lidback; another brother, Alex, played at Georgia State (2007-2011) while Franco played at UNC-Charlotte after transferring from LSU; was a first-team All-American at Georgia Tech in 2005.
Matt Kuchar – The 1997 U.S. Amateur champion made a memorable U.S. Open debut by finishing 14th in 1998 at Olympic as an amateur; collected seventh PGA Tour win at 2014 RBC Heritage in Hilton Head, S.C.; also won Memorial Tournament and WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in 2013; member of 1999 USA Walker Cup Team and 1998 USA World Amateur Team; member of 2010, 2012 and 2014 U.S. Ryder Cup Teams and 2011 and 2013 U.S. Presidents Cup Teams; twice a first-team All-American at Georgia Tech; wife Sybi was a tennis player at Georgia Tech; making his 13th U.S. Open start.
– Earned spot in field for winning the 2014 Mark H. McCormack Medal, awarded to the No. 1 amateur in the World Amateur Golf Ranking following the U.S. Amateur; runner-up in the 2014 NCAA Division I Championship, losing a playoff to Cameron Wilson for the individual title; three-time All-American at Georgia Tech, including first-team in 2014 and 2015; lost to eventual champion Gunn Yang in Round of 16 at 2014 U.S. Amateur.
– Lone professional victory came in 2014 Franklin Templeton Shootout with partner Jason Day; was a three-time All-American at Georgia Tech; member of victorious 2009 USA Walker Cup Team; currently 41st in FedEx Cup points this season on the PGA Tour with nearly $1.4 million in earnings; competing in second U.S. Open.
On the range at the US Open Informed by marshal we have a sign for a F. Castro but no range sign for a R. Castro .. pic.twitter.com/Dw8qnMyNRY
— Rusty Stark (@Rustyonthebag) June 15, 2015
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH GOLF
Georgia Tech’s golf team has completed 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.