Aug 13, 2013
Brookline, Mass. – Three of the six Georgia Tech golfers who made the field for the 113th U.S. Amateur Championship – seniors Bo Andrews, Seth Reeves and Richard Werenski – have survived 36 holes of stroke play and advanced to match play beginning Wednesday.
Andrews and Werenski tied for ninth place out of a starting field of 312 players, each posting 1-under-par scores of 139. Reeves tied for 27th place with a 2-over-par total of 142. Neil Raymond of England and Brady Watt of Australia captured medalist honors at 6-under-par 134.
The top 64 players will be paired for first-round matches Wednesday after a morning playoff between 17 players to determine the final 15 spots. First-round matches are scheduled for Wednesday, with the round of 32 and the round of 16 set for Thursday. Quarterfinal matches will be held Friday, semifinals Saturday and the 36-hole championship match Sunday.
Werenski, playing in his fourth U.S. Amateur, has reached match play for the second time. The Yellow Jacket senior did so in 2010 by tying for 40th in stroke play and won his first-round match. Andrews, playing in his first U.S. Amateur, continues a remarkable summer in which he has posted three top-10 finishes and two others in the top 20. Reeves, with a win under his belt and four other top-21 finishes this summer, cashed in on his second try in this event.
“The combination of being in my home state, having five teammates here and having teammates in the match play is just really cool,” said Werenski. “Match play is where the fun really begins.”
All three players took advantage of the easier Charles River Country Club course to either establish themselves Monday or make a move Tuesday, and played well enough on the tougher Country Club of Brookline course, which will host the match play part of the championship. Collectively, Andrews, Werenski and Reeves played the course in 14-under-par and carded just four bogeys between them.
Werenski, playing an hour from his hometown of South Hadley, played the Charles River course Monday and made double-eagle on the par-5 16th along with four birdies to shoot 66, putting him a shot off the lead. Tuesday, he played the front nine even and finished with a 73 (+3).
“I’ve got some experience at this, and the main course is always tough. The other one is always great golf course but more scoreable,” said Werenski. “If you can shoot a good number on the easier course, it makes it a lot easier to qualify. We both played well over there. I felt good going into today, very confident, but I made a double-bogey on my third hole, and I thought, `Welcome to the Country Club!’ I still played very solid. When I hit a bad shot, I just tried to take my medicine and get the best score I could.”
For Andrews, the Tuesday performance was critical after he opened with a 76 at Brookline. He started out with a bogey, then came right back with an eagle on the par-5 second, then added six birdies and never looked back.
“When I came over here today, I didn’t have a score in mind. I knew that if I played my game I would be OK,” Andrews told Golfweek magazine. “I am not sure what I am going to do with the ball. If someone from the Club comes over and asks me for it, I will give it to them. I might bring it back to school and put it in the case.”
It was only the sixth 63 or better that has ever been recorded at the U.S. Amateur, but Andrews has that in him. The senior from Raleigh, N.C. shot a 61 in a practice round this spring at the Capital City Club’s Crabapple course, which was the site of the NCAA Championship, and he closed with a 66 to share medalist honors at the Gary Koch Invitational in early April.
It was a similar story for Reeves, who needed to make up ground after a 75 at the Country Club of Brookline Monday. The Duluth, Ga., senior put aside an early bogey at No. 3 and went 4-under-par over his last 15 holes Tuesday.
Things didn’t go as well for juniors Anders Albertson and Ollie Schniederjans, who fired 72s Monday at the Country Club of Brookline and added 73s Tuesday at Charles River. Their 5-over-par totals left them one shot shy of the cutline. Michael Hines fell out of contention Tuesday with an 80.
“I wish that all six of us made it, but it’s pretty cool that the seniors made it through,” said Reeves, who advanced to match play in the 2012 U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship. “I’m very proud of Bo for his incredible round and for Rich hanging tough at Brookline and posting a solid score. Hopefully we can all go deep into match play.”
Golf Channel will provide coverage of the match-play portion of the championship Wednesday (4-6 p.m.), Thursday (noon-2 p.m.) and Friday (9-11 p.m.), with NBC taking over for the semifinals Saturday and the championship match Sunday (4-6 p.m. each day).
Matt Kuchar is the only Tech player to have won the U.S. Amateur in recent times, capturing the 1997 title at Cog Hill Golf and Country Club in Lemont, Ill. Bobby Jones won the championship four times in 1924, 1925, 1927 and 1930.
Werenski Rises to the Occasion – USGA.org
Andrews fires course-record 63 at U.S. Amateur – Golfweek
U.S. Amateur Features 6 From Georgia Tech – Boston Globe
Double-Eagle Boosts Werenski’s Opening Round – Boston Globe
Six Ways to Sunday – Sting Daily
COMPETITION ROUND UP
Roberto Castro recorded his best finish in a major when he tied for 12th last weekend at the PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club in Pittsford, N.Y. The 2007 Georgia Tech graduate and All-American fired rounds of 68-69-71-70 to finish 2-under-par and earn $132,786. Castro, who has made the cut in 10 of his last 12 events and has nine top-25 finishes this year, now ranks 38th in FedEx Cup points and 45th in 2013 earnings with slightly more than $1.5 million.
Matt Kuchar tied for 22nd at even par after entering the weekend rounds of the PGA Championship in second place. The 2000 Tech grad and All-American ranks second on Tour in both FedEx Cup points and earnings (more than $5 million), having won twice this year at the WGC-Accenture match Play Championship and The Memorial Tournament.
Those two performances kept Georgia Tech out in front and increased the Yellow Jackets’ edge over second-place Georgia in the Rivals Cup standings, which measures collective FedEx Cup points earned by each institution’s alumni on the PGA Tour. Tech has held the lead in the cup standings for much of the summer, and nine different Jacket alumni have earned points, the most among any college or university.
Tech has a chance to build its lead further this week at the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, N.C. Castro, Stewart Cink, Paul Haley, Troy Matteson, Bryce Molder, Nicholas Thompson and Cameron Tringale are all in the field at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C. Chesson Hadley, who ranks third on the Web.com Tour in earning this season, has received a sponsor’s exemption into the field for the event, which is near his hometown of Raleigh.
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.