But Alabama’s Cory Whitsett was already 4-up on him.
It was that kind of day for both the former Harrison High School star and his Georgia Tech teammates.
Schniederjans lost to Whitsett after 16 holes, coupling with losses by Seth Reeves and Shun Yat Hak to end the Yellow Jackets’ season.
Georgia Tech’s Anders Albertson and Bo Andrews were all square with their opponents after 18 holes, but with Alabama’s win in hand, those two matches were deemed draws.
The Crimson Tide made it into the championship round for the second straight year and will face Illinois, which stunned top-ranked California in the other semifinal.
After leading Georgia Tech to victory over UNLV on a playoff hole Friday, Schniederjans didn’t play poorly Saturday. He was 1-under through 16 holes, with three birdies.
But he wasn’t good enough to beat Whitsett, who led Alabama with a 71.26-stroke average, two tournament victories and six top-five finishes this season.
“(Whitsett) is really good. He played great,” Schniederjans said. “I would have had to play pretty much flawless to beat him (Saturday), and I knew that going in. It was not like I was shocked that he was tearing it up. I knew he would do that.”
Schniederjans found himself playing from behind early when Whitsett birdied Nos. 1, 4 and 5 to go 3-up. Schniederjans kept up with his near-flawless opponent for the next two holes until Whitsett went 4-up with a birdie putt on 7.
“I got off to a hot start,” Whitsett said. “I made good wedge shots early and made putts. (Schniederjans) is a great player. He had huge finish (Friday) to win for Georgia Tech in the playoffs. He is a really good match player and I knew it was going to be a good match on a course he plays on a lot.”
Schniederjans couldn’t gain any ground until he made a 20-foot birdie putt on 10.
But two holes later, he stumbled and found himself fighting just to stay in the match.
A near-perfect tee shot on a par-five 12th hole culminated with a bogey for Schniederjans. After his second shot went right of the green, he misjudged his third shot and landed short. Schniederjans still had a chance for par, but his 6-foot putt didn’t find the hole.
“I tried as hard as I could to fight back and made a great birdie on 10,” Schniederjans said. “But then on 12, I screwed up. He made par on a par-5, and I had a great drive and make 6, so all of sudden I had a chance to pull it to 2-down, but instead it goes back up to 4.”
With both golfers making their shots, Schniederjans couldn’t gain ground on the 13th and 14th holes, but he kept the match alive on 15 by hitting a 220-yard tee shot that landed 6 feet from the hole for birdie.
But a missed birdie putt from 25 feet out on No. 16 clinched the match for Whitsett.