July 31, 2013
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech’s Richard Werenski and Michael Hines became the fifth and sixth Yellow Jacket golfers to qualify for the U.S. Amateur Championship Tuesday, earning spots in the field from sectionals in Massachusetts and Tennessee. All six current Tech players who attempted to qualify for the nation’s oldest national championship have done so.
Werenski, a senior from South Hadley, Mass., shot rounds of 70-67 (-7) Tuesday to tie for medalist honors at the Cape Cod National Golf Club in Brewster, Mass., capturing one of the three available spots in the 84-player field. The senior, who did not play in the spring for Tech, also has a tie for fifth at the Southern Amateur and a tie for 12th at the Northeast Amateur on his resume this summer.
Hines, a sophomore from Acworth, Ga., survived a playoff after carding rounds of 70-73 (-1) at Tennessee National Golf Club in Loudon, Tenn., on Tuesday, taking one of the three spots for which 78 players competed. Hines stood at 3-under-par, which would have won the event, with two holes to go, but double-bogeyed the 17th hole, then parred the 18th to get in a three-for-two playoff, which lasted one hole.
Tech already had four members of its team in the field. Bo Andrews tied for second and won a playoff to grab one of two spots available last Tuesday in Midlothian, Va. The next day, Anders Albertson, Seth Reeves and Ollie Schniederjans finished 1-2-3 in the 36-hole qualifier at the Capital City Club’s Crabapple Course in Milton, Ga.
“That’s awesome,” said Hines. “It shows how strong of a team we are, how well we get along and push each other to get better every day. I’ve got the best teammates in the country. We’re going to need two groups for the practice round.”
The performances in the U.S. Amateur qualifiers is a tremendous accomplishment added to an already big summer for Tech’s golfers, who finished the spring by finishing second in the stroke play portion of the NCAA Championship and advancing to the semifinals of match play.
Reeves started the summer by winning the Southeastern Amateur for the second time in three years, and has gone on to post two other top-20 finishes and reach the quarterfinals of the North & South Amateur. Andrews was the runner-up at the Northeast Amateur, tied for fourth at the Sahalee Players Championship and tied for 19th at the Monroe Invitational. Schniederjans was the runner-up at the Dogwood Invitational, missed a playoff for the title at the Southern Amateur by one stroke and posted two other top-10 finishes. Albertson tied for 19th at the Players Amateur and 22nd at the Dogwood and Northeast Amateur.
This is the most “active” Tech team members to ever make the field for the U.S. Amateur, which begins with 312 players competing in 36 holes of stroke play, out of which the top 64 qualify for match play. In 1999 at Pebble Beach Golf Links, Carlton Forrester, Matt Kuchar, Wes Latimer, Bryce Molder and Matt Weibring all made the field for stroke play, out of which Molder advanced to match play. Also in the field that year were Tech’s 1985 ACC Champion Bob McDonnell, and current PGA Tour pro Nicholas Thompson, who would enroll at Tech two years later and become an All-American. McDonnell was in a large group of players right on the cut line after 36 holes, but was eliminated in a playoff.
The 113th U.S. Amateur Championship will be held at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., Aug. 12-18, 2013. Matt Kuchar won the 1997 amateur title at Cog Hill Golf and Country Club in Lemont, Ill. Bobby Jones won the championship four times in 1924, 1925, 1927 and 1930.
FOUR JACKETS IN WESTERN AMATEUR
Anders Albertson, Bo Andrews, Seth Reeves and Ollie Schniederjans are competing in the 111th Western Amateur Championship at The Aloatian Club in Roland, Ark., where Reeves shot an opening-round 65 Tuesday to share the first-round lead. Thirteen of the world’s top 20 amateurs will compete (Schniederjans is ranked 17th) among the 156-player field, which will play 36 holes before the field is cut to the top 44 players and ties for the final 36 holes. After 72 holes, the top 16 players will compete for the title via match play, with the championship match set for Sunday.
About Georgia Tech Golf
Georgia Tech’s golf team is in its 19th year under head coach Bruce Heppler. The Yellow Jackets have won 14 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, made 26 appearances in the NCAA Championship and been the national runner-up four times.