THE FLATS – Coming off a busy and successful week of amateur competition for Georgia Tech’s golfers, qualifying for the 121st United States Amateur Championship begins Tuesday for three Yellow Jackets, and five other members of the team are competing in the Southern Amateur in West Point, Miss.
Nine current and former Jackets are attempting to qualify for the U.S. Amateur over the next eight days, beginning Tuesday and Wednesday at the Capital City Club Crabapple Course in Milton, Ga., where rising juniors Bartley Forrester (Gainesville, Ga.), Luka Karaulic (Dacula, Ga.) and Andy Mao (Johns Creek, Ga.), recent graduate Noah Norton (Chico, Calif.) and All-American alumnus James White (Canton, Ga.) are entered. Norton has qualified for the U.S. Amateur five times previously, advancing to match play three times.
Rising senior Ben Smith (Novi, Mich.) will attempt to qualify next Monday (July 19) at Walnut Creek Country Club in South Lyon, Mich., while rising junior Connor Howe (Ogden, Utah) and sophomores Christo Lamprecht (George, South Africa) and Ross Steelman (Columbia, Mo.) are entered in the qualifier next Monday and Tuesday (July 19-20) at Stonebridge Golf Club in Rome, Ga.
Former Yellow Jacket Bo Andrews, who now serves as assistant golf coach at Tennessee under former Tech assistant coach Brennan Webb, has already qualified for the U.S. Amateur with a runner-up finish at Longmeadow, Mass.
All U.S. Amateur qualifiers are 36-hole competitions, some conducted in one day, others over two days, with varying numbers of qualifying spots available. The 121st U.S. Amateur will be played Aug. 9-15 at Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, Pa., outside Pittsburgh. The last two U.S. Amateur champions have been Yellow Jackets – Tyler Strafaci in 2020 and Andy Ogletree in 2019.
ALSO THIS WEEK
Five Jackets are competing in this week’s major amateur event, the 115th Southern Amateur in West Point, Miss. Recent graduate Will Dickson (Providence, R.I.), Connor Howe, Christo Lamprecht, Ben Smith and Ross Steelman are all in the field at Old Waverly Golf Club.
TWELVE JACKETS SPREAD OVER FOUR EVENTS LAST WEEK
Several members of Georgia Tech’s current team and a pair of alumni competed in four different events last week, most notably seven players in the field for the prestigious Monroe Invitational in Pittsford, N.Y., an event most recently won by Andy Ogletree in 2019.
Three current Jackets posted top-10 finishes, including Ross Steelman tying for third place, Connor Howe tying for seventh and Ben Smith tying for 10th, all under par on the par-70 Monroe Golf Club. Steelman, who has transferred to Tech from Missouri, overcame an opening round of 77 to shoot 67-66-64 and finish at 6-under-par 274, going 47 straight holes without carding a bogey. Howe opened with a 72, but shot 67-67-70 to finish at 4-under-par 276, and Smith was consistent throughout the weekend with rounds of 69-69-70-69 for a 3-under-par 277.
Christo Lamprecht also finished under par, opening with a 67 and finishing at 1-under-par 279 to tie for 16th place. Bartley Forrester tied for 20th place at even-par 282, and Noah Nortontied for 34th at 282 (+2).
Rising sophomore Adam Bratton (Newburgh, Ind.) earned a tie for sixth place at the Palmetto Amateur in Aiken, S.C., closing with a 66 to finish at even-par 280. Tyler Strafaci won that event in 2020 for the second of his three victories last summer.
Closer to home, rising sophomore Aidan Kramer (Oviedo, Fla.) and Andy Mao posted solid weekends at the Georgia Amateur Championship, which was won last summer by Yellow Jacket Luke Schniederjans. Kramer, who back in May won the Yamaha Atlanta Open, tied for 26th place at 3-over-par 287, while Mao tied for 36th at 6-over-par 290.
Incoming freshman Benjamin Reuter (Naarden, The Netherlands), who is ranked No. 134 among European golf amateurs, tied for 36th in the individual stroke play leaderboard last week at the European Amateur Team Championship. He helped The Netherlands to a fifth-place finish in the 36-hole stroke-play portion of the championship, then lost in the first round of match play.