Tech Foursome Ready to Compete in U.S. Amateur
World No. 1 amateur Ollie Schniederjans joins Seth Reeves, Bo Andrews and Jacob Joiner
U.S. Amateur media day audio: Schniederjans | Reeves
Schniederjans relishes "home game" at U.S. Amateur (USGA) | Reeves puts pro golf on hold for U.S. Amateur (Gwinnett Daily Post)
Reeves playing final amateur event less than 10 miles from home (The Good Word) | Joiner Ready for U.S. Amateur (WALB-TV Albany)
THE FLATS - Ollie Schniederjans, the world's No. 1-ranked amateur golfer, and Seth Reeves, ranked No. 35, join Georgia Tech teammates Bo Andrews and Jacob Joiner in the field Monday when the 114th United States Amateur Championship gets underway at the Atlanta Athletic Club in Johns Creek, Ga.
The field of 312 players will play 18 holes of stroke play on Aug. 11 and 12 on each of the two qualifying courses, the Highlands (7,428 yards, par 71) and the Riverside (7,381 yards, par 72), after which the field will be cut to the low 64 scorers. Six rounds of match play begin on Aug. 13 and the championship concludes with a 36-hole championship match on Aug. 17. All match play will take place on the Highlands Course, which has hosted a U.S. Open and two PGA Championships.
Schniederjans, a rising senior from Powder Springs, Ga., enters the week at the top of the World Amateur Golf Rankings, while Reeves, a 2014 Tech graduate from nearby Duluth, Ga., is No. 27. They are two of 56 players exempt into the field by virtue of their world ranking of past performances in USGA championships. They combined to win seven individual collegiate titles for Georgia Tech in 2013-14, and they helped the Yellow Jackets win a total of six team titles, including the Atlantic Coast Conference championship.
Schniederjans reached match play and lost in the first round of the 2012 Amateur, and failed to reach match play last year at Brookline. Reeves made the field of 312 but did not advance to match play in his first appearance in 2011, but last year reached match play and won his first-round match.
Andrews, another 2014 Tech graduate from Raleigh, N.C., made the field by advancing out of a sectional qualifier at the Great Waters course in Eatonton, Ga., while Joiner, an incoming freshman from Leesburg, Ga., qualified at a sectional in Orlando, Fla.
Much is at stake for the U.S. Amateur champion, who becomes exempt from local and sectional qualifying for the 2015 U.S. Open, an exemption from qualifying for the next 10 U.S. Amateurs, and an exemption into the 2015 British Open. The champion also typically receives an invitation to the next Masters Tournament. The U.S. Amateur Championship is the oldest golf championship in America, one day older than the U.S. Open. Other than an eight-year period from 1965-1972, when it was contested at stroke play, the Amateur has been a match-play championship.
If Schniederjans can maintain his No. 1 ranking following the U.S. Amateur, he will win the Mark H. McCormack Medal, given to the world's top amateur player for the previous 12 months, which comes with invitations to both the 2015 U.S. and British Opens.
Reeves is playing in his final event as an amateur on a golf course minutes from his home, on a golf course he and his Tech teammates frequently play. Andrews, who has remained an amateur while he pursues graduate studies beginning in the fall, became a member of the Atlanta Athletic Club earlier this summer.
Matt Kuchar, a 2000 Tech graduate and a seven-time winner on the PGA Tour, was a rising sophomore at Georgia Tech when he won the 1997 title at Cog Hill Golf and Country Club in 1997. He went on to tie for 21st in the 1998 Masters and 14th in the 1998 U.S. Open. The legendary Bobby Jones, who was a member and served as president of the Atlanta Athletic Club, won five U.S. Amateur titles (1924, 1925, 1927, 1928, 1930).
Tickets are $20 for a single-day grounds pass. Other passes and packages are available online. Golf Channel will provide coverage of the first three days of match play Wednesday through Friday, and NBC will air coverage of the semi-finals Saturday and championship match Sunday.
SCHEDULE OF PLAY
Monday, Aug. 11: First round of stroke-play qualifying (18 holes) on Highlands and Riverside Courses
Tuesday, Aug. 12: Second round of stroke-play qualifying (18 holes) on Highlands and Riverside Courses
Wednesday, Aug. 13: First round of match play on Highlands Course (TV: Golf Channel, 4-6 p.m.)
Thursday, Aug. 14: Second and third rounds of match play on Highlands Course (TV: Golf Channel, 6:30-8:30 p.m.)
Friday, Aug. 15: Quarterfinal round of match play on Highlands Course (TV: Golf Channel, 8:30-10:30 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 16: Semifinal round of match play on Highlands Course (TV: NBC, 4-6 p.m.)
Sunday, Aug. 17: Championship match (36 holes) on Highlands Course (TV: NBC, 4-6 p.m.
PAIRINGS AND TEE TIMES FOR STROKE PLAY
Monday, Aug 11: Highlands Course, hole #1; Tuesday, Aug. 12: Riverside Course, hole #10
8:15 a.m. - 1:20 p.m. - Seth Reeves, Suwanee, Ga., with Thomas Lim, Eugene, Ore., and Michael Koeneke, San Diego, Calif.
Monday, Aug 11: Highlands Course, hole #10; Tuesday, Aug. 12: Riverside Course, hole #1
2:10 p.m. - 9:05 a.m. - Ollie Schniederjans, Powder Springs, Ga., with Sean Knapp, Oakmont, Pa., and Peter French, Franklin, Mass.
Monday, Aug 11: Riverside Course, hole #1; Tuesday, Aug. 12: Highlands Course, hole #10
8:35 a.m. - 1:40 p.m. - Bo Andrews, Raleigh, N.C., with Nicholas Smits, Netherlands, and Kraig McLeod, Pebble Beach, Calif.
Monday, Aug. 11: Riverside Course, hole #10; Tuesday, Aug. 12: Highlands Course, hole #1
2:50 p.m. - 9:45 a.m. - Jacob Joiner, Leesburg, Ga., with Ryan Harris, Carlisle, Mass., and Tyler Collier, Chico, Calif.
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH GOLF
Georgia Tech's golf team is in its 20th year under head coach Bruce Heppler. The Yellow Jackets have won 15 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, made 27 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 (@GT_Golf). For more information on Tech golf, visit Ramblinwreck.com.