THE FLATS – Georgia Tech’s Ross Steelman shot a 6-under-par 66 Wednesday, matching his score from Tuesday’s opening round to win the 36-hole qualifier at Stonebridge Country Club in Rome, Ga., and earn a spot in the 2021 U.S. Amateur championship.
A sophomore who transferred from Missouri after the 2021 spring season, Steelman becomes the second current member of the Yellow Jacket golf team, joining sophomore Adam Bratton (Newburgh, Ind.) to secure a spot in the 121st playing of the U.S. Amateur that begins Aug. 9 in Oakmont, Pa.
The 6-foot-5 Steelman parred his first two holes Wednesday, then reeled off a string of four birdies on holes 3 through 6. His only scare came on the par-5 ninth, where he double-bogeyed, but he finished strong with a bogey-free back nine that included birdies at 14, 15, 17 and 18. His Tuesday round featured a pair of eagles and five birdies.
His 12-under-par total of 132 beat a trio of qualifiers in Austin Fulton of Villa Rica, Ga., Nick Robillard of Birmingham, Ala. And John Marshall Butler of Louisville, Ky. Beck Burnette of Blairsville, Ga., captured the fifth and final qualifying spot with a score of 134 (-10).
Tech teammates Connor Howe (Ogden, Utah) and Christo Lamprecht (George, South Africa) came up short. Howe, a junior, remained in contention until late in the round after posting rounds of 69-67 for an 8-under-par score of 136, but he finished seventh and is the second alternate from the Rome site. Chris Devlin of Birmingham, Ala. (135, -9) is the first alternate. Lamprecht tied for 16th after posting rounds of 72-68 for a total of 140 (-4).
Steelman is the fifth current or former Yellow Jacket to qualify for the U.S. Amateur. Bratton secured a spot Monday in the qualifier in Chesterton, Ind., winning a playoff for the berth with an eagle on the first hole.
Former Yellow Jackets Noah Norton (Chico, Calif.), who graduated in May, and Bo Andrews, who now serves as assistant golf coach at Tennessee, punched their tickets earlier this month. Norton was the medalist at the July 13-14 qualifier at the Capital City Club Crabapple course in Milton, Ga., while Andrews posted a runner-up finish at Longmeadow, Mass., a week earlier. Norton will be playing in his fifth U.S. Amateur. Another former Yellow Jacket, football wide receiver R.B. Clyburn, also captured his spot in the championship at the Crabapple qualifier.
Howe and Yellow Jacket junior Bartley Forrester (Gainesville, Ga.), who is the first alternate from the Crabapple site last week, will be on standby to take spots in the field if qualifiers withdraw or are unable to compete.
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.
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ABOUT GEORGIA TECH GOLF
Georgia Tech’s golf team is in its 26th year under head coach Bruce Heppler, winning 65 tournaments in his tenure. The Yellow Jackets have won 18 Atlantic Coast Conference Championships, made 29 appearances in the NCAA Championship and been the national runner-up four times. Connect with Georgia Tech Golf on social media by liking their Facebook page, or following on Twitter (@GTGolf) and Instagram. For more information on Tech golf, visit Ramblinwreck.com.