Held at two different clubs in Brookline, Mass., the former Harrison High School and current Georgia Tech star has a 1:15 p.m. tee time today at The Country Club, the historic 7,310-yard, par-70 course where the fairways are long and narrow and the greens smaller.
The Country Club is famous for the 1913 U.S. Open, where 20-year old local amateur Francis Ouimet defeated famous British professionals Harry Vardon and Ted Ray in an 18-hole playoff. It was also home to the dramatic comeback in the 1999 Ryder Cup where the U.S. defeated Europe 14 1/2 to 13 1/2.
Schniderjans said he had a great practice round on both courses — The Country Club and the Charles River Country Club — and is eager to get started.
“It’s really long and tough in every way,” Schniederjans said. “I’ve never played anything like it. It’s an old school course but modernized to make it difficult, which is awesome. It’s certainly going to bring out the best player. You can’t fake your way through this one.”
His Georgia Tech teammate Anders Albertson, who starred at Etowah High School in neighboring Cherokee County, will also be playing The Country Club, and he will tee off 10 minutes before Schniederjans.
Another Georgia Tech standout, Michael Hines formerly of Kell, will play at Charles River, a shorter and wider 6,574-yard course.
The trio, along with Georgia Tech teammates Seth Reeves of Duluth, Bo Andrews of Raleigh, N.C. and Richard Werenski of South Hadley, Mass., will join a field of 312 golfers for two rounds of stroke play, one at each location. The field will be cut to 64 players for match play, which begins Wednesday. The championship will end Sunday with a 36-hole championship match.
The winner of the U.S. Amateur automatically gets into next year’s U.S. Open, British Open and The Masters. The runner-up is granted entry into the U.S. Open.
Tennessee-Chattanooga’s Steven Fox is back to defend his championship. As the 63rd seed last year, the lowest to win the U.S. Amateur, Fox made an 18-foot birdie putt on the the first playoff hole to defeat Michael Weaver of Fresno, Calif., who is also in the field.
Albertson, Reeves and Schniederjans qualified for the Amateur by placing in the top five of a 36-hole qualifier at Capital City Club’s Crabapple Course, the site of the NCAA championship in early June where Georgia Tech made the semifinals. Albertson won the event by two strokes over Reeves with Schniederjans finishing in a tie for third with Alabama golfer Scott Strohmeyer.
Schneiderjans, who said his putting and short game has been “streaky” after it helped him finish second at the Dogwood Invitational and had taken 10 days off from competition going into the Amateur.
Hines joined the field a week after his teammates by winning a three-way playoff at a qualifier held at Tennessee National Golf Club in Loudon, Tenn.
It was a great boost for Hines who had struggled in a few tournaments this summer, not making the cut in the Dogwood Invitational and having to settle for an 81 in the U.S. Open local qualifier in May.
Now he’s ready to make a statement in Boston.
“My goal is to get into match play and see how far I can get from there,” Hines said. “I’ve been putting it in play, giving myself more opportunities for birdies and I’m not scrambling as much. I’m getting back to playing boring golf, which I like.”