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Seven Jackets Qualifying for U.S. Open Golf

THE FLATS – Rising Georgia Tech senior Ross Steelman and six former Yellow Jackets in the professional ranks are set to compete in golf’s longest day, final qualifying for the 122nd U.S. Open Championship, which will be played June 16-19 at the Country Club in Brookline, Mass.

Final qualifying, which are 36-hole events, will take place Monday at nine different sites around the United States, with 871 golfers competing for 65 spots to fill out the 156-player field. Already in the field are Stewart Cink, who is exempt after qualifying for the 2021 Tour Championship, and Cameron Tringale, who is in as one of the top 60 players in the Official World Golf Ranking.

Steelman, who earned six top-10 finishes during the 2021-22 college season, reached the quarterfinals of the 2021 U.S. Amateur and sits No. 30 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, will attempt to qualify Monday at Ansley Golf Club’s Settindown Creek course in Roswell, Ga. Also in the 84-player field at Settindown are PGA Tour pros Roberto Castro, Seth Reeves, Richy Werenski and Vincent Whaley. Another Tech alum, Nicholas Thompson, is attempting to qualify at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Md.

Steelman, who earned six top-10 finishes during the 2021-22 college season, reached the quarterfinals of the 2021 U.S. Amateur and sits No. 30 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, will attempt to qualify Monday at Ansley Golf Club’s Settindown Creek course in Roswell, Ga. Also in the 84-player field at Settindown are PGA Tour pros Roberto Castro, Seth Reeves, Richy Werenski and Vincent Whaley. Tyler Strafaci, the 2020 U.S. Amateur champion currently competing on PGA Tour Canada, is attempting to earn his way into his third U.S. Open in San Francisco, while another Tech alum, Nicholas Thompson, is attempting to qualify at Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Md.

Ross Steelman (right) advanced to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Amateur last August at Oakmont Country Club. (photo by Chris Keane/USGA)

 

YELLOW JACKETS IN FINAL QUALIFYING

Roberto Castro (36, Atlanta, Ga., qualifying in Roswell, Ga.) – Ten-year PGA Tour veteran who has not played regularly since th3 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.

Seth Reeves (31, Duluth, Ga., qualifying in Roswell, Ga.) – Currently playing in his second season as a full-time member of the PGA Tour, Reeves regained his Tour card after finishing in the top 25 of the Korn Ferry Tour points race in 2020-21, earning a victory at the Pinnacle Bank Championship. Reeves turned pro in 2014 after earning All-America honors at Georgia Tech and winning three collegiate tournaments.

Ross Steelman (Senior, Columbia, Mo., qualifying in Roswell, Ga.) – A GCAA All-East Region honoree who recorded six top-10 finishes in 11 starts, including a runner-up finish at the NCAA Columbus Regional and a solo sixth-place finish in ACC Championship stroke play. He halved his ACC semifinal match vs. Florida State in 19 holes (unfinished when Tech clinched third point in another match) and lost his finals match 1-up to Wake Forest’s Michael Brennan Struggled at the NCAA Championship, finishing 76th. Steelman posted a runner-up finish at the Watersound Invitational and tied for eighth place at the Amer Ari Intercollegiate earlier in the spring, also tied for ninth place at the Maui Jim Intercollegiate and was runner-up at the Hamptons Intercollegiate in the fall. He finished spring season ranked No. 141 in Golfstat and No. 114 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Index. Steelman is ranked No. 30 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking and No. 38 in the Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking.

Nicholas Thompson (39, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., qualifying in Rockville, Md.) – Has played in three U.S. Opens, most recently in 2016. He tied for 51st in 2012 at The Olympic Club when he was one of 25 players to advance through both stages of qualifying. Thompson, who has played on the PGA Tour and Korn Ferry Tour, was the medalist in this year’s Fort Lauderdale, Fla., local qualifier. His sister, Lexi, has played in 15 U.S. Women’s Opens and won the 2008 U.S. Girls’ Junior, and his brother, Curtis, is competing in the Canadian final qualifier.

Richy Werenski (30, Aiken, S.C., qualifying in Roswell, Ga.) – Has played in two U.S. Opens. He qualified in 2020 for Winged Foot after winning on the PGA Tour for the first time. He totaled 39 points to capture the Barracuda Championship, which included a five-point eagle on the par-4 16th. Werenski, who grew up in South Hadley, Mass. and played at Georgia Tech, competed in four U.S. Amateurs.

Vincent Whaley (27, Atlanta, Ga., qualifying in Roswell, Ga.) – Four-year starter at Georgia Tech (2014-17) with two collegiate tournament victories. He turned pro in 2017 and is in his third season on the PGA Tour, currently No. 121 in the FedEx Cup points standings. He has made 11 cuts in 21 events in 2021-22, with four top-25 and a top-10 at the Butterfield Bermuda Championship. He has more than $1.5 million in career earnings.

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 A-T Fund’s Annual Athletic Scholarship Fund, which directly provides scholarships for Georgia Tech student-athletes, and the Support The Swarm Fund, created to give fans an opportunity to help Georgia Tech athletics maintain its recent momentum through the financial challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic! To learn more about supporting the Yellow Jackets, visit atfund.org.  

ABOUT GEORGIA TECH GOLF

Georgia Tech’s golf team has completed 26 years under head coach Bruce Heppler, winning 70 tournaments in his tenure. The Yellow Jackets have won 18 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, made 30 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 (@GTGolf) and Instagram. For more information on Tech golf, visit Ramblinwreck.com.

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