Five Jackets Qualify for FedEx Cup Playoffs
Cink, Hadley, Kuchar, Molder and Tringale competing at The Barclays this week
THE FLATS - Five Georgia Tech golf alumni have qualified for the FedEx Cup Playoffs on the PGA Tour and will compete this week at The Barclays, the opening round of the playoffs which begin Thursday at Ridgewood Golf Club in Paramus, N.J.
The Tech contingent is led by the world's No. 5-ranked player Matt Kuchar, who won the RBC Heritage Classic earlier this year and is No. 4 in the FedEx Cup points race. Cameron Tringale, ranked No. 61, also is in the field along with Chesson Hadley, winner of the Puerto Rico Open in the spring and ranked No. 72, 2009 British Open Champion Stewart Cink (No. 109) and Bryce Molder (No. 122).
Kuchar, a seven-time winner on the PGA Tour and champion of The Barclays in 2010, is rated No. 15 in a list of players to watch this week. One of the Tour's most consistent players, Kuchar leads the Tour in top-10 finishes with 10 and just missed another with a T-12 at the WGC-Bridgestone. Kuchar pulled out of the PGA Championship earlier this month with a back injury but is expected to play.
The top 100 players in FedEx Cup points following The Barclays will move on to play in next week's Deutsche Bank Championship BMW Championship in Boston. The playoffs continue with the BMW Championship Sept. 4-7 in Denver, Colo. (top 70), and the top 30 in points after that event come to Atlanta for the season-ending Tour Championship, Sept. 11-14 at East Lake Golf Club.
The five Tech alumni in the field are the most of any Division I institution with the exception of Georgia, which has eight in the field. Led by Kuchar's $4.129 million earned on the PGA Tour this year, Tech's former stars have accumulated in excess of $10 million in earnings for the 2013-14 season, the second-most of any one institution.
Nicholas Thompson (No. 126 in FedEx Cup points), a four-time All-American for Tech in the mid-2000s, missed qualifying by a single point but ranks No. 123 in earning for 2013-14 and will retain his PGA Tour card for 2014-15. Roberto Castro (No. 135) and Troy Matteson (No. 165) will join the Web.com Tour Finals field in an effort to retain their PGA Tour cards next season, along with former Tech stars Matt Weibring and Paul Haley, who competed on the Web.com Tour this year.
Thursday tee times (local time)
7:31 a.m. (10th tee) - Chesson Hadley with Scott Langley (USA) and Pat Perez (USA)
7:42 a.m. (1st tee) - Cameron Tringale with Charl Schwartzel (South Africa) and Hunter Mahan (USA)
8:48 a.m. (1st tee) - Stewart Cink with Andres Romero (Argentina) and Troy Merritt (USA)
8:59 a.m. (10th tee) - Bryce Molder with James Hahn (USA) and Louis Oosthuizen (South Africa)
1:06 p.m. (1st tee) - Matt Kuchar with Jim Furyk (USA) and Sergio Garcia (Spain)
KUCHAR AUTOMATIC FOR U.S. RYDER CUP TEAM
For the third time, Georgia Tech's Matt Kuchar will be a member of the United States team when it competes in the Ryder Cup, Sept. 23-28 at Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire, Scotland.
Kuchar, a first-team All-American at Tech in 1997, 1998 and 2000, was an automatic pick for the team after having finished sixth in the U.S. points standings. He is joined by Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, Jim Furyk, Jimmy Walker, Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed and Zack Johnson as automatic selections. Team USA captain Tom Watson will pick three others to join that roster on Sept. 2.
A resident of Sea Island, Ga., Kuchar played for the U.S. team in 2010 and 2012, and has compiled a 3-2-2 overall record and earned four points for Team USA in his matches.
FOUR FRESHMEN BEGIN COMPETING FOR THE YELLOW JACKETS
With three seniors gone from a Georgia Tech team that finished the spring ranked as high as second in the nation (Golfweek), four newcomers step into the void and begin competing for spots on the travel squad that will open the fall campaign at the Carpet Capital Collegiate Sept. 5-7 in Rocky Face, Ga.
Tech begins a 108-hole qualifying tournament Thursday that will take the team to East Lake Golf Club for three rounds and the Golf Club of Georgia for three rounds. The six-round gauntlet concludes Friday, Aug. 29.
Head coach Bruce Heppler begins his 20th year at the helm of the Yellow Jackets' golf program with a pair of returning All-Americans in Ollie Schniederjans (Powder Springs, Ga.), the world's No. 1-ranked amateur player, and Anders Albertson (Woodstock, Ga.) to anchor a team that also returns a pair of sophomores in Michael Hines (Acworth, Ga.), who red-shirted last year after playing seven events as a freshman, and Vincent Whaley (McKinney, Texas), who competed five times last season.
All four freshman enter the program after ranking among the nation's top 50 junior players, including James Clark of Columbus, Ga., Jacob Joiner of Leesburg, Ga., Chris Petefish of Danville, Calif., and Michael Pisciotta of Alpharetta, Ga. Joiner qualified for the U.S. Amateur over the summer after sharing medalist honors at a sectional qualifier, and Petefish recorded top-10 finishes at two major amateur events.
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.