The former Harrison High School and current Georgia Tech star expected to ascend to the top spot this summer, but with Stanford’s Cameron Wilson and 2013 U.S. Amateur champion Matthew Fitzpatrick turning professional this week, the World Amateur Golf Rankings made it official Wednesday.
“It’s really cool,” said Schniederjans, who was No. 3 behind Wilson and Fitzpatrick. “I’ve wanted this for so long.”
The ranking is just the latest accolade for the Powder Springs native.
Schniederjans won five tournaments during the recently completed college season including the ACC championship, and finished as the runner-up for the NCAA individual championship after losing in a playoff. He was a finalist for the Ben Hogan and Jack Nicklaus award and has been named to multiple all-American lists.
Though he’s reached the top of the amateur rankings, Schniederjans said he doesn’t feel any added pressure as he goes from being the hunter to being the hunted.
“I don’t think I’m being hunted,” he said. “It just means I’ll be the favorite at any (amateur) golf tournament I go to from now on. I feel like I’m in my comfort zone.”
On the day he reached his status as the No. 1 amateur in the world, Schniederjans was practicing in preparation of making his debut in a professional tournament. Schniederjans is in Wichita, Kan., and will tee off at 10 a.m. today in the first round of the Web.com Tour’s Air Capital Classic.
It’s the first step of what is to be a busy summer. Next week, Schniederjans is set to travel to England to compete for the United States in the Palmer Cup, a Ryder Cup-style competition that pits the best collegiate players from the U.S. against their counterparts from Great Britain and Ireland.
While he is in England, Schniederjans will attempt to qualify for the British Open, then come home to prepare for the U.S. Amateur, which will be held in august at Atlanta Athletic Club in Johns Creek.
If Schniederjans remains No. 1 after the U.S. Amateur — the end of the amateur golf season — he would receive the McCormack Medal as the best amateur of the season, and with it, earn berths into the 2015 U.S. Open and British Open.