Unfortunately, he’s going to have to wait at least two more days to hoist a trophy.
Schniederjans lost a three-hole playoff to Stanford’s Cameron Wilson and finished second in the NCAA national championship individual tournament at Prairie Dunes Country Club in Hutchinson, Kansas.
Wilson, who shot rounds of 71-63-70 to finish at 6-under par, rolled in an 8-foot putt to birdie the par-5 17th hole to close out the former Harrison High School standout.
Schniederjans (71-65-68) had a good chance to win the title on the previous playoff hole after hitting his tee shot to the par-3 10th to within 10 feet, but his putt broke left just as it got to the hole and slid by.
It was Schniederjans’ second straight runner-up finish, which was following three straight wins.
“I’m very pleased with my play,” he said. “But I let this one slip away a little bit.”
Schniederjans and the Yellow Jackets will now turn their attention to the match play portion of the event, which begins today. Georgia Tech will be the No. 5 seed and will face No. 4 Oklahoma State in the quarterfinals this morning. If the Yellow Jackets win, they will face the winner of the Stanford-Illinois match in the semifinals in the afternoon.
The other two matches will be defending champion Alabama against SMU and LSU will face UCLA.
Georgia waited too long to start playing their best golf. The Bulldogs shot 3-under in their final round, but it was only good enough to move up into a tie for 11th at 10-over par. Joey Garber (74-68-71) led Georgia and finished in a tie for 49th.
Georgia State’s Davin White was 4-under par starting the third round, but he shot 76 to finish at 2-over par and in tie for 42nd. The Panthers finished the event at 23-over and in 22nd place.
Kennesaw State’s Teremoana Beaucousin shot 69-73 his first two rounds, but a 67 Monday jumped him from a tie for 50th into a tie for 19th at 1-under par. Austin Vick finished at 9-over, current Georgia Amateur champion Jimmy Beck finished 10-over, Kelby Burton was 17-over and Chris Guglielmo at 19-over.
The Owls shot 32-over to finish 26th.
For a while, it looked as if Georgia Tech’s Seth Reeves was going to make a move in the individual tournament. He had moved to 4-under par to pull even with Schniederjans at the turn, but an up and down back nine left him in a tie for sixth.
Schniederjans three-putted No. 9 for bogey, but started his back nine with a birdie to get back to 5-under. It looked like he had lost his chance to win the tournament after missing a 6-foot birdie putt on No. 12 and then bogeying No. 13, but a birdie on No. 14 put him right back in the mix.
Schniederjans lipped out four birdie putts during the round, but a 15-foot birdie putt on the par-5 17th made him the leader in the clubhouse at 6-under.
Wilson had reached 6-under after a birdie on No. 5 and then made 11 straight pars until he birdied No. 17 to move to 7-under.
A poor second shot to the 18th hole left him with poor angle to the hole, and after a missed 10-foot par putt, he and Schniederjans were off to a playoff.
Playing the par-4 18th hole first, Schniederjans hit his tee shot into the left rough. The ball buried in the grass, but, from 140-yards, he was able to dig it out and get it on the green.
Wilson made a routine par, but Schniederjans didn’t make it easy on himself. From 25 feet, he left his first putt 6-feet short.
“I just didn’t hit it,” he said. “And it was really slow. I was really happy to make that (second putt) to keep going. You don’t want to lose on something like that. You want someone to win with a birdie.”
Schniederjans had his best chance to win on the second playoff hole when he hit 9-iron to 8-feet on the 172-yard par-3 10th. He had birdied the hole the first three times he played it, but he couldn’t convert a fourth time.
“I felt good. I felt like I was in my element,” Schniederjans said. “It was fun. It was just a couple of bad reads and bad breaks that didn’t go my way.”
Now, if he wants to win a national championship, Schniederjans will have to do it with his teammates. And that’s why the Yellow Jackets went to Kansas in the first place.
“Winning the individual tournament would have been pretty cool,” he said. “But the team event is the most important. If we win this thing as a team, this one won’t matter.”