Castro, Cink, Hadley, Kuchar and Tringale vie for final major at Valhalla in Louisville, Ky.
THE FLATS – Five Georgia Tech golf alumni are competing this week at the PGA Championship, the golf season’s final major championship which begins Thursday morning at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky.
The Tech contingent is led by the world’s No. 5-ranked player Matt Kuchar, who won the RBC Heritage Classic earlier this year and is also ranked No. 5 in the U.S. Ryder Cup points standings, 2009 British Open champion Stewart Cink, Roberto Castro, Chesson Hadley and Cameron Tringale.
Kuchar, a seven-time winner on the PGA Tour and twice a member of the U.S. Ryder Cup team (2010, 2012), is rated No. 7 in a list of players to watch this week. One of the Tour’s most consistent players, Kuchar leads the Tour in top-10 finishes with 10 and just missed another with a T-12 at the WGC-Bridgestone last weekend. He has six top 10s in majors during the past five years, including a T-10 in the 2010 PGA. It will be his first trip to Valhalla.
The five Tech alumni in the field are the most of any Division I institution with the exception of Georgia, which has seven in the field. Led by Kuchar’s $4.129 million earned on the PGA Tour this year, Tech’s former stars have accumulated in excess of $10 million in earnings for the 2013-14 season, the second-most of any one institution.
With one more week left on the PGA Tour’s regular-season schedule, six Tech alumni are in position to compete in the FedEx Cup Playoffs, which begin Aug. 21-24 at The Barclays in Ridgewood, N.J. Kuchar is No. 4 on the Fed Ex Cup points list, followed by Tringale (55), Hadley (64), Cink (102), Bryce Molder (113) and Nicholas Thompson (121). Castro, who made it all the way to the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club last year, is currently No. 144. The top 125 qualify for the FedEx Cup Playoffs.
TNT will provide live television coverage of the first two rounds of the PGA Championship from 1-7 p.m. Eastern time Thursday and Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, TNT will air live coverage from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., and CBS will take over from 2-7 p.m.
Thursday tee times (local time)
- 7:30 a.m. (1st tee) – Roberto Castro with Brian Norman (USA) and Russell Knox (Scotland)
- 9 a.m. (1st tee) – Stewart Cink with Jamie Donaldson (Wales) and Hyung-Sun Kim (South Korea)
- 9:05 a.m. (10th tee) – Matt Kuchar with Louis Oosthuizen (South Africa) and Justin Rose (ENG)
- 1:40 p.m. (10th tee) – Cameron Tringale with Scott Piercy (USA) and Kiradech Aphibarnrat (Thailand)
- 2:20 p.m. (10th tee) – Chesson Hadley with Will MacKenzie (USA) and Steve Schneiter (USA)
FORRESTER QUALIFIES FOR U.S. MID-AMATEUR
Carlton Forrester, a two-time honorable mention All-American and 2000 graduate of Georgia Tech, has qualified for the 34th annual U.S. Mid-Amateur, which will be held Sept. 6-11 at Saucon Valley Country Club in Bethlehem, Pa.
Forrester grabbed one of eight available spots Monday at Berkeley Hills Country Club in Duluth, Ga., one of 68 qualifying sites around the country. The 1999 All-ACC performer shot a 4-under-par 68 and tied for first place with three other golfers. The U.S. Mid-Amateur is open to amateur golfers who are 25 years of age and older.
Forrester, inducted into the Georgia Tech Sports Hall of Fame in 2012, was a part of Tech teams that won nine tournaments between 1997-2000, including the 1999 ACC Championship, and posted runner-up finishes in the NCAA Championship in 1998 and 2000. He was the runner-up in the 2005 Mid-Amateur and was the medalist at the 2006 Mid-Amateur.