July 25, 2012
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech golfers Ollie Schniederjans and Richard Werenski have advanced from qualifying tournaments to earn spots in the U.S. Amateur Championship, which will be played August 13-19 at Cherry Hills Country Club in Cherry Hills Village, Colo.
Schniederjans, a sophomore from Powder Springs, Ga., won Wednesday’s qualifying tournament at the Piedmont Driving Club in Atlanta by shooting rounds of 67-65 for a 10-under-par total of 132. Werenski, a junior from South Hadley, Mass., fresh off a win at the prestigious Porter Cup amateur event over the weekend, finished second in Tuesday’s qualifier at The Orchards Golf Club in South Hadley.
Incoming freshman Shun Yat Hak from Lake Mary, Fla., the nation’s top-ranked junior player from the class of 2012, is exempt into the field as a result of his ranking among the world’s top 50 amateurs.
They’ll be chasing a championship last won by a Georgia Tech player in 1997, when Matt Kuchar won the title at Cog Hill Golf and Country Club in Lemont, Ill. The legendary Bobby Jones won the U.S. Amateur five times between 1924 and 1930.
Schniederjans won the 36-hole qualifier Tuesday by a stroke over Sepp Straka of Valdosta, Ga. Tech All-American James White of Acworth, Ga., finished seventh at 4-under-par 138 and took the first alternate spot. Yellow Jacket sophomore Anders Albertson of Woodstock, Ga., finished in a three-way tie for eighth and will playoff for the second alternate spot. The other four qualifying spots Wednesday went to Michael Hebert of Atlanta, Zack Jaworski of Alpharetta, Ga., Chris Waters of Athens, Ga., and Justin Cho of Alpharetta.
“I’m really excited about my game,” said Schniederjans, who tied for ninth at the Southern Amateur last weekend and also tied for sixth at the recent Dogwood Invitational in Atlanta. “I’m excited that I went out and performed when I was under pressure. I’d like to go win the U.S. Amateur, but this is just a start.
“I’ve been playing well, so I felt really confident with my game going in. My goal today was to just beat my first round score. It really got going when I eagled the sixth. The course was up for grabs. I was at even par and needed something to happen. I had a great tee shot, then hit a shot to about 15 feet and made the putt, so it was a really good hole.”
Werenski , who posted the second-best score ever (17-under-par) at last weekend’s Porter Cup in Lewiston, N.Y., qualified for the U.S. Amateur for the third time Tuesday by firing rounds of 69 and 67 for a 4-under total of 136, one shot behind Mike Bianchini of West Boylston, Mass.
Werenski last played in the 2010 Amateur Championship where he advanced past stroke-play qualifying before falling in the second round of match play. He also qualified in 2009 but missed making match play.
This year, of course, the goal is to win it all.
“I would be happy to reach match play and that is my first goal,” he told the Massachusetts Republican Tuesday. “But I know that I can win it all if I play my best.” Tech junior Seth Reeves and incoming freshman Michael Hines will attempt to qualify for the U.S. Amateur next Monday and Tuesday at the Brickyard in Macon, Ga. Junior Bo Andrews will attempt to qualify later this week in North Carolina.Tech junior Seth Reeves and incoming freshman Michael Hines will attempt to qualify for the U.S. Amateur next Monday and Tuesday at the Brickyard in Macon, Ga. Junior Bo Andrews will attempt to qualify later this week in North Carolina.