#TGW: The Pros Can Wait

June 20, 2014

Seth Reeves could be playing golf for a living already, much like former Georgia Tech teammate Richard Werenski — who last week won in his pro debut.

This May graduate is biding his time, however, and dialing back.

Reeves, who earned second team All-America status when he tied for sixth place in last month’s NCAA stroke play, is delaying his transition for a few reasons.

One stands out: the very biggest amateur tournament in the world, the U.S. Amateur, will be Aug. 11-17, just miles from his Suwanee home when the Atlanta Athletic Club plays host.

The AAC is on Bobby Jones Drive in Johns Creek.

So Reeves is still shooting for fun because, “It was mostly that I wanted to play the Am because it’s close to home and I thought it would be a good way to go out. I thought it would be an advantage to remain amateur and play some events.”

Reeves, however, is not playing too many tournaments – yet.

Last week he finished sixth at the Southeastern Amateur (which he won in 2011 and ’13) at the Country Club of Columbus (Ga.). When he fired a seven-under par 277 over four rounds, it was his first competitive action since the NCAAs.

Thursday, he began play at the Northeast Amateur at the Wannamoisett Country Club in Rumford, R.I.

Reeves, who plans to compete in just a couple more events before the U.S. Amateur, traveled to the Ocean State with a specific goal.

He is currently ranked the No. 40 amateur golfer in the world (http://www.wagr.com/en/Mens-Ranking.aspx?page=1&pagesize=50) , and if he is still within in the top 50 next week, he’ll gain an automatic exemption into the U.S. Amateur.

That is strongly preferred over having to qualify for the event as he has in the past (Reeves made it to stroke play in last year’s U.S. Am, and defeated Walker Cup member Jordan Niebrugge in the first round).

Reeves’ Tech teammate, rising senior Ollie Schniederjans, is in great position to earn an exemption in the U.S. Am; he rose to No. 1 in the world rankings this week.

“I don’t need to win [to remain in the top 50],” Reeves said. “I just need to play solid golf. Hopefully, I can hold onto that ranking and earn that exemption.”

So far, so good.

After his one-under par 68 Thursday, he’s tied for third place after two rounds of the Northeast Am at even-par 138. He’s four strokes out of the lead and that left him tied for second place.

Reeves’ former Tech teammate and fellow recent graduate Bo Andrews, who also is delaying his transition to pro golf, is tied for 35th in the Northeast at two-over par 144.

Reeves isn’t remaining amateur just to play near home later this summer.

He believes that playing a few more events on the highly competitive amateur circuit can help him market himself. He wants to better position himself for the eventual transition to the professional ranks.

For a while longer, he’s living at home with his parents and practicing chiefly at Chateau Elan.

“[Playing a few more amateur events] can help me with sponsorship stuff, I can make myself more valuable to club companies and agents,” Reeves explained. “If I play well, it raises my stock.

“Plus, pro golf is not running away from me and the [U.S. Amateur] is the biggest tournament in the world. I’m not playing that much, actually. I wanted to keep it light because I know once I turn pro, I’m going to be playing a lot.”

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