June 2, 2017
THE FLATS – Only rising senior James Clark and three-time All-American J.T. Griffin (2007-11) are in the 36-player field for Monday’s U.S. Open sectional qualifier at Hawks Ridge Golf Club in Ball Ground, Ga. But several other current and former Yellow Jackets will attempt to make the national championship field among the other 11 sectional events scheduled around the United States on Monday.
Clark advanced to the sectional by tying for second place at the local qualifier held last month in Newnan, Ga., while Griffin tied for fifth at the local qualifier in Raleigh, N.C.
Nicholas Thompson will attempt to qualify among 50 players in Rockville, Md., Richy Werenski is in a field of 80 attempting to qualify in Summit, N.J., Troy Matteson is competing with 58 players in Dallas, Texas, and rising senior Michael Pisciotta (Alpharetta, Ga.) is in a field of 108 in Germantown, Tenn.
A total of 980 participants are competing for spots in the 156-player field for the 117th U.S. Open Championship, which will be held June 15-18 at Erin Hills, Wisc. Qualifiers have already been conducted in England and Japan, adding 19 competitors to the list of the 78 already exempt.
Tech All-Americans Roberto Castro and Matt Kuchar are exempt into the U.S. Open by virtue of their qualifying for the 2016 Tour Championship.
FIVE JACKETS IN FIELD FOR ATLANTA’S DOGWOOD INVITATIONAL
Rising senior James Clark and sophomore Luke Schniederjans head a list of five Georgia Tech players who are committed to compete in the Dogwood Invitational, Atlanta’s premier summer amateur event. The 51st Dogwood Invitational will be played June 26-July 1 at Druid Hills Golf Club.
Clark (Columbus, Ga.) and Schniederjans (Powder Springs, Ga.) join fellow senior Jacob Joiner (Leesburg, Ga.), sophomore Andy Ogletree (Little Rock, Miss.) and incoming freshman Will Dickson (Providence, R.I.) in the field, which also includes players from Georgia, Kennesaw State, Georgia Southern, Auburn, Clemson, South Carolina, N.C. State, Houston, Virginia, Florida, Purdue, Oglethorpe, Emory and Berry.
Clark and Schniederjans both made the All-Atlantic Coast Conference team in 2017, and were named to the All-East Region team by the Golf Coaches Association of America. Schniederjans finished the spring ranked No. 87 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Index, while Clark ranked No. 95. Ogletree enjoyed a solid freshman year at Tech with seven finishes of 22nd or better in 10 events, while Joiner won the 2015 Carpet Capital Collegiate among his seven career top-20 finishes. Dickson has been ranked as high as No. 72 in the class of 2017.
Defending champion Charles Huntzinger of Penn State and 2015 champion Dawson Armstrong of Lipscomb are among the Americans who have committed to compete. Other top players in the field are Georgia Amateur champion Colin Bowles, Alabama Amateur champion Turk Pettit and S.M. Lee, the No. 2-ranked player in NAIA.
The 2017 summer amateur season begins in earnest next weekend with the Monroe Invitational Championship at the Monroe Golf Club in Pittsford, N.Y., an event that dates back to 1937 and attracts most of the nation’s top amateur golfers. Current Tech players in the field include James Clark, who tied for seventh in the event last summer, Andy Ogletree, Chris Petefish (Danville, Calif.) and Tyler Strafaci (Davie, Fla.), as well as incoming freshman Noah Norton (Chico, Calif.).
Meanwhile, Noah Norton banked his fourth top-5 finish in his last four events at this week’s AJGA Thunderbird International Junior Championship in Scottsdale, Ariz. The 4th-ranked junior in the nation shot 7-under-par 65 in the final round and finished second by one stroke to Jacob Bergeron. Norton was named a second-team Rolex Junior All-American in 2016 after winning the PING Invitational and finishing fifth at the Rolex Tournament of Champions and the Polo Golf Junior Classic.
Future Yellow Jacket playing some serious golf at AJGA Invitational. pic.twitter.com/4KZPWori9x
— Georgia Tech Golf (@GT_GOLF) May 30, 2017
Incoming freshman Will Dickson captured his fourth consecutive individual state championship for Moses Brown High School over the weekend, becoming the first Rhode Island golfer ever to accomplish that feat. The Providence, R.I., senior came from behind to force a playoff and won that on the first hole. Dickson qualified for the U.S. Amateur last August, and rose as high as No. 72 in his senior class nationally.
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH GOLF
Georgia Tech’s golf team is in its 23rd year under head coach Bruce Heppler. The Yellow Jackets have won 16 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, made 28 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) and Instagram. For more information on Tech golf, visit Ramblinwreck.com.