July 22, 2013
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech’s golf program enjoyed another successful weekend on several levels, as current Yellow Jackets Ollie Schniederjans and Richard Werenski earned top-5 finishes in the Southern Amateur and former Tech All-Americans Nicholas Thompson and Chesson Hadley posted top-5 finishes on Tour.
Former Tech stars Matt Kuchar and Stewart Cink also had good finishes on the weekend in the 142nd Open Championship at Muirfield in Gullane, East Lothian, Scotland. Kuchar, ranked fifth in the Official World Golf Ranking, shot 72-71 on the weekend to tie for 15th place. Cink, the 2009 Open Champion, closed with a 2-under-par 69 to tie for 26th place.
Schniederjans, a rising junior from Powder Springs, Ga., shot a 4-under-par 68 Saturday and finished in fourth place (11-under 277) at the Southern Amateur in The Woodlands, Texas. Schniederjans, ranked 26th in the Golfweek amateur rankings, wound up one stroke shy of joining a three-man playoff for the title but nonetheless posted his fourth straight top-10 finish this summer. Werenski, a rising senior from South Hadley, Mass., enjoyed his best outing of the summer, opening with a 65 and finishing in a tie for fifth place at 10-under-par 278.
BACK IN THE STATES
While Kuchar and Cink battled the elements in Scotland, Thompson and Troy Matteson both contended at the PGA Tour’s Sanderson Farms Championship in Madison, Miss. Thompson, a 2005 Tech graduate, held a share of the 54-hole lead after opening with rounds of 69-65-65, but faltered on the front nine of the final round Sunday. He worked his way back into contention with birdies on four of his last five holes, but finished 18-under-par 270, in fourth place and two strokes out of a three-man playoff for the title, won by Woody Austin.
Matteson, who graduated from Tech in 2003 and is being inducted into the Georgia Tech Sports Hall of Fame in October, was near the lead after 36 holes (67-67) and finished in a tie for 17th, his best finish of the 2013 since tying for 16th at the Waste Management Phoenix Open in February.
Those performances kept Tech on top of the Rivals Cup rankings for the fourth consecutive week. The Rivals Cup ranks schools based on cumulative FedEx Cup points earned by their alumni on the PGA Tour. Tech is followed in the rankings by Georgia, Oklahoma State, Arizona State and UNLV.
Chesson Hadley, a 2010 Tech graduate and ACC Champion, won the Rex Hospital Open in late June to highlight a streak of four top-6 finishes in five events, but missed the cut in his next two events. The Raleigh, N.C., native rebounded this weekend to tie for third at the Midwest Championship in Overland Park, Kan. Like Thompson, Hadley had a share of the 54-hole lead after a third-round 63 but wound up in a tie for third place at 16-under-par 272, two strokes off the lead.
Hadley ranks third the Web.com Tour money list after the event. The top 25 at the end of the season will earn PGA Tour cards for 2014.
James White, who graduated from Tech in 2012, earned the biggest check of his professional career over the weekend at the Waterloo Open Golf Classic in Waterloo, Iowa, firing rounds of 65-66 to tie for third place in an independent event that has a $55,000 first prize, a total purse of $150,000 and has boasted champions such as veteran touring pros Tom Lehman and Woody Austin.
U.S. AMATEUR QUALIFYING
Anders Albertson, Drew Czuchry, Seth Reeves and Ollie Schniederjans are entered in the sectional qualifying tournament for the U.S. Amateur Championship that will take place Tuesday and Wednesday at the Capital City Club’s Crabapple Course in Milton, Ga.
Tech alumnus Carlton Forrester also is entered in the 132-player field that will compete for five qualifying and two alternate spots to advance to the Championship. This is one of 98 sectional qualifiers taking place nationwide, July 8-30. Former Tech player and former Georgia State Golf Association president Chris Cupit is entered in the other 36-hole qualifier to be contested in Georgia, July 29-30 at Athens Country Club.
Richard Werenski will attempt to qualify July 30 at Cape Cod National Golf Club in Brewster, Mass., while Michael Hines will attempt to qualify at Tennessee National Golf Club in Loudon, Tenn., on the same day. Bo Andrews is in the field at Salisbury Country Club in Midlothian, Va.
The 113th U.S. Amateur Championship will be held at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., Aug. 12-18, 2013. Matt Kuchar won the 1997 amateur title at Cog Hill Golf and Country Club in Lemont, Ill. Bobby Jones won the championship four times in 1924, 1925, 1927 and 1930. Jones’ victory in 1930 completed the only Grand Slam in golf history in which he won the British and U.S. Open championships, and the British and U.S. Amateur championships.
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH GOLF
Georgia Tech’s golf team is in its 19th year under head coach Bruce Heppler. The Yellow Jackets have won 14 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, made 26 appearances in the NCAA Championship and been the national runner-up four times.