Schniederjans given exemption to Scottish Open
by John Bednarowski
sportseditor@mdjonline.com
July 06, 2014 11:43 PM | 2303 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Former Harrison golfer Ollie Schniederjans now swings his golf clubs for Georgia Tech. Staff/Jeff Stanton
Former Harrison golfer Ollie Schniederjans now swings his golf clubs for Georgia Tech. Staff/Jeff Stanton
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Ollie Schniederjans was successful in his first professional golf tournament. Now, he’s getting the opportunity to play against many of the best pros in the world.

Schniederjans, the world’s top-ranked amateur, was given an exemption to play in the European Tour’s Scottish Open at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club in Aberdeen, Scotland, this week. There, he will have the chance to tee it up with the likes of Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Ernie Els and Ian Poulter.

The field currently includes 24 of the top 60 players in the world and seven major champions. Schniederjans will be one of two amateurs in the field, the other is Scotland’s Alexander Culverwell, ranked 266th in the latest World Amateur Golf Rankings.

Knowing this will be his biggest challenge to date, Schniederjans said he will have to play his best golf to contend.

“Yes, sir,” he said.

Schniederjans comes into the event playing his best golf of the summer – minus 18 holes.

In the middle of June, he finished fifth in the Web.com Air Capital Classic, where he shot rounds of 64-71-65-67 to finish in a tie for fifth, which included a hole-in-one during the final round.

Two weeks ago, he represented the United States in the Palmer Cup, a collegiate version of the Ryder Cup between the U.S. and Great Britain and Ireland. While the U.S. was defeated 18.5 to 11.5, Schniederjans went 3-1 in his four matches, which included him earning his team’s only point in the Sunday final singles matches when he beat Louis Tomlinson 5&3.

The only bad round in this stretch was the Monday after the Palmer Cup, when he traveled to Sunningdale, England, for final qualifying for the British Open at Royal Liverpool. Schniederjans shot rounds of 78-71 and finished in a tie for 33rd.

“It was just a nightmarish day for me,” he said.

Schniederjans stayed in England this past week and prepared to play in his first European Tour event. And he has one more chance to qualify for the British Open. The top three players that finish in the top-10 that are not already in the field will earn spots. Which means all Schniederjans will have to do is play like one of the best players in the world to qualify.

“That would be great,” he said.

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