Three Yellow Jackets Set to Compete at U.S. Open
Former Tech stars attempt to become first Yellow Jacket to win Open since Bobby Jones
June 11, 2014
THE FLATS - Three Georgia Tech alumni, including 2009 British Open Champion Stewart Cink and seven-time PGA tour winner Matt Kuchar, will tee off Thursday at the 114th U.S. Open Championship at Pinehurst Resort and Country Club in Pinehurst, N.C.
All-American and 2007 graduate Roberto Castro also is in the field after advancing to the Tour Championship last year and finishing among the top 30 earners on the PGA Tour. Kuchar is in the field due to his No. 5 position in the Official World Golf Ranking, as well as having advanced to the 2013 Tour Championship and winning the 2012 Players Championship on the PGA Tour. Cink is playing the U.S. Open for the fifth time on an exemption for winning the 2009 Open Championship.
Here are the tee times for Georgia Tech alumni for the first two rounds: Roberto Castro, Matt Every, Matt Jones - 7:07 a.m. (1) Thursday, 12:52 p.m. (10) Friday Matt Kuchar, Henrik Stenson, Lee Westwood - 7:29 a.m. (1) Thursday, 1:14 p.m. (10) Friday Stewart Cink, Justin Leonard, Y.E. Yang - 1:14 p.m. (1) Thursday, 7:20 a.m. (10) Friday
Here's a look at the Yellow Jackets competing this weekend:
Roberto Castro - Second U.S. Open appearance after missing the cut in 2012. While still seeking his first PGA Tour victory, Castro qualified for the 2013 Tour Championship to earn an exemption into the U.S. Open; has six professional victories, five on the eGolf Tour; born in Houston to Peruvian mother and Puerto Rican father; nephew of former LPGA Tour golfer Jenny Lidback; younger brothers are also golfers; Alex played at Georgia State (2007-2011) and Franco now plays at UNC-Charlotte after transferring from LSU; Roberto was a first-team All-American at Georgia Tech in 2005.
Stewart Cink - Making his 19th U.S. Open start. The 2009 British Open winner is competing in his 19th consecutive U.S. Open; finished one shot out of a playoff at 2001 U.S. Open at Southern Hills, where Retief Goosen defeated Mark Brooks; among his six PGA Tour victories are two wins at Harbour Town Golf Links in South Carolina; also has eight other worldwide wins; has represented the U.S. on five Ryder Cup and four Presidents Cup Teams.
Matt Kuchar - Making his 12th start in the U.S. Open. The 1997 U.S. Amateur champion made a memorable U.S. Open debut by finishing 14th in 1998 at Olympic as an amateur; collected seventh PGA Tour win at 2014 RBC Heritage in Hilton Head, S.C.; also won Memorial Tournament and WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in 2013; member of 1999 USA Walker Cup Team and 1998 USA World Amateur Team; member of 2010 and 2012 U.S. Ryder Cup Teams and 2011 and 2013 U.S. Presidents Cup Teams; twice a first-team All-American at Georgia Tech; wife Sybi was a tennis player at Georgia Tech.
Tech's threesome is among 15 golfers from the Atlantic Coast Conference competing for our national championship. Florida State also has three alumni in the field.
Georgia Tech's legendary Bobby Jones won two U.S. Amateur titles at Merion Golf Club, in 1924 and 1930. The 1930 victory completed the only Grand Slam of golf ever achieved. Jones had won his fourth U.S. Open earlier that year at Interlachen Golf Club.
Since Bobby Jones won his last U.S. Open in 1930, Stewart Cink has come the closest among Tech alumni to winning one, finishing third, one stroke out of a playoff, in 2001 at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Okla.
Yellow Jackets Succeeding on Tour Again
Georgia Tech alumni have accumulated more than $8.7 million in earnings and rank second in cumulative money won by NCAA golf alumni in 2013-14. Matt Kuchar, who won the RBC Heritage in early April, and rookie Chesson Hadley, Puerto Rico Open champion, have each won on Tour this year. Tech alumni finished first in the 2013 Rivals Cup, which measures PGA Tour success by school.
Kuchar has more top-10 finishes (9 in 15 events) than anyone on the PGA Tour this year, ranks third in the FedEx Cup standings, fourth in earnings, second in scoring average, and is No. 5 in the Official World Golf Ranking.
As of June 9, Stewart Cink is No. 13 in career earnings on the PGA Tour ($32,491,234), while Kuchar is No. 16 ($29,982,630), and David Duval is No. 50 ($18,947,092). Those three have a pair of major championships and 26 PGA Tour wins between them.
Current season FedEx Cup standings have Kuchar third, Hadley No. 42, Cameron Tringale No. 53, Nicholas Thompson No. 96, Bryce Molder No. 107, Briny Baird No. 108, Cink No. 110, Roberto Castro No. 139, Troy Matteson No. 168 and Duval No. 193.