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Eleven Jackets Attempt to Qualify for U.S. Open Golf

THE FLATS – Recent Georgia Tech graduates Bartley Forrester and Ross Steelman and rising senior Christo Lamprecht are among 11 current and former Yellow Jackets in the professional ranks who are set to compete Monday in golf’s longest day, final qualifying for the 123rd U.S. Open Championship, which will be played June 15-18 at the Los Angeles Country Club in Los Angeles, Calif.

Final qualifying, which are 36-hole events, take place Monday at 10 different sites around the United States, with golfers vying to fill 53 remaining spots in the 156-player field. Already in the field are PGA Tour pros Matt Kuchar, who is in as one of the top 60 players in the Official World Golf Ranking, and Paul Haley II, who qualified two weeks ago in Dallas, Texas.

Forrester, Lamprecht and Steelman all were members of the 2022-23 Georgia Tech team that won the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship in Pinehurst, N.C., won the NCAA Salem (S.C.) Regional and advanced to the match play finals at the NCAA Championship in Scottsdale, Ariz. All three made the All-ACC team, and Lamprecht is a first-team All-American.

All three were exempt through local qualifying after each advanced to match play at the U.S. Amateur last summer. Steelman, from Columbia, Mo., finished the 2022-23 year at No. 4 in the PGA Tour University rankings, and has thus earned status on the Korn Ferry Tour this summer. Forrester and Lamprecht each have another year to play for the Yellow Jackets.

Forrester and Lamprecht are among 45 players competing at Hawks Ridge Golf Club in Ball Ground, Ga., Monday along with former Jacket All-Americans Roberto Castro and Andy Ogletree. Steelman is in the field at Springfield (Ohio) Country Club along with former Tech star Vincent Whaley (class of 2017).

Other Tech touring pros attempting to qualify Monday include J.T. Griffin (class of 2011) and Chesson Hadley (class of 2010) at Old Chatham Golf Club in Durham, N.C., Stewart Cink (class of 1995) at Brookside Golf Club and The Lakes Golf Club in Columbus, Ohio, Cameron Tringale (class of 2009) at Canoe Brook Country Club in Summit, N.J. and Richy Werenski (class of 2014) at Lambton Golf and Country Club in Toronto, Ontario.

Andy Ogletree was the last returning Georgia Tech player to compete in the U.S. Open in 2020. (photo by Chris Keane/USGA)

 

YELLOW JACKETS IN FINAL QUALIFYING

Roberto Castro (37, Atlanta, Ga., qualifying in Roswell, Ga.) – Ten-year PGA Tour veteran who has not played regularly since the 2020-21 season. Castro has played in six U.S. Open championships, most recently in 2019. He has earned more than $8.1 million in his career and posted 12 top-10 finishes. A four-time All-American, Castro won the Byron Nelson Award as the nation’s top senior player in 2007 and also received the NCAA’s Top VII Award. He competed for the United States in the 2005 and 2006 Palmer Cup.

Stewart Cink (50, of Atlanta, Ga., qualifying in Columbus, Ohio) – Has played in 23 U.S. Opens, with his best finish a tie for third in 2001 at Southern Hills. He set the U.S. Open final qualifying 36-hole scoring mark in 2003 with rounds of 62 and 61 in Columbus, Ohio. Cink captured the 2009 Open Championship at Turnberry in a playoff with Tom Watson. He has won eight PGA Tour titles, including the 2019 RBC Heritage.

Bartley Forrester (23, of Gainesville, Ga., qualifying in Ball Ground, Ga.) – All-ACC performer in 2023 who ranked in the top 100 nationally in both Golfstat and the Golfweek/Sagarin Index. He was named an honorable mention All-America in 2022. He twice qualified for the U.S. Amateur (2021, 2022) and advanced to match play in 2022. Ranked No. 52 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, he won the Monroe Invitational in 2022, and has won twice collegiately (2020 Puerto Rico Classic, 2022 Calusa Cup).

J.T. Griffin (36, of Wilson, N.C., qualifying in Durham, N.C.) – Turned pro in 2011 and has played 103 events on the PGA Tour, Korn Ferry Tour, PGA Tour Canada and PGA Tour LatinoAmerica. While at Tech, he was a second-team All-American in 2011 and twice made the All-ACC team (2010, 2011).

Chesson Hadley (35, of Raleigh, N.C., qualifying in Durham, N.C.) – Has played in three U.S. Opens. His best finish was a tie for ninth in 2019 at Pebble Beach Golf Links. Hadley, who is a natural lefthander but plays golf righthanded, was the 2014 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year when he won the Puerto Rico Open. A winner of four Korn Ferry Tour events, Hadley was a three-time All-America selection at Georgia Tech.

Christo Lamprecht (22, of George, South Africa, qualifying in Ball Ground, Ga.) – First-team All-American and All-ACC performer in 2023 who ranked in the top 10 nationally in both Golfstat and the Golfweek/Sagarin Index, and was a finalist for the Fred Haskins Award. He won the Inverness Intercollegiate and finished as the runner-up in five other collegiate events in 2022-23. He will compete for the International Team in the Arnold Palmer Cup for the second straight year, and is ranked No. 8 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking.

Andy Ogletree (25, of Little Rock, Miss., qualifying in Ball Ground, Ga.) – Won the U.S. Amateur championship in 2019 and made his only U.S. Open appearance as a result, missing the cut that year. He was the low amateur at the 2020 Masters Tournament. He has played on the Asian Tour and LIV Golf Series the last two years, winning twice on the Asian Tour International Series events in 2022. He was a second-team All-American and selected to the All-ACC team in 2019 and 2021 while at Georgia Tech.

Ross Steelman (22, Columbia, Mo., qualifying in Springfield, Ohio) – An All-ACC performer in 2023 who was the runner-up in stroke play at the NCAA Championship and finished 12th or higher in his last eight events. He delivered the clinching point for Georgia Tech in each of its matches in the ACC Championship. Last summer, he won the stroke play portion of the Western Amateur, reaching the quarterfinals of match play, and was runner-up at the North & South Amateur. Ranked No. 20 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, he has advanced to match play at the U.S. Amateur each of the last two years, reaching the quarterfinals in 2021.

Cameron Tringale (35, of Laguna Niguel, Calif., qualifying in Summit, N.J.) – Has played in the U.S. Open three times with a high finish of a tie for 14th in 2022, also his best finish in 17 major championship appearances. He won more than $17 million in 338 events on the PGA Tour, finishing as the runner-up five times and earning 31 top-10 finishes before joining the LIV Golf Series in 2022. He is currently No. 117 in the Official World Golf Ranking. A first-team All-American in 2009, he competed for the United States in the Walker Cup and Palmer Cup.

Richy Werenski (31, Aiken, S.C., qualifying in Toronto, Ontario) – Has played in two U.S. Opens. He qualified in 2020 for Winged Foot after winning on the PGA Tour for the first time when he won the Barracuda Championship, a points-based event. He has four top-25 finishes on the PGA Tour this season. Werenski, who grew up in South Hadley, Mass. and played at Georgia Tech, competed in four U.S. Amateurs.

Vincent Whaley (28, of McKinney, Texas, qualifying in Springfield, Ohio) – He has played in 75 events on the PGA Tour, posting four top-10 finishes, and 31 on the Korn Ferry Tour, with six top-10s, compiling more than $2 million in earnings. While at Tech, he won twice collegiately, the 2015 Robert Kepler Intercollegiate and the 2017 Clemson Invitational.


Alexander-Tharpe Fund

The Alexander-Tharpe Fund is the fundraising arm of Georgia Tech athletics, providing scholarship, operations and facilities support for Georgia Tech’s 400-plus student-athletes. Be a part of developing Georgia Tech’s Everyday Champions and helping the Yellow Jackets compete for championships at the highest levels of college athletics by supporting the Annual Athletic Scholarship Fund, which directly provides scholarships for Georgia Tech student-athletes. To learn more about supporting the Yellow Jackets, visit atfund.org.

ABOUT GEORGIA TECH GOLF

Georgia Tech’s golf team has completed 28 years under head coach Bruce Heppler, winning 71 tournaments in his tenure. The Yellow Jackets have won 19 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, made 33 appearances in the NCAA Championship and been the national runner-up five times. Connect with Georgia Tech Golf on social media by liking their Facebook page, or following on Twitter (@GTGolf) and Instagram. For more information on Tech golf, visit Ramblinwreck.com.

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