July 17, 2013
THE FLATS – Past champions Stewart Cink (2009) and David Duval (2001), as well as Matt Kuchar (fifth in the Official World Golf Ranking), are in the field for the 2013 Open Championship, which begins Thursday at Muirfield in Gullane, Scotland.
Kuchar, twice a winner on the PGA Tour this year (WGC Accenture Match Play, The Memorial), traveled to Europe two weeks ago and played in the French Open, where he missed the cut. The 2000 Tech graduate is paired with this year’s Masters champion, Adam Scott, and Luke Donald for the first two rounds, teeing off at 9:12 a.m. Eastern time Thursday.
Kuchar’s best finish in eight previous appearances in the Open Championship was ninth place last year at Royal Lytham & St. Anne’s.
Cink, who outlasted Tom Watson to win at Turnberry, has a 2:27 a.m. ET tee time with American Scott Stallings and England’s Richard McEvoy. The 1995 Tech graduate is playing in his 16th Open Championship, having recorded one other top-10 finish, sixth place in 2007 at Carnoustie.
Duval, who won his title at Royal Lytham & St. Anne’s, tees off at 2:16 a.m. ET Thursday with Austria’s Bernd Weisberger and England’s Chris Wood. The four-time Tech All-American, playing in his 17th Open Championship, has not finished higher than 39th (2008 at Royal Birkdale) since his victory, and his closest brush with a major championship since then was a tie for second at the 2009 U.S. Open at Bethpage State Park.
In 2002, the last time the Open was contested at Muirfield, Duval tied for 22nd place, Cink tied for 59th, and Kuchar missed the cut.
Only Oklahoma State, with four, has more alumni in the Open Championship field than has Georgia Tech, and there are 13 competitors in the field who played in the Atlantic Coast Conference, most of any conference. Only Stanford, with eight, has more all-time Open champions than has Tech (5, including Bobby Jones’ three titles in 1926, 1927 and 1930). And Tech has the most all-time different Open champions (3). (research courtesy of George Lane at the ACC Media Relations Office)
Kuchar Hitchhikes to Muirfield
TECH STILL NO. 1 IN RIVALS CUP POINTS ON TOUR
Nicholas Thompson (T12), Bryce Molder (T27) and Troy Matteson (T27) all fared well last weekend at the John Deere Classic, while Roberto Castro (t68) also picked up a check among the six Georgia Tech alumni who were in the original field.
Matteson, Thompson and Paul Haley are in the field this week for the Tour’s Sanderson Farms Classic in Madison, Miss.
Georgia Tech continues to rank No. 1 this week (third consecutive week) in collective FedEx Cup points by its alumni. Matt Kuchar is No. 2 behind Tiger Woods, followed by Castro (47th), Cameron Tringale (58th), Stewart Cink (74th), Thompson (84th), Molder (88th), Matteson (164th) and Haley (210th).
Ollie Schniederjans, on the strength of a middle-round 66 for a 54-hole total of 212 (-4), tied for 10th place in The Players Amateur last weekend in Bluffton, S.C., his third top-10 finish this summer, while Anders Albertson (-1) tied for 19th place and Richard Werenski (+2) tied for 36th. Michael Hines missed the cut.
That came on the heels of another strong performance by Bo Andrews at the Sahalee Players Championship the previous weekend in Sammamish, Wash. The Tech junior was just a shot off the lead entering the final round and finished in a tie for fourth place at 1-over 289. It was his second top-10 finish this summer and third top-20.
The same weekend, Seth Reeves (-4) tied for 11th place in the stroke play portion of the North & South Amateur Championship in Pinehurst, N.C. The top 16 finishers advanced to match play, where Reeves won his first-round match against Ben Griffin of Chapel Hill, N.C., before falling in the quarterfinals to Max Greyserman of Short Hills, N.J. Reeves, who won the Southeastern Amateur earlier this summer, has finished 21st or higher in all five events in which he has played this summer.