July 16, 2014
THE FLATS – An all-time high six Georgia Tech golf alumni are competing this week at The Open Championship, which begins Thursday morning at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake, England.
The Tech contingent is led by past champions David Duval (2001) and Stewart Cink (2009) and includes Matt Kuchar, currently ranked No. 5 in the Official World Golf Ranking, Roberto Castro, Chesson Hadley and Cameron Tringale.
Duval is competing in his 18th Open Championship, while Cink is playing in his 17th Open and Kuchar is in the field for the 10th time. Castro, Hadley and Tringale are playing in the Open for the first time.
Castro made the field by virtue of his finishing the 2013 season in the top 30 of the FedEx Cup points standings. Hadley was among the top 80 in the OWGR at the end of June, thus earning his place, and Tringale grabbed one of the four spots available at the Greenbrier Classic, finishing in a tie for fifth overall, last week.
Three Tech players have won The Open Championship, including Bobby Jones, who captured one of his three Open titles at Royal Liverpool as part of his Grand Slam run in 1930. Duval won his 2001 championship at Royal Lytham and St. Anne’s in Southport, England, and Cink took his 2009 title at Turnberry in Ayshire, Scotland.
The Open Championship is the only one of golf’s current majors won by a modern-day Tech alumnus aside from Larry Mize’s victory in the 1987 Masters. The legendary Bobby Jones won the U.S. Open four times in addition to his three British Open titles between 1923 and 1930.
Thursday tee times (local time)
Group 1 (6:25 a.m.) – David Duval with David Howell (ENG) and Robert Karlsson (SWE)
Group 2 (6:36 a.m.) – Cameron Tringale with Dawie Van Der Walt (RSA) and Masanori Kobayashi (JPN)
Group 11 (8:15 a.m.) – Stewart Cink with Thomas Bjorn (DEN) and Patrick Reed (USA)
Group 19 (9:48 a.m.) – Matt Kuchar with Graeme McDowell (NIR) and Louis Oosthuizen (RSA)
Group 28 (11:37 a.m.) – Roberto Castro with Victor Riu (FRA) and Tyrrell Hatton (ENG)
Group 48 (3:22 p.m.) – Chesson Hadley with Oliver Fisher (ENG) and Shane Lowry (IRE)
Three Tech alumni posted strong finishes last weekend at the John Deere Classic, most notably Bryce Molder, who shot 73-65-67-65 to tie for 13th place at 14-under-par 270. Nicholas Thompson shot rounds of 67-71-68-69 to tie for 37th at 9-under 275, and Stewart Cink went 69-66-74-68 to tie for 52nd at 7-under 277.
Matt Kuchar maintains his No. 3 position in the FedEx Cup points standings, while holding onto his PGA Tour lead in top-10 finishes with nine. With four weeks left before the FedEx Cup Playoffs commence, Cameron Tringale (No. 48), Chesson Hadley (58), Stewart Cink (103), Nicholas Thompson (111) and Bryce Molder (113) all are in position to qualify for The Barclays in Paramus, N.J., the weekend of Aug. 21-24.
Matt Weibring has put himself in contention for a 2014-15 PGA Tour card on the strength of a runner-up finish at the Air Capital Classic and a tie for fourth at the United Leasing Championship on the Web.com Tour. The 2002 Tech graduate missed the cut at the Nova Scotia Open and tied for 51st at the Utah Championship in the last two weeks, leaving him at No. 26 in the Web.com Tour standings. The top 25 gain PGA Tour cards, and there are nine events left before the Web.com Tour Championship in mid-September.
SCHNIEDERJANS COMPLETES INTERNATIONAL SCHEDULE
ACC Player of the Year Ollie Schniederjans completed his trip across the Atlantic with a solid weekend at the Scottish Open, tying for 41st place after a consistent four rounds of 71-72-70-72 for a 1-under-par total of 283.
Schniederjans, who went 3-1 in the Palmer Cup at Walton Heath Golf Club in England and then tied for 33rd in a qualifier for The Open Championship, received a sponsor’s exemption to the Scottish Open, extending his sojourn for 10 days. His score and position equaled that of Ernie Els, a three-time major champion, and Jimmy Walker, who has won three times on the PGA Tour this year and stands No. 1 in FedEx Cup points.
The world’s No. 1-ranked amateur now returns to the United States to prepare for the U.S. Amateur, Aug. 11-17 at the Atlanta Athletic Club, where he is exempt into the championship along with 2013 graduate Seth Reeves.
Anders Albertson, Drew Czuchry and incoming freshman Michael Pisciotta are competing for five available spots in the U.S. Amateur qualifier being contested at Atlanta’s Piedmont Driving Club, which concluded Wednesday. Alumni Bo Andrews and Carlton Forrester sophomore Vincent Whaley will attempt to qualify next week at the Great Waters course at Reynolds Plantation.
Recent graduates Andrews and Seth Reeves will compete in the 108th Southern Amateur Championship this weekend at the Honors Course in Ooltewah, Tenn., just North of Chattanooga. Five former Tech players have won this prestigious amateur championship over the years going back to Bobby Jones in 1917 and 1920, but none since Bunky Henry captured the title in 1962.
Incoming freshman Jacob Joiner of Leesbuirg, Ga., tied for 10th at last weekend’s Georgia Amateur at the Idle Hour Club in Macon, Ga., posting a 3-over-par score of 283 that included a third-round 67. Rising senior Drew Czuchry tied for 28th at 291 (+11).
Whaley was the only one of four Tech golfers to make the 54-hole cut at the Players Amateur last weekend in Bluffton, S.C., tying for 21st place at 2-under-par 286.
Incoming freshman Chris Petefish enjoyed a solid performance at the North & South Amateur over July 4 weekend in Pinehurst, N.C., tying for sixth in the stroke-play portion (even-par 213) and advancing to match play before falling in the round of 16.