Aug. 11, 2014
Johns Creek, Ga. – Georgia Tech’s Bo Andrews fired a bogey-free 71 (-1) Monday and put himself in solid position to make the cut with the opening round in the books at the 114th United States Amateur Championship at the Atlanta Athletic Club.
The May, 2014 Tech graduate played a flawless round in his first competition on the 7,437-yard, par 72 Riverside Course since he became a member of the club earlier in the summer, making one birdie at the par-4 15th hole and finishing the day in a 20-player tie for 24th place.
Fellow graduate Seth Reeves, the 35th-ranked amateur in the world from nearby Duluth, Ga., began the tournament on the more well-known Highlands Course (7,371 yards, par 71) and finished with a 1-over-par 72, overcoming a pair of early bogeys and carding his only birdie at the par-4 13th. Reeves, in a tie for 70th place, lamented after the round that he had “lipped out” as many as five putts.
Andrews, who has Tech teammate Anders Albertson as his caddie this week, has a 1:40 tee time on the Highlands Course Tuesday, while Reeves begins round 2 at 1:20 p.m. on the Riverside course.
Ollie Schniederjans, the world’s No. 1-ranked amateur, shot a 73 (+3) on the Highlands course Monday in his first competitive round since tying for 41st at the Scottish Open in mid-July. The Powder Springs, Ga., senior blamed being rusty and several “uncharacteristic errors” and looks forward to early tee time Tuesday (9:05 a.m., Riverside Course). Schniederjans also had to deal with slow play from his playing partners, who were each assessed one-stroke penalties after the round, but refused to blame that for his own play. He is tied for 105th place.
Tech’s fourth player in the event, incoming freshman Jacob Joiner from Leesburg, Ga., opened with a 5-over-par 77 and is tied for 207th place in the field of 312. He has a 9:45 a.m. second-round tee time on the Highlands course.
The rounds of the day belonged to Kennesaw State senior Jimmy Beck, who ripped the Highlands course for a 6-under-par 65. Sam Horsfield of England and Taylor Moore of Edmond, Okla., each carded a 6-under-par 66 on the Riverside Course. Georgia’s Lee McCoy posted a 5-under-par 67 on the Riverside course.
One more round of stroke play is scheduled for Tuesday, after which the field will be cut to the low 64 scorers. Six rounds of match play begin on Aug. 13 and the championship concludes with a 36-hole championship match on Aug. 17. All match play will take place on the Highlands Course, which has hosted a U.S. Open and two PGA Championships.
Much is at stake for the U.S. Amateur champion, who becomes exempt from local and sectional qualifying for the 2015 U.S. Open, an exemption from qualifying for the next 10 U.S. Amateurs, and an exemption into the 2015 British Open. The champion also typically receives an invitation to the next Masters Tournament. The U.S. Amateur Championship is the oldest golf championship in America, one day older than the U.S. Open. Other than an eight-year period from 1965-1972, when it was contested at stroke play, the Amateur has been a match-play championship.
If Schniederjans can maintain his No. 1 ranking following the U.S. Amateur, he will win the Mark H. McCormack Medal, given to the world’s top amateur player for the previous 12 months, which comes with invitations to both the 2015 U.S. and British Opens.
Reeves is playing in his final event as an amateur on a golf course minutes from his home, on a golf course he and his Tech teammates frequently play. Andrews, who has remained an amateur while he pursues graduate studies beginning in the fall, became a member of the Atlanta Athletic Club earlier this summer.
Matt Kuchar, a 2000 Tech graduate and a seven-time winner on the PGA Tour, was a rising sophomore at Georgia Tech when he won the 1997 title at Cog Hill Golf and Country Club in 1997. He went on to tie for 21st in the 1998 Masters and 14th in the 1998 U.S. Open. The legendary Bobby Jones, who was a member and served as president of the Atlanta Athletic Club, won five U.S. Amateur titles (1924, 1925, 1927, 1928, 1930).
Tickets are $20 for a single-day grounds pass. Other passes and packages are available online. Golf Channel will provide coverage of the first three days of match play Wednesday through Friday, and NBC will air coverage of the semi-finals Saturday and championship match Sunday.
SCHEDULE OF PLAY
Tuesday, Aug. 12: Second round of stroke-play qualifying (18 holes) on Highlands and Riverside Courses
Wednesday, Aug. 13: First round of match play on Highlands Course (TV: Golf Channel, 4-6 p.m.)
Thursday, Aug. 14: Second and third rounds of match play on Highlands Course (TV: Golf Channel, 6:30-8:30 p.m.)
Friday, Aug. 15: Quarterfinal round of match play on Highlands Course (TV: Golf Channel, 8:30-10:30 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 16: Semifinal round of match play on Highlands Course (TV: NBC, 4-6 p.m.)
Sunday, Aug. 17: Championship match (36 holes) on Highlands Course (TV: NBC, 4-6 p.m.
About Georgia Tech Golf
Georgia Tech’s golf team is in its 20th year under head coach Bruce Heppler. The Yellow Jackets have won 15 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, made 27 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.